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Blast From the Past
1997 - PG-13 - 112 Mins.
Director: Hugh Wilson
Producer: Hugh Wilson, Renny Harlin
Written By: Bill Kelly, Hugh Wilson
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, Dave Foley, Scott Thomson
Review by: John Ulmer
   

I'm 30 physically, 10 mentally
Sitting down to watch "Blast From the Past" one night, I didn't expect much. I hadn't read many reviews on the film, but it was my impression it had flopped at the box office and wasn't supposed to be very good. But I was extremely startled upon the first five minutes of watching the film to find it not only funny, but sweet, too.

The film starts in the sixties, when husband and mad inventor Christopher Walken and normal wife Sissy Spacek are in their house cleaning up after a dinner party. Walken has created a bomb shelter in case the "Commies" drop a nuke; he panics when he hears of possible bombs, and sticks himself and his wife in the underground bomb shelter. Unfortunately, the auto-locks on the underground shelter lock themselves after a jet-fighter from the sky lands on their home outside. Walken and the bomb shelter believe this to be a nuclear bomb, and so they are trapped down in the shelter for about thirty years because Walken programmed the locks not to release for thirty years...

Soon they have a child, and after thirty years, the child has grown into Brendan Fraser: an innocent, sixties-type man with sixties clothes, sixties haircut, sixties expressions...because he grew up in the bomb shelter, he's practically been living in the sixties for three decades.

So when the locks finally unlock, Walken goes above ground to find the modern world--he believes it to be a post-apocalyptic modern-day earth. He rushes back underground and reports of how the world is to his unhappy wife. They decide to live underground forever. Unfortunately, they are almost out of food and supplies, because Walken only filled the shelter with enough material to last them thirty years. So Fraser volunteers to go up, get some supplies, then come back down.

And so the simple plot begins; the fish out of the water meets the modern-day girl (Alicia Silverstone, in this case) who shows him around the modern day earth. It's been done before: "Crocodile Dundee" rings a bell. But, like "Crocodile Dundee," "Blast From the Past" ranks as one of the best of its kind.

It has some great gags. And unlike some comedies where the gags are funny in the beginning but run out of steam towards the end, "Blast From the Past" is consistently sweet and funny; perhaps the best romantic comedy in a while (close to the greatness of 1997's "As Good As it Gets").

"Blast From the Past" runs like a film from the sixties--the humor is classy, not crude. There aren't as many sex gags as there could have been, and I'm thankful for that. "Kids in the Hall" star Dave Foley plays a gay man who Fraser mistakes to be happy, but that's just about the most sexually-suggestive the film gets.

Fraser blends the perfect sense of innocent and childish-sweetness to make his character very likable.

Alicia Silverstone adds the right touch of modern-day toughness to her role as a woman doesn't know what to expect when she meets a man that truly has good intentions and is not a creep.

Christopher Walken is one of my favorite supporting actors, and he does just as good as always here, as does Sissy Spacek.

So, yes, it's been done before, but in recent times, not nearly as sweet or funny as "Blast from the Past."
 
Movie Guru Rating
Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental.
  3.5 out of 5 stars

 
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