A group of old-timers encounter the Fountain of Youth…
Ron Howard’s 1985 movie has received an appropriate makeover for this new edition, which restores the colour and vitality in much the same way that the elderly residents do at the hands of the aliens – although some of the effects maybe don’t stand up to such high definition scrutiny!
It’s not your standard alien invasion film, leaning more towards the ET “some of them can be friendly” approach, and Howard has fun with his elderly cast, even if some of the scenes, such as Don Ameche’s “dancing” do feel like comfort zones have been left a long, long, long way behind! Steve Guttenberg’s romantic strand with Tahnee Welch just about works, but it’s not one of the movie’s real strengths; Guttenberg always feels something of a one-note actor, and it’s to Howard’s credit that you don’t instantly hit the fast forward button when he’s on screen.
The extras on this latest release are brought across from previous versions, but nonetheless remain fascinating, including Howard’s commentary. There’s a trailer for (but luckily nothing else from) Cocoon: The Return, which, as James Oliver’s short essay in the accompanying booklet points out, serves to undercut some of the parallels that Howard brings to the original between the old-timers’ departure and death.
Verdict: A delightful way to spend a couple of hours, watching a movie which will often bring a smile to your face. 8/10