The world will never be the same once youve seen it through the eyes of Forrest Gump.
Running Time: 142 minutes
UK Certificate: 12
Country: United States
Momma always said life is like a box of chocolates, says Forrest Gump, sitting at a bus stop bench talking to anyone wholl listen. You never know what youre gonna get. Mommas talking nonsense, of course. You know exactly what youre going to get in a box of chocolates. You just have to read that little piece of card inside the lid. But thats exactly the sort of logical thinking that would completely ruin this gem of a film, so Ill stop it right now.
Tom Hanks plays the lovable simpleton whose life story, originally imagined in the novel of the same name by Winston Groom, is tracked in this modern day parable. Despite a lowly IQ of just 75, he breezes completely unfazed from one instance of remarkable good fortune to the next, becoming a college football star, a Vietnam war hero, a ping-pong champion, a shrimp boat captain, a cross-country runner and eventually an unaffected millionaire. Its no wonder the film stretches well past the two-hour mark.
Subtle but hugely effective special effects place Forrest slap-bang in the middle of real historical footage, enabling us to see him shake hands with JFK, sit alongside John Lennon on a chat show and being recommended a stay in the Watergate Hotel by President Nixon. His ongoing unconditional love for childhood sweetheart Jenny (Robin Wright) provides a constant backdrop to Forrests thoughts and actions, and is also the source of some overly-sickly melodrama. Hanks, though, is perfect in the role, borrowing a little from his innocence-driven performance in Big and garnering audience affection like its the oldest trick in the book.
Theres also a fine supporting cast including an on-form Gary Sinise as the troubled Lieutenant Dan, Mykelti Williamson as the big-gummed shrimp-obsessive Bubba, and Sally Field as Forrests oft-quoted Momma.
It's Got: Plenty of comedy to make-up for the slightly over-done levels of sentiment.
It Needs: To cut down a tad on the attempts at tear-jerking.
DVD Extras Forrest Gump Special Collectors Edition This 2-disc special contains two audio commentaries, three documentaries, segments on production design and visual effects, a photo gallery, screen tests and theatrical trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10
Alternatives:Flowers For Algernon, Rain Man
A marvellous, warm-hearted and funny take on American life, seen through the eyes of a character devoid of cynicism and virtually impossible to copy.