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Randy's Review

Created Dec 30, 2011 01:18AM PST • Edited Dec 30, 2011 01:18AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Forrest Gump – an incredibly clever, heart-warming tale that is sure to bring smiles many, many times throughout the movie, and maybe even provoke a tear along the way. If you are a history buff, then you’ll love this movie. If you appreciate the true genius of Tom Hanks as an actor, then you’ll love this movie. If you possess a general appreciation for creativity and simply exceptional writing (screenplay) in general, then I promise you, you will love this movie. Funny where it should be, and emotional/sincere where it needs to be, Forrest Gump makes for a great comedic drama and ultimately an enjoyable 142 minutes for audiences of all ages.

    Viewers follow the heart-felt fictional life of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a mentally-challenged man growing up with only his mother in fictional Greenbow, Alabama. Perhaps the first bit of genius that manifests itself in this film is the way in which the story is told. Narrated by an older version of himself, Forrest tells the story of his childhood to random passer-bys while waiting for a bus on a park bench. He tells his entire life story to different strangers while passing the time waiting for the bus, all the way up until the point when he arrived at the bench. At this point, the story picks up in real time.

    The next bit of genius, and the main seller of this movie, for me, is how the fictional character of Forrest Gump was written into actual, important historical events of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, including the Vietnam War, the development of Apple computers, and the Watergate scandal, to name a few. The character of Forrest Gump was intelligently and cleverly incorporated into real historical events, with the implication that he was actually in attendance and experienced these events firsthand! This includes actually television and radio broadcasts from the time period that Forrest was transposed into, generating the appearance that he was actually there!

    The concept behind this film is pure creative brilliance… “and that’s all I got to say about that.”

  3. Really Great 4.5

    The acting was phenomenal… it takes a great deal to accomplish what was attempted in this film, and this incredible cast sold it all the way to the bank. Outstanding performances by Tom Hanks as “Forrest Gump” and Gary Sinise as “Lieutenant Dan.”

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0

    Once again, Tom Hanks proves why he is one of my all-time favorite actors. From the mentally-challenged Forrest Gump, to society-deprived Chuck Noland (Cast Away), and the attention-craving Woody from Toy Story, Tom Hanks has shown consistently that he can play any type of character. In this movie, he tackles the role of a mentally-challenged adult, and he delivers PERFECTLY. His timing is perfect. His character inspires a roller coaster of emotions in audiences… laughs when appropriate, and sympathy/compassion when necessary. Tom Hanks hits it out of the park in the role of roles… Forrest Gump… debatably one of the greatest movie characters of all time.

    Stellar performance by Gary Sinise (from CSI) as “Lieutenant Dan” as well. Hanks and Sinise work well together in this film. I also enjoyed their collaboration a year later in the 1995 classic “Apollo 13” (ALSO HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!)

  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5

    Sally Field is always a pleasure, and although her role small, does a great job with the role of "Mama (Mrs. Gump).

    Robin Wright plays “Jenny,” a crucial character to the story and moreover an important part of Forrest’s live and a main driving force of the story. Wright does an excellent job portraying the struggles of a troubled woman attempting to find her way in an unkind world.

  6. Female Costars Great 4.0


  7. Male Costars Great 4.0

    Compliment the leads nicely… no horrible acting in this movie. Very believable, and very enjoyable!!

  8. Perfect 5.0

    Absolutely exceptional! The most outstanding part of this film is how Forrest Gump was transposed into actual television broadcasts from the 70s and 80s and made to appear as if he was actually there. In one scene, Forrest appears in an actual clip from the Dick Cavett show, and he is placed into the conversation such that it appears as though he is having a conversation with the great John Lennon. In another scene, Forrest appears in a scene with President Kennedy at the White House.

    Absolute genius went into making this film. Very well done film overall… I would even go out on the line and say that I could consider it a work of art.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    Robert Zemeckis… this guy is the man!!! Responsible for directing such greats as the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Cast Away,” and “The Polar Express,” it’s no wonder why Steven Spielberg produces many of his films. Known for his work with special effects, this film is no exception to his brilliance, with realistic war scenes straight from the battlefield in Vietnam.

  10. Play Really Great 4.5
  11. Music Perfect 5.0

    Excellent score. Songs respectively fit the time period they are representing and help set the mood for various scenes, settings, and time periods within the movie. Plus… the music is just awesome to listen to.

  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Director Robert Zemeckis is the king!

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.7

    PG-13 rated – appropriate levels of violence, language, and sexual implications.

  15. Sex Titillating 2.2

    One suggestive scene between Forrest’s mom and his principal early on in the movie, in addition to a few suggestive scenes involving Jenny and various men, including Forrest. Lieutenant Dan has some hookers in his room in one scene, but nothing happens. Also, Jenny appears naked on stage in one scene, however, the audience doesn’t see anything, as she’s holding a guitar which covers her up. This is representative of the entire movie as a whole… there are a few “suggestive scenes,” however, nothing graphic or visual. But there is definite sexual suggestiveness.

  16. Violence Brutal 2.6

    Some blood during the war scenes… Forrest punches Jenny’s boyfriend in one scene, and a member of the Black Panther Party in another… nothing too violent or gory.

  17. Rudeness Profane 3.4

    Some suggestions of mild drug and alcohol abuse by Jenny and Lieutenant Dan… Jenny contemplates suicide in one scene… some bad language… some potentially offending comments and jokes regarding mentally-challenged individuals (referred to as “stupid”) and the handicapped (“crippled”).

    Nothing too severe.

  18. Surreal 2.3

    I find this category very hard to judge/rate. For one thing, the character of Forrest Gump and the tale of his life is fictional, meaning that it is completely made up, the product of somebody’s imagination, and not based off of true or actual events. However, many of the things that happen in the story, such as the Vietnam War, The Watergate Scandal, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, are actual events pulled from history, and incorporated into the story accordingly.

    I had an interesting conversation with Wick about this (which can be found here), which inspired me to changed my ratings for this section and update my commentary on this review of my all-time favorite movie.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.2

    The character of Forrest Gump was conveniently a part of a series of historical events throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s… while very clever and entertaining, not likely, and very fictional. Forrest Gump running for over a year without stopping is also very unrealistic.

    Other scenes in the movie, however, such as Forrest mowing the football field lawn for leisure, are very genuine and natural.

  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.8

    It is very unrealistic that Forrest Gump could accomplish all that he did in his life in such a short period of time. It is also very unlikely that he accomplished all this with his physical and mental disabilities and limitations.

    As Wick point out, it is also very unlikely that Forrest would go from being a cripple in leg braces to a college football player and champion runner in such a short period of time.


Subscribe to Forrest Gump 6 replies, 2 voices
Dec 30, 2011 8:25PM

Regarding Randy’s Review
Wow… it has been four years hasn’t it! Such a long time! I reviewed it briefly back then, but I wanted to go back and update the sliders as well as provide additional, more detailed commentary. It’s such a great movie, and my all-time favorite, that I felt like I owed it to myself to write a good review on it.

Dec 30, 2011 12:41PM

Regarding Randy’s Review
Tremendously well done appreciation of a worthy classic, Randy. I’d kinda forgotten how Forrest told his story in narrated flashbacks to strangers, then Zemeckis wove that into real time near the end. Deft.

I’d also forgotten how long the movie is. I love outstanding movies that are really long. More of a great thing is always a great thing.

Dec 30, 2011 1:30AM

Regarding Randy’s Review
‘bout time you put up your review Randy, a full four years since originally commenting. The wait was worth it however. Give me a day to digest it and I’ll be back.