Blast From The Past

"OK"

Blast From The Past Review


"Blast From the Past" is one of those high-conceptmovies in which the gimmick becomes an albatross around the story's neck.

An obliging comedy about a 35-year-old man-boy raised ina backyard bomb shelter by parents who panicked during the Cuban MissileCrisis, the movie stars Brendan Fraser as the wide-eyed innocent makinghis first foray to the surface in 1998 on the assumption that civilizationwas destroyed by nuclear war.

What he finds instead is the San Fernando Valley and aromance with Alicia Silverstone.

The movie starts hilariously enough, with Christopher Walkenas a commie-paranoid, Norman Rockwell kind of guy dragging his pregnantwife (Sissy Spacek) into the underground bunker -- which he's fashionedinto a replica of their home -- after mistaking a plane crash in theirneighborhood for nuclear first strike.

Locked away for half a lifetime, they raise their (literally)sheltered son with 1962 sensibilities, while above ground a funny subplotis taking shape in the form of a soda shop built where their house oncestood, that over the years declines into a boarded-up punker bar in a badpart of town.

When Walken determines it's safe to surface, he venturesup at night and misreads the ghetto that used to be their suburban culde sac as a post-apocalyptic world worse than he'd imagined and decidesto stay below.

Fraser, playing the grown son, ventures forth in searchof supplies with a fist full of money and a cigar box tucked under hisarm, filled with vintage baseball cards and what he thinks are worthlessstocks.

While "Blast" stays at least affable throughout,it's at this point the movie starts to slowly unravel. The fish-out-of-watergags are unusually fresh (Fraser sing Perry Como tunes and is dumbstruckby the girls in a Hawaiian Tropic ad), but the rather sloppy script isoften steered into tedious and forced gimmickry in order to advance theplot.

Fraser meets the ringlet-curled and spaghetti-strappedSilverstone in a sports memorabilia shop where she works (as if!), whenhe cashes in a few baseball cards. She gets fired for leveling with himabout what the cards are worth and reluctantly agrees to help him roundup supplies even though he won't tell her why he needs, for instance, twotrucks full of frozen beef.

After rebuffing his giddy, inept romantic advances, shealso agrees to help him shop for a wife (still under the impression thatL.A. is post-apocalyptic, he's planning to return to the bunker and procreate),leading to the predictable make-over from the Silverstone's gay roommate(Dave Foley) and her inevitable jealous epiphany that -- surprise! -- she'sin love with him.

My complaints about "Blast From the Past" aremostly these nit-picky scripting snafus that can be blamed on the screenwritertrying to shoe-horn elements into the story that just don't fit. But thereseem to be hundreds of these things, most of which could have easily beenfixed. Example: A girl like Alicia Silverstone's unlikely employment ina baseball card shop could have been explained away if the shop were ownedby her father or an uncle. How hard is that?

But a more prominent problem is Silverstone herself, whomakes a minimal effort in her lifeless role as a supposedly skeptical andsassy girl of the '90s, and who has zero chemistry with Fraser. He's theone who holds the movie together with his well-timed, farcical performance.

(To be fair, the screenplay gives Silverstone very littleto do. But in the hands of say, Reese Witherspoon or Christina Ricci, TheGirl in this movie would have had enough spark to gloss over some of theplot holes.)

The early scenes in the bunker are actually the funniestpart of the movie, which is almost worth seeing just for Walken. He getsto bust out of his tough-guy veneer and have some fun playing his uptight'60s conservative for big laughs. But once it's in the second act, thegroans catch up to the laughs and ultimately that race is a photo finish.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th February 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $40.3M

Budget: $35M

Distributed by: New Line Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Forge, New Line Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 33

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Adam Webber, as Eve Rustikoff, as Calvin Webber, as Helen Thomas Webber, as Cliff, as Troy, as Soda Jerk, Mary Ann Hermansen as Heather

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.