Forever Young Review

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In the 50's a young man agrees to being cryogenically frozen after his girlfriend dies. He wakes up 50 years later to find the world has changed a lot. As he adjusts to his new life, he meets a beautiful woman with whom he gradually falls in love.


A featherweight vehicle for the sheer star quality that is Mel Gibson, this illustrates yet again The World's Greatest Australian's unerring eye for the sort of sound commercial prospect — Bird On A Wire, the Lethal Weapons — that leaves him free to hone his heavier projects — Hamlet, Man Without A Face — away from the glare of the box office. Indeed, not unlike, say, Ford and Eastwood, Mel seems to have entered into some sort of Faustian pact with the devils of Hollywood, cheerfully turning up for yet another old-rope-fat-paycheque transaction, just so long as they leave him alone on his holidays. Still, as old rope goes, there are far worse ways of disengaging the brain than settling down in front of Forever Young.

In short: Mel tries but fails to commit to the lovely Helen (Glasser), only to see her mowed down while out shopping for an orange (or something). When his fat mad scientist pal announces he's looking for someone to test out his cryogenics scheme by agreeing to be frozen for a year, a grief-stricken Gibson steps forward, preferring a life in ice to another day without his dearly beloved. Naturally, it all goes horribly wrong, and it's a whole 53 years before a suitably bewildered iceman thaws out to a world of cute brats, MTV, answering machines, and, as a fair degree of consolation, the welcoming arms of Jamie Lee Curtis.

While never attempting to be anything more than a straight up-and-down tale of love's labours lost — or merely postponed — Forever Young manages to rise above the schlock that normally hogs up this particular territory by virtue of a couple of classy turns from Gibson and Curtis. Ultimately, though, this is worth a look on a wet Wednesday simply to see a classic example of a modern Hollywood star at the height of his audience-pleasing powers.

This is a rather light romantic-drama, that you can't help but feel gives Gibson his paycheque and freedom to do 'the indies'. Relying on his star name, the film doesn't have to be great and isn't, although Gibson and Curtis try their hardest.