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Blast from the Past

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Blast from the Past

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone
Director: Hugh Wilson
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: February 1999
Genres: Comedy, Romance

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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

What would the world look like to you if you had grown up in a plush, multi-room suburban bomb fallout shelter that was supposed to be a refuge from the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis? That's the premise of this genial comedy that begins underground. Raised with only his paranoid parents - dutiful yet frustrated Sissy Spacek and brilliant scientist/inventor Christopher Walken - as role models and completely isolated from outside information, Brendan Fraser ("George of the Jungle") has a decidedly wholesome '60s value system. When he comes to the surface of modern-day Los Angeles for supplies - and, perhaps, a bride - he must keep his history a secret, which causes lots of complications when he meets beautiful but hard-edged Alicia Silverstone, who doesn't know what to make of this gentle, impossibly well-mannered and archaically dressed hunk of adorable naivete. Nor does her platonic room-mate, David Foley, whose overt homosexuality Fraser never quite picks up on. Directed and co-written by Hugh Wilson with Bill Kelly, it's conceptually the opposite of "Pleasantville," which threw two contemporary teens into the monochromatic world of a '50s sitcom. But, while "Pleasantville" addressed some serious issues, this frothy fluff is heavy into sheer silliness - and far too much time is clumsily wasted on the elaborate set-up for the actual story. Once again, Brendan Fraser proves his adroitness as a lovable, innocent goofball in a fish-out-of-water situation and, if you're intrigued by this young actor, I highly recommend you see him spar with Ian McKellen in "Gods and Monsters." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Blast from the Past" is a sweetly satirical 7. Frothy fun.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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