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Forrest Gump

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Forrest Gump

Starring: Tom Hanks, Sally Field
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 135 Minutes
Release Date: July 1994
Genres: Comedy, Drama

*Also starring: Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Michael Humphreys, Hanna Hall, Haley Joel Osment

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Well, I now have a better appreciation for what the Supreme Court Justices must feel when they have to write a dissenting opinion in a 8-1 case. Everyone I know from my friends to Siskel and Ebert have gone bananas over FORREST GUMP. I saw it, and I was extremely disappointed. From BIG to PHILADELPHIA, I have seen and loved almost all of Tom Hanks's movies. In a nutshell, I found this one to be a long bore. I checked my watch frequently and got sleepy by the end of the movie although we went to the 5:30 showing.

FORREST GUMP is about a boy with a marginal IQ. He discovers that he is very athletic however, and he finds to his amazement that this is important in life. Forrest lives his life not for this, but for his friends and for the central character in his life, Jenny, his childhood sweetheart (Robin Wright). Sally Field plays an almost minor role as his mother. Gary Sinise plays a Vietnam vet.

The good parts of the movie are all technical. Gump manages personally to see numerous presidents and other historical figures. You will be amazed at how well the special effects work.

The best, and only good performance in the movie, is Hanks. His performance was amazing, but at times it was too mechanical - almost an automaton.

Sinise, who was brilliant in OF MICE AND MEN, overacts as a cliche of a burned out Vietnam vet. Field is okay. Wright was miscast as the girlfriend. This was the second central figure in the movie, and Wright was a weak actress who gave no life to the part.

My main fault was with the director (Robert Zemeckis) and the screen writers (Winston Groom and Eric Roth). Why did they have to make it so long (2:22)? Why did they feel they had to have Forrest switch to a totally different amazing feat every 10 minutes? Why not develop some aspects more? It was almost like it was written by a committee and everybody got to write 10 minutes of the story.

Most of all, why didn't the director have people that were real and that you cared about more? All were way too mechanical for my taste. I should point out that almost everyone disagrees with me although Janet Maslin of the N. Y. Times was not impress by the show so at least I am not totally alone. There was lots of crying in the theater hence one of the reasons it is making zillions at the box office.

FORREST GUMP is rated PG-13 for violence, a little nudity, discussions of sexual incest, battle carnage, etc. I saw many many grade school kids in the audience. Frankly, I think that was a mistake. Teenagers, fine, but this not a kids (preteen) stuff movie no matter how cute the previews may look. I give the film * 1/2 for technical merit and do not recommend it.

Copyright 1994 Steve Rhodes

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