Blast From The Past (1999, Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone)

Blast From The Past

When Blast From The Past begins it’s 1962 and the height of the Cuban missile crisis. At the home of Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken) and his pregnant wife Helen (Sissy Spacek), a party is interrupted by Kennedy’s line-in-the-sand TV speech and, hustling the guests out, the pair repair to the state-of-the-art fall-out shelter Calvin has built in anticipation of the big one. And it arrives: a loud explosion and a fireball convince them to lock the doors for the next 35 years, the time it will take for the radiation to become safe.

But the explosion was a one-off plane crash, the crisis is resolved and life goes on, as it does in the shelter, where Helen gives birth to Adam (played in adulthood by Brendan Fraser) who, when the doors unlock, is sent out to see what civilisation remains and, if possible, find a partner (who doesn’t glow in the dark). Armed just with his father’s baseball card collection, which is now worth millions, and some shares in companies like Apple Mac, Adam finds the brave new world a little strange. But when he meets Eve (Alicia Silverstone), he finds a guide to the 20th century with whom he also falls in love.

Fraser, who went on to star in the two Mummy films, is superb as the naïve Adam, who’s quickly taught the ways of the world by Silverstone, and their blossoming on-off romance balances nicely against the comedy. Walken and Spacek bring their experience: she is particularly superb as a wife who solves her cabin fever by hitting the bottle. Hugh Wilson pulls off a fascinating take on the time-switch theme while, at the same time, taking a sly dig at both the mores of the 60s and the reality of the 90s.

Director: Hugh Wilson
Writers: Hugh Wilson, Bob Kelly

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, Dave Foley