Volume 92, Issue 77
Friday, February 12, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Bunker flick needs time to take off
©Photo by P. Sorel
YOU'RE CRUSHING MY HAND ENCINO DUDE. Alicia Silverstone holds down the girlfriend role in Blast From the Past.
By Terry Warne
Another romantic comedy is about to scrape through theatres and appropriately timed for Valentine's Day. But this one has a twist as it brings new meaning to finding your Mr. Right or Miss Perfect where you least expected a bomb shelter.
Blast From The Past is the story of a slightly eccentric family who descend into their fallout shelter for 35 years to wait out the Cold War. At said time, the father (Christopher Walken) decides to resurface in order to check out the planet's situation.
Being that it's downtown Los Angeles in the middle of the night, he assumes the planet is overrun by mutants and freaks. However, needing food and supplies to equip themselves for another period underground, the family sends their son Adam (Brendan Fraser) to procure these items. It doesn't take much guess work to figure out what happens from here. But here's a hint they live happily ever after.
Yes, the plot is far-fetched and fairly predictable, but that is beside the point. What makes the movie interesting are the questions it poses about current society. Raised without the corruptible influences of society, Adam is innocent, pure and a true gentleman think of a genuine Eddie Haskell. Yet, all people do is try and take advantage of him, or regard him as some sort of oddity.
Another interesting facet of the film is watching someone experience life for the first time. Adam is extremely well educated, but he is only aware of things in theory, he has no real concept of most things which the average person takes for granted. It's fun to watch Fraser's character marvel over the sky, the ocean and colour television.
Blast From The Past is propelled past average by some entertaining performances. As the parents, Sissy Spacek and Christopher Walken are pretty damn funny. Spacek's character is a borderline alcoholic who's going to crack if she has to spend one more day in the shelter. Conversely, Walken's father character is more than happy to dwell in the shelter swilling hot Dr. Pepper.
By far, however, the film's most redeeming quality is Dave Foley, who plays Silverstone's gay roommate Troy. Foley's facial reactions and snide comments are almost worth the price of admission.
Alicia Silverstone is another matter altogether. She's developed this whiny character, which began with the film Clueless and inexplicably, Silverstone has conjured this character up again. Whenever she opens her mouth, a complaint is imminent.
Brendan Fraser is walking on thin ice with this performance as well. While appropriate within the context of the film, it seems like he has given variations on this sweet character before. After films such as Encino Man and George of the Jungle, Fraser is in danger of being type-cast if he hasn't been already.
Ground breaking? No. Complex and challenging? Not at all. Blast From The Past is an amusing flick which is good for a date. It's a fun movie that's all.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999