Thursday, March 08, 2007

Forrest Bush?

The day we, or at least I, had feared for so long has finally come. Despite legal obstacles that should have left it rotting in an early grave, the forces of evil have apparently triumphed and are about to launch a plague on this planet more vile than any toxin you could conceive. Yes, a "Forrest Gump 2." The title above, while only my suggestion, would seem to be rather appropriate.

It seems this has been in the works since 2001, when Paramount hired "Forrest Gump" screenwriter Eric Roth to pen a sequel, using the Winston Groom novel "Gump & Co." as his inspiration. Now, according to Josh Tyler at Cinema Blend, the project is set to move ahead again.

“Gump & Co” apparently takes place several years after “Forrest Gump” and finds Forrest’s shrimping business failed and Jenny dead, leaving Forrest a single unemployed father. As you’d expect, Gump still stumbles through more important historical events. In this case it’s a cavalcade of history from the 80s and 90s. He even meets Tom Hanks.

This all makes me more angry than it reasonably should, so give me a second to settle down. Why does "Forrest Gump" make me so mad? It's not because it's a treacly-sweet movie that's just drop-dead boring for the final third or so. I just can't get past the premise that the major events in American Twentieth Century history were set in motion or directly influenced by the actions of a (insert whatever euphemism for mentally challenged person you prefer here; depending on my mood, I usually prefer "touched.")

I've been told by many people that I'm taking it way too seriously, and I know they're right. For me, however, it's what makes "Forrest Gump" my single least favorite movie of all time, bar none. And yes, there has been some stiff competition over the years. Note, I didn't say the objectively "worst" movie ever made, just my personal vote for all-time stinker.

Given the state of our world today, however, a "Gump" sequel could hold promise. Bear with me here. How could our Forrest have an impact on history this time? Well, you could have him stumbling around the White House, maybe snorting a little blow from time to time, as his daddy is vice president and then president (I can't remember if Forrest even had a daddy in the original, but hey, it's a sequel, so do the rules of logic really apply?)

This way you could have him at the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Soviet Union, all kinds of fun Cold-War events could get that special "aw, shucks" Forrest touch. But why stop there? With a little dose of "Being There" you could have our hero become president. Through a series of accidental encounters, he could get us in the middle of a bloody civil war in Iraq. I think even a hack like me could write some of this dialogue:

Cheney: Mr. president, 27 people died today in suicide bombings in Iraq.
President Gump: Well, like my momma always said: Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.

That's actually a little too close to reality for me. I think I'll just stop now before I get thoroughly depressed. Because, like Forrest says, "stupid is as stupid does," whatever the hell that means.


jeremy said...

God I hate Forrest Gump. My family has a tradition of seeing all movies that open on your birthday (if your birthday happens to be on a Friday or Wednesday). We all saw Forrest Gump and decided that we were done seeing movies that day. We all hated it immensely and the rest of the audience's overjoyed reaction left us a little sad.
(Best birthday, btw, was 1986--Big Trouble in Little China and Under the Cherry Moon)

Reel Fanatic said...

That definitely does sound like a great birthday double feature, Jeremy ... I'm fairly hopeful that something will still come up to derail this project, like maybe Tom Hanks saying he's not on board .. come to think of it, that probably won't stop them though

Jake Mabe said...

Well, I must admit I enjoyed "Gump" the first time I saw it, although repeated viewings exposed its flaws.

More to the point, I wish they wouldn't do a sequel. "Godfather 2" aside, (I don't really count "Empire Strikes Back"), sequels are generally disappointing and a waste of time. I still regret the day that I ever picked up "Streets of Laredo," Larry McMurtry's sequel to his Pulitzer-winning "Lonesome Dove."

Regardless of what one thinks about him, keep Forrest back in 1994. Here's an idea: let Eric Roth come up with a totally new screenplay with new characters. His screenplay was much better than the Winston Groom novel.

God knows we could use originality in Hollywood. If I never see another sequel or film based on an old TV show, it will be too soon.

