1/29/16

FLASHBACK - REVIEW


Released back in 1990, Flashback was a buddy comedy about a hippie New Left radical on the run for years being transferred for a trial by an uptight FBI agent.

Huey Walker, the hippie in question, is played by a perfect Dennis Hopper who has a ball throughout teasing Kiefer Sutherland's agent John Buckner, evading the law, referencing the 60's (even Easy Rider) and saying "man" a lot. It's refreshing to see Hopper in a lighter role not playing a bad guy as he so often used to. He and Sutherland play polar opposites which makes for an amusing contrast but the film does a good job at showing that they have more in common than they realise. At first, those two characters inevitably clash, especially when Walker gets Buckner drunk and makes him believe he's been slipped some acid before switching places with him and getting him thrown in jail. Very quickly, they realise that they are both in danger of getting disposed of by Cliff De Young's dodgy Sheriff Hightower so they are forced to join forces.

While the film is, indeed, a comedy and has its share of funny moments including the mismatched duo spending a bad night in the woods and Walker getting captured by fans of the 60's thinking he's an FBI agent, it's also definitely going for a heartfelt look back at an era full of conflict and rebellion but also a sense of fun and togetherness. By getting Walker and Buckner to spend some time in each other's shoes, they come to some bittersweet realisations which are a critique of the 80's but a celebration of youth and what it can achieve as well. Admittedly, the more earnest, serious moments in this movie go on for a bit too long which makes Flashback at tad uneven. You almost wish they had cut the film down 10-15 minutes just to pace it a little better.

Still, it's worth checking out this forgotten little trip down memory lane as both leads are very good and entertaining throughout plus the film itself is pretty darn charming.

You're either on the bus or off the bus.

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