Fluke Movie Poster
|Directed by||Carlo Carlei|
|Produced by||Tom Coleman
|Written by||James Herbert (novel)
Samuel L. Jackson
|Narrated by||Matthew Modine|
|Music by||Carlo Siliotto|
|Edited by||Mark Conte|
|Running time||96 min.|
Fluke is a 1995 film directed by Carlo Carlei and starring Matthew Modine as the voice of the title character with supporting roles featuring Eric Stoltz, Nancy Travis, Max Pomeranc, Bill Cobbs, Ron Perlman, Jon Polito and Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of Rumbo. The film was based on the novel of the same name by James Herbert.
The story centers on a Flat-Coated Retriever puppy named Fluke (voiced by Sam Gifaldi), who has flashing memories and dreams of having lived a human life. After being taken to a pound and eventually escaping, he is raised by an elderly homeless woman named Bella (Collin Wilcox Paxton), who gives him the name Fluke, stating that he is "a fluke by nature, and by name."
After Bella dies of an illness due to poor conditions, Fluke befriends a street-wise St. Bernard-like dog named Rumbo (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) who takes him to see a man named Bert (Bill Cobbs) who feeds Fluke and Rumbo. Fluke matures into an adult dog (now voiced by Matthew Modine) and eventually realizes that he was once a man named Thomas P. Johnson (also portrayed by Matthew Modine), who died in a car crash.
Fluke is then abducted by a man named Sylvester (Ron Perlman) to be used in animal experiments at a cosmetics company. During his captivity, Rumbo comes to the rescue, and Rumbo is shot by Sylvester, as he and Fluke escape. A dying Rumbo tells Fluke that the black-and-white snapshot of a man in a sailor suit on Bert's wall was him. He also states that when he was a human, Bert was his brother and that he wishes to smell the sea again, suggesting that he died in the line of duty.
After Rumbo's death, Fluke seeks out his wife Carol (Nancy Travis) and son Brian (Max Pomeranc) and reunites with them as their dog. Fluke tries to show them who he once was, suspecting that his human death was caused by his former business partner Jeff Newman (Eric Stoltz). In his time as a dog he gets to know his family better and bitterly realizes that he was an emotionally distant workaholic.
However, he comes close to killing Jeff, but at the last minute has a flashback and realizes that Jeff wasn't involved in his death - his death was caused by his own recklessness. Fluke finally manages to show his wife who he really is (by digging away the snow covering his tomb stone and pointing out the word "forever" at the bottom, something that in life, he often said to his wife). With a heavy heart, he decides it's better to move on, as the man he was is dead and gone. So he leaves his family, never seeing them again. He realizes that life is simply meant to be cherished, regardless of how one lives it.
Far away and sometime later, Fluke is resting under a tree by himself. To his surprise, he encounters Rumbo, now reincarnated as a squirrel. Rumbo tells Fluke about life as a squirrel and about reincarnation.
- Matthew Modine - Thomas P. Johnson
- Nancy Travis - Carol Johnson
- Max Pomeranc - Brian Johnson
- Eric Stoltz - Jeff Newman
- Bill Cobbs - Bert
- Ron Perlman - Sylvester
- Jon Polito - Boss
- Collin Wilcox Paxton - Bella
Reviews of Fluke were negative with film review website Rotten Tomatoes tallying only 27% of its collected reviews as positive, giving the film a label of "Rotten". Despite these poor reviews both Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel gave it thumbs up , and the film also received a rating of 62% from the movie website Internet Movie Database. In addition to IMDb, Allmovie's reviewer Mark Deming gave the film 3/5 stars. Fluke underperformed at the box office, generating just under $4 million in the American box office. Fluke was nominated in 1996 by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Fantasy Film and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Max Pomeranc.