Reeve's Window on Life
Jason Kemp (Christopher Reeve - The Great Escape II), a successful architect, wakes up in hospital having been in a coma for a week and paralyzed from the neck down after a traffic accident. Despite suffering bouts of depression and wishing he was dead, Jason becomes determined to get himself in the best of places for the day when a cure is found, that includes having his apartment adapted so than he can return home and get back to work. It is from his apartment, whilst looking out of his window, that he sees a murder take place and with the help of his colleague, Claudia (Daryl Hannah - Social Nightmare), starts investigating. But the more Jason and Claudia investigate the more danger they find themselves in.
I remember the first time I watched this 1998 remake of "Rear Window", I felt that it wasn't half bad and thought it was a brave decision by Christopher Reeve to venture back in front of the camera following his life changing horse riding accident. But since then, having read Reeve's autobiography "Still Me", I realise he drew heavily on his own experiences to add to the story of "Rear Window" with the early scenes where Jason is in hospital featuring some of the things which happened to Reeve, such as a scene where Jason is unable to do anything when his air feed comes off his respirator. It certainly makes the first part of "Rear Window" come across very differently and a lot more personal to Chistopher Reeve when you are aware of this.
But of course the entire movie can't be just about Reeve's experiences following the accident whilst also highlighting how some struggle financially following an accident. So we get the update of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" with Jason observing the apartments across the way from his and believing he witnessed a murder whilst getting the help of his attractive work colleague to investigate. Now on one hand it is a nice update as it uses Reeve's paralysis and the various pieces of equipment he uses as part of the story. But it never quite succeeds in delivering the tense atmosphere that the storyline calls for. And as such whilst this version is certainly worth a watch, those who are a fan of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" are likely to frequently become frustrated by the potential to be a good remake being wasted with it ending up coming up short.
What this all boils down to is that this 1998 version of "Rear Window" is likely to entertain those who are fans of Christopher Reeve and will be an insight into his life post accident. But as a remake of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" this certainly lacks something, especially when it comes to delivering than edge of the seat tension the storyline calls for.