Blast from the Past (1999) – Review

3 Stars

Blast from the Past is exactly the movie we need right now. As I write this review it’s late-March 2020 and the world is in shelter due to a virus spreading across the globe. So, revisiting this sweet-natured, satirical, and peculiar film was a surprisingly amusing diversion. The movie plays similar to Will Ferrell’s much-loved Christmas themed film Elf. Both movies feature a lead character out of place and time who battles the world’s cynical nature with politeness, grace, and kindness. Brendan Frasier does well in a role that he honed during the 1990s. He plays a character not far removed from the caveman in Encino Man, George of the Jungle, and Duddley Do Right. One could call it the ‘huggable idiot with manners’ role, and Frasier nails it this time out.

Adam Webber (Brendan Fraser) was born and raised in the confinement of his parent’s well-stocked fallout shelter in Pasadena, Calif. After 30 years of living underground thinking the cold war lead to a nuclear wasteland the Webber family deems it safe to return to the surface. Adam’s genius father, Calvin (Christopher Walken), sends him to the outside world to collect supplies. When Adam emerges from the underworld he discovers a society that has grown hostile, vivacious, and un-trustworthy. He finds a helpful spirit in Eve (Alicia Silverstone), who aids Adam in his odd restocking mission.

Blast from the Past continues the strange career trajectory of Silverstone, who shunned teen idol roles for offbeat material like this and Excess Baggage. Neither films were hits nor made her a viable headliner but of the two Blast from the Past is the better movie. Frasier’s likable screen persona radiates and Walken has found a nice fit for his eccentric behavior, Blast is a fun time due to its hardworking cast and some solid work by the supporting cast in a funny subplot involving a mistaken Christ figure.

Director: Hugh Wilson
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, Dave Foley

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