Thursday, 17 May 2012

Forever Young

Another different form of science fiction is the Mel Gibson romantic film Forever Young.  He is a USAAF test pilot who is approached by his long time scientific experimenter friend to participate in a cryogenic chamber project, Gibsen has a girl friend who he hopes to marry but cannot bring himself to ask her. He is distressed beyond measure when she has a vehicle accident and goes into a coma from which she is not expected to recover.

It is at this point that the story is given the twist upon which everything else follows in that he takes the unlikely decision given what we know of him and his relationship to asks to go into the cryogenic chamber for a year so that he does not have to witness her deterioration and death, This is such a preposterous proposition as to render the rest of the film absurd. What follows is even more ludicrous as for reasons which I did not understand, the year passes and Gibsen was not reactivated. In  fact five decades pass by before two boys are temporarily  left in a vehicle on a military storage base and they enter and find the machine which they are able to restart to the extent that the frozen body of Gibsen is revealed and he is able to come to after they depart. The idea that he could have survived without the machine having energy to maintain the constant temperature is one of the many moments of incredulity.

I contrast to the two previous films there are no official records and official cover ups and Gibsen has no means of proving his identity and experience and appears to be destined to find himself in a medical establishment for the mentally and emotionally delusional. His one link with what happened is the name and address tag in the jacket of one of the two boys brothers who discovered and released him. Their mother is Jamie Lee Curtiss an excellent actress although as she aged has lost the sexual magnetism by the parts she sometimes has performed. Iin the film after their initial panic at seeing Gibsen the brothers agree to hide him in their tree house while he tries to locate someone who might be able to confirm his story. Jamie is involved in several relationships including nice medical doctor at the same hospital where she also works as a doctor, and an abusive man who when Gibsen from the tree house sees her being physically attacked intervenes, drives him off  and establishes a more open relationship with the family.

His attempt to find the scientist leads to the discovery of his notebooks kept by the man’s daughter. The problem is that Gibsen begin the process of rapid aging which he scientist has recorded in the notebooks and this requires urgent medical help. This happens after the daughter of the scientist reveals that his fiancée did not die, recovered and has become a widow after her husband died. The two women have kept in touch and provide Gibsen with the address. By this time the military has established the authenticity of the Gibsen story and the current cryogenics expert arrives with the authorities in an effort to try and help Gibsen to survive but with the help of Curtiss unknowing they have come to help him, he breaks out of the hospital and steals a plane from the local airport to reach his former girl friend before it is too late. Fortunately there is an airshow and a restored flying B 52 of the type he previously tested.

In a second piece of good fortunate one of the lads he lads who he has shown the rudiments of flying back in the tree house  also stores away on the plane ( how he does this is also not explained, and is able to help him land the craft a few yards from the cliff top door of the girlfriend.  They are able to meet up and we are left to resume that the experts are able t help him become stable at his true age so the could can send the rest of their days together. He is able to pass on the research notes to the present day researchers.  True love triumphs but little else.

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