The Langoliers Review
I tend to stay away from the Stephen King made for television stuff, because it is usually tame. However, I had a good 3 hours to kill and decided to check this one out in its entirety. Now, I had seen it in the past, but never with the lens of a reviewer so today I will try to condense a large amount of information into a review for the adaptation of The Langoliers for television.
First and foremost, you are going to notice that this was in fact made for television. This was the 90s and the budget, even if it was large, is no match for what film looks like. This looks and feels a lot like a television show, and you’re not going to escape that no matter how hard you try. If you can get past the looks and feel of the film, you’ll be just fine, but if you’re one of those people that can’t look past the lackluster quality, then you’re going to have a hard time dealing with this miniseries. It doesn’t get better as time goes on either, as the more you watch the more you catch the amateur hour that is this movie. This is highlighted by the way the world kind of “ends” in the third act, leaving you to laugh at the computer imaging that was done all those many years ago.
The movie moves into introducing characters, as there are several people that you have to meet to understand what is going on. The characters are all-different and feature a wide variety of experiences, and drives the subplots later on. The plane has gone through a rift in time, and there’s some insane things going on. They all discover that things push themselves in awkward ways, where electricity doesn’t work, food doesn’t taste good, matches don’t light and all sorts of weird stuff goes on. Meanwhile, one of the characters is telepathic and is driving yet another subplot. As one passenger goes nuts, the rest of the group has to try and calmly get through this rift as they all end up in an alternate universe of sorts.
The movie gets really boring, and you start to realize that this thing is on rails, headed for something obvious like going back to the flight path and going through the rift in the time space continuum. The short story that this was based on must have been far better than this because it really lags in the third act. While there are some nice plot points and interesting moments, you really don’t get many answers and you just want to sleep after a while.
Stephen King might be the king of the written word in the genre of horror, but this is not his best work. I take that back, this is a bad example of adaptation from print to screen, and it shows terribly. I do not recommend The Langoliers miniseries, unless you absolutely just want to watch something Stephen King related. I’d prefer reading his work than watching this one, that’s for sure.