Blast From the Past (1999): Movie Review

Shikhar Jauhari

Updated on:

Blast From the Past: Movie Review: At a cocktail party hosted by Calvin and Helen Webber in 1962, the film’s opening scene shows attendees muttering about Calvin’s genius and his strangeness. Meanwhile, the host prepares drinks, cracks jokes, and drops ominous hints like, “I could take a simple yacht battery and rig it to last a year, easily.” President John F. Kennedy makes an unexpected TV appearance to reveal that the Soviet Union has placed missiles in Cuba that can strike the United States.

Hustling the guests out the door, Calvin (Christopher Walken) rushes his pregnant wife (Sissy Spacek) into an elevator to take them down to his incredibly well-stocked bomb shelter, where fish grow in breeding tanks, and the decor of their surface home has been faithfully recreated, down to the lawn furniture on the patio.

That’s an ingenious setup for a common type of comedy: the time-displaced comedy, in which we enjoy laughing at ourselves as we see our age through the eyes of characters living in a different era. However, Adam’s eyes in this film are distractingly fluttery and out of focus.

Calvin and Helen choose to play it safe and spend some time in their underground home on the tragic night of the Cuban Missile Crisis when President Kennedy declares that he is drawing a line in the sand. A tiny plane plummets from the sky and smashes into their home when they enter the refuge. The impact resembles a tremendous explosion when heard from below ground. After becoming convinced that a nuclear catastrophe has begun, Calvin locks himself and his pregnant wife inside. Calvin has determined that it will take 35 years before the surface can support human life again. Thus, the shelter doors will remain locked until then.

See also  Brendan Fraser biography, Wiki, Net Worth, Movies, Relationships and more

In the late 1990s, Adam Webber, the adult son of Calvin and Helen, is ready to strike out into the world and find a bride, even though the previous three and a half decades have flown past (in 20 minutes, in fact). His sheltered background leaves him unprepared for the challenges of navigating modern Los Angeles, but when he meets a young lady called Eve (Alicia Silverstone), he thinks he may have found more than just a friend in her. Eve, who is being compensated for her assistance to Adam, has a different perspective.

Top 12 Movies of Brendan Fraser (According to IMDB)

Cal Tech whiz kid Calvin has been sitting on the sidelines for years, anticipating the next big thing. His caution is commendable, but he can’t catch a break: the world isn’t on the verge of nuclear destruction, but an aircraft crashing into his home and sending a fireball down the elevator shaft is enough to convince him of that.

Adam is taught by his father, Calvin, to speak many languages, as well as physics, mathematics, and history; his mother, in the meantime, instills good manners and provides him with daily dancing instruction. His father even makes an effort to teach him the game of baseball. While Calvin is overjoyed with the shelter’s performance, Helen is quietly stir-crazy and cooking sherry to cope.

See also  Best Netflix Movies in 2023

Fraser is the film’s driving force due to his endearing goofiness. Fraser implies volumes even if the screenplay doesn’t fully develop his reactions to a world that has nothing in common with the Cold War globe Adam has been warned about. Blast from the Past annihilates the latest crop of romantic comedies thanks to a sharp storyline, directing, first-rate ensemble, and the explosive combo of Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone.

They have the old-fashioned, winning chemistry that has rescued more than one romantic comedy, and Fraser and Silverstone fit easily into their characters. Fraser boldly declared in 1998’s Gods and Monsters that he is more than just a handsome face, and Silverstone has the star power to replace Meg Ryan as the queen of romantic comedies if she so chooses. Christopher Walken, in a somewhat restrained part for him, Sissy Spacek, and Dave Foley, who plays Eve’s gay closest friend, round out the supporting ensemble.

Still Breathing: Movie Review

Blast from the Past tries to do too much. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough, so it’s up to supporting players like Walken and Spacek (who are almost unrecognizable from her ’70s masterpieces Badlands and Carrie) to infuse the proceedings with genuine laughs. Director Hugh Wilson’s decision to cast them as Adam’s sweet, down-to-earth parents was inspired by casting. However, as Walken skulks around the shelter with a mad glint in his eye and Spacek’s quietly hysterical housewife hits the cooking sherry, you start to wonder if the movie would have been better off if everyone had stayed underground.

See also  TOP 12 MOVIES OF Margot Robbie (ACCORDING TO IMDB)

The religious cult subplot is badly developed (though it does provide some humorous moments), and the social worker’s storyline is poorly incorporated (it seems like the apparent narrative device it is). Those are minor flaws in an otherwise buoyant and beguiling film. Although it isn’t the finest picture I have seen in 1999, Blast from the Past is definitely among my top three favorites. Blast from the Past is more than just your average romantic comedy, making it a great choice for a date or a night on the town.

Blast From the Past: Movie Info

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama

Blast From the Past: Star Cast

  • Brendan Fraser: Adam
  • Alicia Silverstone: Eve
  • Christopher Walken: Calvin
  • Sissy Spacek: Helen
  • David Foley: Troy
  • Joey Slotnick: Soda Jerk
  • Dale Raoul: Mom
  • Hayden Tank: Adam age 3½
  • Douglas Smith: Adam age 11
  • Ryan Sparks: Adam age 8
  • Don Yesso: Jerry
  • Scott Thomson: Young Psycho
  • Ted Kairys: Navy Pilot
  • Rex Linn: Dave
  • Cynthia Mace: Betty
  • Harry S. Murphy: Bob
  • Wendel Meldrum: Ruth (as Wendel Meldurm)
  • Richard Gilbert-Hill: Guest (as Richard Gilbert Hill)

Blast From the Past: Crew

  • Renny Harlin: Producer
  • Hugh Wilson: Director
  • Mary Kane: Co-producer
  • Sunil Perkash: Executive Producer
  • Claire Rudnick Polstein: Executive Producer
  • Amanda Stern: Executive Producer
  • Hugh Wilson: Producer
  • Steve Dorff: Music
  • José Luis Alcaine: Cinematography
  • Don Brochu: Film Editing
  • Denise Chamian: Casting
  • Bob Ziembicki: Production Design
  • Ted Berner: Art Direction
  • Mark Bridges: Costume Design

Distributor: New Line Cinema

Production Co: New Line Cinema

Box Office (Gross USA): $26.5M

Runtime: 1h 51m

Rating: PG-13

Article Category: ,

Leave a Comment