Its title is a misnomer but BLAST FROM THE PAST has arrived on Blu-ray.

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Bomb shelters, doomsday preparedness, and those on the apocalypse watch have a part in our society today just like they did at least as far back as the Cold War. The struggle to survive is deeply ingrained in the human psyche but some people clearly will go to drastic means to survive an Earth-changing conflagration. I can see the sentiment, more so now that I have a family, yet building an underground bunker has never been high on my things-to-do list. Perhaps it's because, no matter how close to the edge society rides, I'm more of a "half full" kind of guy, that believes the world won't drop over the precipice.

Exploring the bunker-building mentality and the effect on those inside is the best part of the 1999 film BLAST FROM THE PAST. The film begins during the Cuban Missile Crisis with a dinner party held by the Webbers, played marvelously by Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek. Walken is a former professor that made a fortune as an inventor. With the Cold War in full swing, he built a doomsday bunker using out-of-town contractors, so nobody else local knows about it. After the party, an Air Force jet comes scorching in on a crash landing that causes the Webbers to flee inside from what they believe is a nuclear missile.

The next section of the film features an exploration of life in the bunker. Said bunker looks like a sixties era house connected to a well-stocked warehouse. We watch as the Webbers' son, Adam, grows up inside the bunker through short scenes and montages, and as he learns foreign languages, takes daily dance lessons, boxes with dad, and various scholastic endeavors. As the montages progress, we finally meet Brendan Fraser's portrayal of Adam. Around the film's 20th minute, the bunker signals that it's been 35 years and the time is nigh to see what remains of the world.

The early part of the film is funny, features wonderful acting, and has a sad duality hidden amongst the lighter moments. Unfortunately, when the bunker opens, Adam is sent forth to procure supplies to restock the bunker. From this point out, we get a by-the-numbers romantic comedy crossed with a fish-out-of-water tale. The type of story you've probably seen uncountable times prior. Adam falls for Alicia Silverstone's Eve (subtle reference right?) after an encounter at a baseball card store. There's a dance number, a porn store visit, and lots of missed opportunities to explore beyond the mundane.

The film perks up for a couple of funny scenes with a youthful Nathan Fillion as Eve's ex, and Joey Slotnick features in a witty subplot over the ensuing 35 years as he goes from soda jerk, to bar owner, and finally a cultish religious leader. Later in the film there are a handful of scenes with Spacek and Walken spark the film, unfortunately Hugh Wilson & Bill Kelly's script mostly lacks punch as the romance kicks into high gear. My wife and I talked about the film's length as well. Did this picture need to run nearly two hours? I think director Wilson could have lopped twenty minutes out of the flick and presented a much better piece.

In the end, BLAST FROM THE PAST is not what its title suggests. This sixteen-year-old movie isn't terrible by any means, yet there's very little reason for a bare bones Blu-ray release of a forgettable film.

Grade: 
2.5 / 5.0