Anonymous said...

So Harsh....I Loved this movie. I guess you think I am one of those 'dumb American's' who don't get it or something. But I could watch this movie over and over. I can't stand all that Sci-Fi crap you always mention. Come on Buffy? Really? And you knock Forest Gump. Hey to each his/her own I guess. But man, you must have had a bad day. Can't wait for Gump & Co. Gee, I am starting to crave shrip now.

sanchapanzo said...

hmm.. i thought to bring out a movie like 'forrest gump' is a true wonder. i think seeing forrest gump helped me learn american recent history. all our history books taught in schools in india, hardly bother to tell the world happenings after World War 2. thus, seeing forrest gump was a good experience for me i.e getting to know about ku klux klan, elvis years, civil rights movement, kennedy years, woodstock years, baez years, vietnam years, apple years, nixon years..
almost every small event mentioned above made me curious to learn more about american recent history. when i saw this movie for the first time, i was thoroughly disappointed cause i was expecting plot-oriented movie and was disgusted to find a movie with no direction.. but when i saw it in the next time, i could not help but appreciate how the director inter-twined so many different historical events (small and big of 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s)

i thought it really takes a genius to do that

Neel Mehta said...

I have such a strong dislike for this movie that a sequel was inevitable. Maybe this news will allow people to re-evaluate the first and decide it wasn't all that.

Is Robert Zemeckis involved? I wonder how he'll handle, say, Gump as a security guard in Logan Airport circa 2001.

Rick Strellman said...

I'm not too much looking forward to the sequel although I did find the original tolerable. What I am looking for is your review on the sequel...LOL!

Divinity said...

I finally saw this movie for the first time about four months ago. By that point, I had heard all the praise and criticisms and, therefore, lacked an unbiased perspective. I did see the appeal but my brother's professor, Steven Rubio, has taught some of his classes using this movie despite his hatred of it and posted some of the comments he made about it on his blog:

The post is a good read and I have to admit that it heavily influenced my viewing of the movie.

Connotations and controversy aside, I didn't really think it ranked in the best movies of all time, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I actually really enjoyed "Forrest Gump" but the idea of a sequel holds no appeal for me and to be honest, I'm not sure they could pull off another 2 hours of Gump stumbling into history.

donna epler said...

Thank god I'm not the only one who thought this movie was dull. All my friends look at me askew when I say it's my least fav. movie.

Sequels...I'm with jake mabe, how about an original screenplay.

Definitely not going to go see a sequel, definitely will look forward to reading your review of it.

nolocontendere said...

Ahh, this is refreshing to hear. Gump was muy overrated. I wouldn't touch a sequal with a 10 foot pole.

TacoDave said...

I think I've had enough of the liberal slant of your posts. It's been a 'decent' couple of months reading your blog every day, but insulting me and mine on a regular basis is lame.

Good luck in the future. Hopefully one day you'll figure out that being conservative doesn't = being stupid.


Reel Fanatic said...

Sorry I haven't been able to join what has turned into a rather lively discussion because I've just had an extremely long and busy day at work ... And I'm sorry that I have offended you by bringing my political slant to things, Tacodave ... It seems to be an even split among Forrest-lovers and haters, which is about what I expected

Neel Mehta said...

Tacodave: while Reel Fanatic's post was certainly liberal-leaning, you can't deny that both conservatives and liberals of a certain age flocked to Forrest Gump because of its can't miss approach to American nostalgia, warped though it was.

This is another reason a sequel won't work. The historical events of the 1990s and 2000s are too close to be viewed as nostalgic, and they'll rub audiences the wrong way.

still Unreal... said...

Neel Mehta,
liberal and funny leaning are one thing - i get that everywhere else. But the post was mainly to push the "Forrest Bush" joke - along with a photo.

I'm with Dave. Enough already.
Good luck to you.

James Higham said...

Has to be one of your best posts ever. The idea of Forrest Gump has me running for a paper bag.