Reviewed by: Debbie Blanton
|Year of Release:
February 12, 1999
|Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek
|New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures
“Blast From the Past”… what an interesting concept for a movie! Take someone born in the early Sixties, isolate him for his entire life (well, at least the first 35 years) with only his parents as his influence and role models, and then put him back into present day society. Although this film was marred with several uses of God’s name in vain it did have a few redeeming qualities.
In the early 60’s, in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken), a paranoid but brilliant scientist, his wife Helen (Sissy Spacek), and their unborn child, experienced a blast that they thought was the “Big One” (which was actually a plane crashing into their yard) and went underground into an elaborate bomb shelter engineered by Calvin to wait out the “radioactive contamination.”
For 35 years, Adam was raised on Jackie Gleason re-runs, Perry Como records and dreams about life on the surface. He learned dancing, manners, and charm from his mother and his father taught him history, sports, and speaking other languages… basically everything they thought he needed to prepare their son for life after the bomb shelter. Eve (Alicia Silverstone) grew up in a rapidly changing Los Angeles and emerged as a woman suspicious of intentions, savagely smart about survival and pretty uncertain about the possibilities of love. Her life has been a series of dead-end jobs, shallow boyfriends and dashed hopes.
When the automatic lock on the bomb shelter unlocks the Webbers are unsure whether they should stay in the shelter or brave the world above, but they have run low on all their supplies so they send Adam up to the surface to get some more supplies. Adam gets lost trying to find his way back to the shelter and thus starts the journey of the “star-crossed” Adam and Eve to see if they can find happiness with each other in the real world.
This movie includes several uses of profanity (at least 10) and half of these are uses of God’s name in vain, but there is no nudity. The movie also has a gay character, Eve’s roommate, but there is no real focus on this in the movie. There is also drinking in this movie as well as references to sex and drugs.
There are some redeeming qualities where the language is concerned: Adam’s parents evidently never used profanity as he was growing up because when his mother first says one out of frustration in front of him, after she finds out it still may not be safe to go up, she explains it away when he asks about it and doesn’t reveal that it’s a bad word. Adam has evidently learned about God from his parents because there are a couple of instances where he talks about God and he also gets very upset when God’s name is taken in vain and makes it very clear to the characters saying it that he doesn’t like it and not to do it… since when has THAT been done in a movie! There is also a scene where he prays over his meal out loud in public. The manners his parents taught him are clearly evident throughout the movie with such unfamiliar terms lost in today’s society such as “Ma'am”, “Sir”, “Please”, and “Thank You.” After his father initially goes up before him and goes into an XXX Adult movie house not knowing what it is, he warns his son to avoid these particular kinds of places because they are “poison”.
From a Christian perspective I can’t recommend the movie because of all the uses of God’s name in vain, even with Adam’s displays of distaste for them. Adam was a very refreshing character and this made the movie enjoyable and entertaining to watch. It’s just too bad they had to mix in some of the other offensive material.