50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
One has to give superstar Mel Gibson a lot of credit. Over his prolific career, Gibson has taken many risks in the roles he's chosen, and this romantic fantasy is just one of them. FOREVER YOUNG opens in 1939, where daredevil test pilot Gibson finds himself involved with a scientist who is perfecting a cryogenics chamber. He's also madly in love with the lovely Helen (Isabel Glasser), and wants to marry her. Alas and alack, before he can pop the question, Helen is struck down by a truck and goes into a coma. As the months go by, Gibson clings to hopes she'll recover but as his scientist friend (George Wendt) states, doctors give her little hope. When Mel feels he can't watch Helen die, he volunteers to be the first human volunteer for the cryogenics project, asking Wendt to freeze him for a year so he can avoid the inevitable. Next thing you know, it's 1992, and we meet single mom Jamie Lee Curtis (quite good as always) and her 10 year old son (Elijah Wood, simply charming, showing us what his future would be years later). While playing in an abandoned military warehouse, Wood and his buddy stumble upon the cyrogenics chamber and accidentally release Gibson. How he got caught in this chamber for 53 years forms the core of the story and Gibson desperately searches for some knowledge of Wendt's whereabouts.
The movie is unabashedly romantic but Gibson is so good and the story takes hold of you and you watch with amusement as Gibson discovers the technologies of a new world and his scenes with young Wood are marvelous. A rather contrived ending spoils the overall effect but FOREVER YOUNG is nonetheless a very engaging film.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2006
C'mon! Admit it! You love sappy love stories. Especially with a sci-fi twist. Yes, this is cute and harmless, and a real tear jerker. But you know you are gonna love it even more when you see it done by Mel Gibson. Jamie Lee Curtis and Elija Wood also do a great job. The main thing here is that the characters make the story believeable and enjoyable.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2006
The widescreen version of Forever Young was released on LASER DISC. And it is awesome! I have it in my collection. Someone in their infinite wisdom probably decided it wasn't worth it to put that version on DVD. They were so wrong.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
'Forever Young' is an attractive well-produced film focussing on the story of Daniel McCormick (Mel Gibson) a US Air Corps pilot in the 1940s. Grief-stricken by a personal tragedy he volunteers for a cryogenics experiment and is frozen in time until he wakes up alone and forgotten in 1992. This film is everything a conventional drama should be, well paced, moving with an engaging storyline. It is a charmingly positive piece of good old-fashioned filmmaking that will appeal to a huge range of audiences. 'Forever Young's' appeal really lies in its simplicity. There is nothing mentally taxing or thought provoking here, just a relaxing armchair film after a hard day at the office with an unashamedly sentimental ending. It is a refreshingly unpretentious film that does not try to be 'great' or in any way arty but merely seeks to be entertaining- and succeeds admirably in this regard.
Mel Gibson is utterly believable as McCormick with a polished, uncluttered performance that resonates with genuine feeling. What he dishes out is hardly complex, angst-ridden Oscar winning stuff, but then, do we want it to be? Though the film is in essence a vehicle for Gibson the other cast member's performances are just as good. Jamie Lee Curtis and George Wendt are especially excellent amongst the adult cast, with unforced smooth performances. Elijah Wood as Nat Cooper is completely charming and engaging with a screen presence that, in an eleven year old, is remarkable. Apart from Gibson he is the real stand out performance of this film and a joy to watch even at this young age. For fans of 'The Lord of the Rings' this film is worth watching even just to see Elijah 'Frodo' Wood up a tree singing 'You are my Sunshine' to a rather bemused looking little girl!
In summary, 'Forever Young' lacks any degree of ostentation and succeeds in being utterly unselfconscious and as enjoyable a piece of quality drama as you will ever see. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely not a truly 'great' film but it succeeds precisely because it does not try to be 'great' it just tries to be entertaining.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 1999
"Forever Young" is the story of a test pilot who, after seeing the love of his life knocked comatose by a produce truck in 1939, volunteers for a cryogenics experiment that results in his losing more than a half century of his life.His desire to find out what happened to all of his lost years takes him back to the neighborhood where he used to live 53 years earlier, where he encounters the two boys who accidentally thawed him, and along the way, we discover how much he and one of the boys have in common.--Big blue eyes, sandy brown hair, a love of flying, and a taste for redhaired members of the opposite sex around whom neither could get up the courage to express their true feelings. A possible romance with the boy's single mother ensues. But ultimately, Captain Daniel McCormack is led back to his soulmate in one of the sweetest scenes in recent film history. For me, the questions this promted included, "Would Daniel prefer to be called historically challenged or decade impaired?" and "How much back pay would the military give him?" But all in all, this is my favorite sci-fi movie to date, and I'm not that big a fan of the genre. Mel Gibson gives a touching performance, and his love of children shines through from beginning to end (inevitably since he was the father of six at the time and now has seven). Jamie Lee Curtis was good as the tart-tounged nurse who gives Daniel a rude awakening to certain aspects of late 20th century life, and so was Nicholas Surovy as Curtis' befuddled suitor and colleague. Isabel Glasser shines as Daniel's love interest.--A woman we feel he is so lucky to have won back. The whole cast did a fine job.It's one of my favorite Gibson movies, and I would highly recommend this modern version of Rip Van Wynkle to anyone.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2005
This movie truly tugs at the heart, The bliss of romantic love, and the agony of losing "the one" who has become the center of your universe.
