Forrest Gump ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

It honestly boggles my mind how long it took me to see this movie. And after hearing from pretty much everyone how fantastic it is, finally sitting down to watch it, I had some pretty high expectations. But I'm happy to report that not only did it meet those expectations, but it far exceeded them in almost every way.

The first thing that needs to be talked about is Tom Hanks. This is, without a doubt, the finest performance I've seen to date from him. Just the fact that he was able to play a character like this and have it come off as genuine and not as forced is impressive all on it's own. But the sheer amount of emotion he is able to project throughout the film is truly something to behold. But that's not to say that the rest of the actors don't hold their own; Gary Sinise and Robin Wright both deliver great performances, with Gary Sinise being the standout. And, save for the child actor playing Jenny in the beginning, all of the actors do a pretty solid job.

The other major aspect of this movie that struck me was it's pacing. Most movies over 2 and a half hours sometimes feel like they really don't need to be that long, and in doing so are stretching their story out farther than it can really go. But this film is so superbly paced, that it's kind of incredible. There's never a dull moment, and each idea and event is given just the right amount of time before moving on to the next one, that it neither feels rushed nor dragged out. The only part that felt rushed was the ending, but even that managed to still feel genuine and not forced by the script, though it did all come on a bit too quickly.

If this film is anything, though, it's proof to how fantastic of a director Robert Zemeckis is. Especially with the opening scenes and the closing scene, you get a ton of emotion out of just a few shots, and while many other directors would've cut during the opening with Forrest on the bench, Zemeckis lets it play out so that you can really get a sense for who this character is without it being forced down your throat. There were a few editing choices, particularly towards the beginning, that I wasn't a huge fan of, but the rest of the film feels incredibly cohesive.

Ultimately, I don't really need to convince anyone that this movie is good, because I'm probably the last person on Earth to watch it. But it was great to finally see it, and not only finally understand a lot of cultural references, but experience a film in every sense of the phrase.