Flatliners

1990, Movie, R, 111 mins

Review

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Medical students Rachel Mannus (Julia Roberts), Nelson Wright (Keifer Sutherland), David Labraccio (Kevin Bacon), Joe Hurley (William Baldwin) and Randy Steckle (Oliver Platt) are friends and future colleagues. Nelson, the wild dreamer in the group, concocts an outrageous plan and presents it to the others. They're all interested in the nature of death, he reasons; they wouldn't want to be doctors if they weren't. So why don't they do a little first-hand research? Nelson suggests they kill themselves one by one--not in some gory orgy of self-destruction, but coolly, rationally, scientifically. After experiencing clinical death when the brainwave line of the EKG monitor goes flat (hence "Flatliners"), they'll be brought back through CPR. FLATLINERS is nothing if not easy on the eyes. Director Joel Schumacher (THE LOST BOYS) goes for broke visually, setting the story in a world of BLADE RUNNER images drenched in MTV glossiness, leaving the viewer to wonder why the characters would ever crave altered states. The look is overpowering enough to delay--though not forever--examination of the plot, which has to pull a fast one at every turn to keep moving and which eventually makes a mockery of plausibility. leave a comment

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