It's really science fiction, but it proceeds like a fairy tale... with a surprise ending. A must see!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Forever Young is the kind of movie my mother likes-sweet, good old fashioned story, cute kid, no one gets really injured, depression is rewarded with joy and a happy ending. In fact my mother likes this movie and so do most viewers. My mom professes not to like science fiction. But, who cares when you have Mel Gibson at his handsome peak (something which has now peaked), and blue-eyed Elijah Wood filling in the saccharin when blue-eyed Mel is taking a rest. The fact is, Forever Young works on all levels.
Old plot-man is suspended in time and wakes up in the future-zowie! Needs to adjust. Needs to find answers. Finds shelter and danger. A mixture of Always and Blast from the Past, Forever Young makes the old formula work by throwing in some-more old formulas. Take a love affair that almost was, but can never be. Add a desolation that has no bounds. Give it a margin of escape, into a world of cryogenics. Diffuse the sci-fi out of the picture. No one cares about the how and why (except George Wendt, who froze a chicken and brought it back to life and David Marshall Grant and his FBI cronies). Have the hero wake up, scare some nosey kids, get naked, wear women's clothes, and show up at the doorstep of a not-so-perfect household, but a not-that-dysfunctional one as well.
What makes Forever Young endearing (and enduring as a classic) is Daniel's search for an answer from a man who is dead for many years; and of course, his still undying love for Helen (Isabel Glasser) even with the presence of Claire Cooper (Jamie Lee Curtis) to add sexual tension. Like the Billy Holiday theme song- "The very thought of you," the absence of a true love can still provoke an unquenchable yearning; and Mel Gibson does a bang up job of convincing us that despite 50 years missing, he is still the same old fashioned, 1939 guy in love with a woman who is far removed.
Not necessary to the plot, but central to Forever Young's success is the then eleven year old Elijah Wood, who for one of the very few times in his seventeen year acting career, needs to play a kid. Most of his character portrayals of young folk are children deeply wounded or in the grips of Adult drama. In Forever Young he has the challenge of finding a character arc that really is not in the script. He finds one (bully for him), and has his character, Nat Cooper, rise above its meagerness, adding humor, sweetness, excitement and, well-I hate to say it, but he makes us feel Forever Young. The film is about the old folk finding youth. But, define Youth. Ah! That definition is supplied by none other than Elijah Wood, despite the acting challenge and his own personal flagging against the part during the film's shooting.
Of course, the twist ending is perfect-something akin to To Each His Own or Imitation of Life (not the remake-the Original with Claudette Colbert). Overall, a peaceful, warm film, Forever Young will remain Forever Popular. Maybe because it offends no one, makes for a good Saturday afternoon DVD watch, and is, frankly my dear, a damn good film. A+.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I love this movie! The classic romance, the modern-day dilemmas, great quotes like "It's the dead guy!!" And, of course, all the flying scenes! Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Elijah Wood are favorites of our family and did not disappoint in this wonderful film.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
Was I frozen in 1992 when this was released?
The storyline, if a teeny bit predictable in certain (satisfying) ways, is so well edited that the suspense and surprises last for the whole film, and it requires a second view at least to catch all the links and touches. No slouches in this production.
The boy Nat is utterly real, in fact both the kid-discoverers are right on and very funny. Jamie Lee Curtis is magnificent. Mel is as good as he gets, especially in the treehouse-pilot scene, when we learn a new version of 'special effects'.
I've absorbed many a fight scene (yawn) in a few years of movies, but Mel defeating the Jerk in the early scenes made me sit up and say, "Rewind that! Let me see him do THAT again!" And there are plenty of other delightful moments in this.
I've bought 2 copies of it to send to friends, just tonight. A good idea is for the 10 year old kid to watch it with his grandparents. But it's for everybody....Hannah
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is the very best sort of science-fiction. The type where the central concept is used to establish the situation, then forgotten about as the action concentrates on human relationships and character.
Mel Gibson plays a World War II test pilot who is accidentally frozen for over fifty years and rediscovered in 1992. His story is about the love he lost in the 1930s, his friendship with two boys and the mother of one of them, and finally how he regains the love he lost.
The sets for the cryogenic chamber are some of the best I have seen, with gleaming copper and brass making a believable 1930s hi-technology. The film does let itself down with the ageing make-up in its latter stages, despite the fact that two men receive an on-screen credit for 'special' make-up. The main characters are likeable, even the kid played by Elijah Wood in one of his early screen roles. Jamie Lee Curtis puts in a good performance, although it's amazing how she has time to look so good when she is a nurse and a mother and trying to find the man of her dreams!
All in all an enjoyable film with an unexpected but romantic ending.