Any movie with a rhyming title should be treated with suspicion. And Blast From The Past - two films inconveniently rolled into one creaking rom-com - is as bad as it gets. It starts out promisingly enough, as a period sci-fi parody, and anything that pairs Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek deserves some commendation. The two create nicely etched comic characters as the paranoid scientist and his closet-boozing little wife, with Walken's performance - far subtler than we've come to expect of him - easily the best thing on show.
It's quite fun to watch, so long as we're underground with the Webbers in their early '60s bubble. But about 20 minutes in, little Adam grows into big Brendan Fraser, and as soon as we follow him above ground, it turns into little more than a mildly entertaining Fish Out Of Water comedy.
The screenplay lacks a driving force beyond showing Adam different facets of modern and oh-so-fashionable LA. (See Adam watch a baseball game for the first time! See Adam go to a nightclub!) It's also scattered with tired clichés - the sharp-tongued gay friend, the dance scene in which the fish proves to be a dazzling hoofer...
Old material like this desperately needs first-rate entertainers to make it work, and one out of three ain't enough. The worst is Dave Foley as the live-in gay friend, tossing out a flat performance that does nothing to liven the weak lines he's been handed. Alicia Silverstone (sporting the most unflattering hairdo since Medusa decided on the snake look) is still a one-film wonder, utterly clueless on how to play an adult woman.
Only Fraser, who has patented the role of a wide-eyed innocent hunk (California Man, George Of The Jungle), manages a fresh performance. But he has better chemistry with his old baseball cards than with Silverstone.
It's Big meets The Brady Bunch meets Back to the Future (reversed). A flat rehash of old jokes that present a surer hand to make them work again. The lack of star power and romantic chemistry don't exactly help either.