Fat Man And Little Boy

"Weak"

Fat Man And Little Boy Review


The trouble with true stories is a subject I like to tackle. I really hit it hard with Patch Adams, which was idiotic enough to use "based on a true story" as its tag line. Likewise, I'm not going easy on Fat Man and Little Boy for the fact that it is based on fact.

Fat Man and Little Boy, for anyone who has been locked up for the past sixty years, are the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. The movie is basically a humanization of the people who invented in, the team of crackpot physicists on the Manhattan Project (led by Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Dwight Schultz) and the military general in charge (Leslie Groves, played by Paul Newman). John Cusack plays the wunderkid of the physicists, Michael Merriman. Laura Dern plays his girlfriend, a nurse.

Now I like Cusack and I love Dern, but Paul Newman has gotten on my nerves one too many times and Dwight Schultz is too much a character actor to play the part. He can play a nerd, he can play a funny nerd, but he can't play a moralistic nerd.

The movie spends about two hours talking. The first part of it is talking physics. The second part of it is talking morals. Physics is a subject you probably don't have any interest in. Morals are a subject that, when applied right, push emotional buttons.

With the way Fat Man and Little Boy was filmed, morals don't do much for it. To a brain, the movie is slightly fascinating to watch. To a philosopher, the movie might be interesting. To Joe Schmoe from Alamo, forget it.

All of the plot twists can be found in the history books, so I don't hesitate to spoil the ending: they build the impossible weapon. And along the way a couple of people die. And by the time they get it done they really didn't need it, but the cruel general wanted it so they gave it to him. Etc.

The movie might actually have been good if it had been done with a little more pinnace. The characters may be real, but they are not well developed. We do not get any reasons why for anyone. In a normal movie this would be OK but Fat Man and Little Boy decided it wanted not only to be a moralistic sermon on the mount but a character drama, too.

Even the good actors in this film perform badly. Dern, normally one of the finest actresses to grace the silver screen over the past 20 years, ends up simply acting the lovestruck bimbo. Cusack, a generally smart fellow, does his best to act his worst.

And don't even get me started on Paul Newman.

I grew up in the Cold War. I grew up with constantly being told that we could be nuked at any moment. I grew up with the history lessons on the creation of the bomb.

I don't care to watch a bad two-hour long film about it.



Fat Man And Little Boy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 127 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th October 1989

Distributed by: Paramount Home Video

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Gen. Leslie R. Groves, as J. Robert Oppenheimer, as Kitty Oppenheimer, as Michael Merriman, as Kathleen Robinson, as Peter de Silva, John C. McGinley as Capt. Richard Schoenfield, MD, as Jean Tatlock, as Jamie Latrobe, Michael Brockman as William 'Deke' Parsons

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

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.