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BLAST FROM THE PAST, 1999
Movie Review

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BLAST FROM THE PAST MOVIE POSTER
BLAST FROM THE PAST, 1999
Movie Reviews

Directed by Hugh Wilson
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek
Review by Russell Hill



SYNOPSIS:

The son of a family living underground in a nuclear bunker for 35 years emerges to the surface where he finds times have changed.

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REVIEW:

Seen by many as simply a romantic-comedy-science fiction movie, “Blast from the Past” is much more than simply to serve as a combination of all these genres. Yes I agree that at times it seems like a vehicle for both Fraser and Silverstone to showcase their talents yet, whilst ably supported by Walken and Sissy Spacek, they are helped out most handsomely by a sharp and spot-on script.

During the 1960’s, the Webber family were like any other. Science genius Calvin (Walken) and housewife Helen (Spacek) both love each other and are expecting their first child anytime soon. Upon hearing of a possible nuclear strike, due the Cuban Missile Crisis, they escape to the nuclear bunker which Calvin has constructed in their back garden. However, as soon as they enter the bunker a plane crashes leading them to believe a nuclear holocaust was happening right above them. The locks are set and will no longer be opened for 35 years, much to Helen’s anger. Such a shock then leads Helen into encountering labour, and soon we are introduced to Adam.

Over the many years, Adam is taught an education better than any high school could provide. His father, an expert in all fields of education, teaches Adam to the best possible standard. His mother, on the other hand, teaches Adam what she knows best; dancing, manners and God. In fact, Adam is quite the model student but at heart is still a boy.

Fast forward 35 years, and the locks are opened. Intrigued at what has happened to Earth due to the “nuclear holocaust”, Adam at first embarks on a scientific investigation but soon finds that supplies are required due to Calvin’s ill health. Having never had a girlfriend, Adam wishes to have a wife and decides to combine what his parents want with what he wants; find a spouse. The trouble is, having never ventured into the outside world due to living underground with his parents his whole life, the question of will he ever succeed in doing this or fail miserably still remains.

Upon leaving the bunker, he soon meets Eve (Silverstone) and instantly takes a liking to her. He sees her as his saviour and guide on the “outside” to find a wife and to get supplies for his folks. Having been given a substantial amount of money courtesy of priceless baseball cards and piles of stocks/shares, the amount of stuff he can buy has no limit. However, no matter how much money he has will Adam ever get Eve to fall in love with him?

Throughout his career, Brendan Fraser has often presented himself as this floppy haired, forever young Peter Pan character. To his credit in all films I have seen him appear in, with the exception of “The Passion of Darkly Noon”, he has always been successful in doing this. The character of Adam is certainly not an easy one to pull off, and it is to Fraser’s credit that he succeeds in this. Today, his schoolboy looks have dwindled somewhat but is maturing into his older personality.

Even though he was just over 30 when this movie was made, Adam’s boyish and naïve persona is quite convincing and certainly the mark of a fine actor. Matthew Broderick has tried to pull that role off for years, and has failed in each and every movie. Like I said, Fraser is a fine actor yet Broderick is not. Bless him for trying though. After all, Sarah Jessica Parker is his wife. He’s got to keep his mind occupied with something other than tending to the missus. Imagine going home to her every night? Thanks, but no thanks.

For a generation now, Alicia Silverstone has acted as the girl-next-door ever since she burst onto our screens as Cher in the hit 1995 movie “Clueless” and does not disappoint here. Released four years after “Clueless”, she is still the unobtainable It-Girl but this time a quite tough-talking one who doesn’t take grief from anybody. Despite her menacing yet caring exterior, she still requires the love of someone dear just so that she can function. A typical trait of Hollywood it may be, but by golly when it is acted like this I can see no reason why it should be stopped.

Often overlooked by many in Hollywood, Christopher Walken acts beyond his years as the intelligent yet goofy father Calvin. His trademark haircut present throughout, he seemingly acts the part of scientific genius/caring father/general moron rather well. To perform to an above adequate level on just one of these characteristics would be worthy of celebrating, but to pull off all three is an act of genius. The same can be said for Sissy Spacek with the roles of caring mother/humorous alcoholic seemingly delivered with perfection. Okay, I admit this movie is no “Carrie” but certainly worthy of Sissy’s efforts.

With this wealth of acting talent evident, Director Hugh Wilson certainly has the knack of getting together a stellar cast. Responsible for directing the first “Police Academy” movie in 1984, this is another film which the world must surely bow down and thank him for being at the helm of another classic. Mr Wilson, I salute you.

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