By Mansoor Mithaiwala
The new Flatliners film isn’t doing well with critics, evidenced by its current 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s no secret that movie studios have been pushing for more remakes and reboots these past few years, as well as finally getting around to producing those long-gestating sequels (e.g. Blade Runner: 2049). After all, if films and franchises have done well in the past, they could presumably perform as well, if not better, today.
Sony Pictures is one of the culprits who have been diving deep into their expansive library in recent years, having already gone through new installments in their Ghostbusters and Karate Kid franchises, not to mention the impending release of Jake Kasdan’s Jumanjisequel, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. What’s more, the studio recently decided it was time to bring Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners – starring the likes of Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, and Kevin Bacon – back to the big screen, this time continuing the story in the present-day with an all-new cast. Unfortunately, audiences don’t seem interested in another Flatliners story.
Niels Arden Oplev’s Flatliners sequel/reboot – starring Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Kiersey Clemons, and James Norton, along with Sutherland reprising his role as Nelson Wright/Dr. Barry Wolfson – opened domestically today, and critics have chastised the movie, calling it an unnecessary remake that’s indistinguishable from the year’s other failed thrillers. Currently, it sits at 0 percent on review-aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s, therefore, on-track to earn an undesirable “rotten” classification.
So far, 2017 has seen long-gestating adaptations and sequels achieve critical and commercial success, while others have seen dismal returns and turned into critical failures. It’s not that remakes and reboots don’t work, it’s that they need to stand apart from past chapters and pave their own path. Of course, the 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes only accounts for critic reviews. The site’s audience score, although much more optimistic, is still “rotten” at 44 percent. It’ll be interesting to see how the cast and crew respond to the abhorrent rating, especially considering the dichotomy between critics and audiences when it comes to Rotten Tomatoes and how much influence critics have over a movie’s box office success.
Regardless of how well Flatliners performs commercially, it appears that Sony Pictures is determined to move forward with their planned Charlie’s Angels reboot, which is currently eyeing Kristen Stewart and Lupita Nyong’o, as well as the newly-announced Men in Blackspinoff and potential Resident Evil reboot.