Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review: Forrest Gump (1994)


Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright-Penn

Yeah, yeah, everyone knows this one. How can you not love Forrest Gump? It's just so wholesome, is what it is. It's practically impossible to not like at least a couple of parts of this movie. It's a life-long epic. Forrest Gump is one of those movies that kind of defined its decade in terms of film, and I can see why - the characters are memorable, there are a lot of quotable lines, and there is a healthy balance between wistful drama and great comedy. It's one of those movies that is sort of a jack of all trades. It does a little bit of everything and does it all reasonably well.

Everyone will have different things to say about this, different characters they prefer or different scenes that stick out to them as memorable, but for me, Gary Sinise steals the show. Every scene this guy is in was just flat out great. I love his charisma, I love his sense of pride, which is conflicted with the fact that he's a cripple - everyone can kind of relate to this in some way - and I love his damned unbeatable energy and conviction on screen. Awesome character, and one I'd watch a whole movie about on his own if he had one.

But Tom Hanks is the main character, and of course he does a fantastic job, too. He plays a mentally handicapped character who is in the tough position of being just smart enough to function in society - although really, he seems a lot more intelligent than people give him credit for by the end of the movie. He's really a lovable guy, just a really good person, and it makes the movie that much more fun to watch. Just watch some of the scenes like the fishing boat scenes, or the running ones - idealistic and Hollywood-ized, but really inspirational. That's the main thing this movie has going for it. And it succeeds wholeheartedly. 

Then again, I do have to say, what is up with the girlfriend character? "Oh, I'm going to leave you and break your heart, then call you to come see me only to dump it on you that I had a child and am dying of a terrible disease. Sorry for fucking up your life. Want to marry me? Thanks." Fuck you, whore! But if the movie can make me care enough to think all of that in the first place, it did its job right.