Cast Away

Bomb Rating: 

What kind of baboons do they have working in marketing at Twentieth Century Fox and Dreamworks? Are these people just absolutely the dumbest people on the face of the earth, or what? To wit: Anybody who has seen the "Cast Away" trailer (which is pretty much everybody) knows that Tom Hanks gets off the damn island -- that he survives. That's because they show a scene in the trailer where Hanks shows up at Helen Hunt's house and she looks all different.

Pardon me for asking, but isn't the only thing driving the story the question of whether or not he will make it off the island? And if it's not, shouldn't it be? Wouldn't the movie be a whole lot more interesting if there were some question about whether he was going to survive? Then again, would it even be possible for Hollywood to make a film where Tom Hanks was in an airplane crash, wound up on a deserted island, and then died, or would such a bold step cause the power hierarchies of Hollywood to collapse into anarchy and chaos?

Well, the point is that when FedEx employee Chuck Noland gets back from his little island adventure after four years, he gets to realize that he's learned to appreciate life and now realizes that had he been smarter, had he been more aware of how precious life really is, he never would have got on the plane that crashed in the first place because he would have stayed with his girlfriend Kelly Frears (Hunt) because being with your girlfriend is what life is all about.

My ass. Who's to say what would have happened? Kelly may well have driven their car into a tree on the way home, sending Chuck through the windshield and shattering his spinal column into a thousand pieces. He might then have spent the rest of his life lying face-down on the cold floor of some rehabilitation clinic with a piece of colored chalk up his nose, trying to draw happy faces. I'm just a tiny bit sick of this same theme pervading all the holiday movies: "Oh, if I just would have appreciated what life had to offer and made a different choice, I could have been a better human being" -- the "It's a Wonderful Life" syndrome. I say screw that. People don't make stupid choices because they're unaware of some hazy alternate reality. They make stupid choices because they're idiots.

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