Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Chi McBride, Diego Luna, Barry Shabaka Henley, Kumar Pallana, Zoe Saldana, Eddie Jones, Jude Ciccolella, Corey Reynolds
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 128 Minutes
A random trip to some charity shops with my girlfriend brought some old school films into our movie collection. At £1.50 a film and a line-up of Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones, THE TERMINAL could not be resisted.
This Tuesday, I finally witnessed the unconventional Steven Spielberg directed film, which featured Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, an eastern immigrant who finds himself stranded in JFK airport, after the collapse of the government in his home country Krakozhia. Unable to legally enter New York City, or return home, Viktor spends over 9 months living in the airport, building relationships and surviving as best he can, determined to fulfil one of his father’s dreams. Along the way he encounters a troubled air hostess, Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who he falls desperately in love with. Can his patience and determination get him all he wants from this trip to New York?
Honestly put, this film was not what I was expecting at all (going into it completely blind with just the name and the cast). The plot took me pleasantly by surprise, and it was great to witness Tom Hanks once again displaying true character differentiation. Personally he holds up his eastern accent very well, although I am sure this probably creates some debate amongst viewers. It is so easy to sympathise with his character’s situation from the off, that you constantly feel sorry for him, and hope that it all works out for him. That being said, I was not blown away by this character compared to the likes of Forrest Gump, Josh in BIG or Captain Richard Phillips. As always Hanks was great in his role, but I would not rate this as one of his best films.
In addition to this, although the relationship between Viktor (Hanks) and Amelia (Zeta-Jones) was sweet, I didn’t feel that there was enough chemistry there. Zeta-Jones’ performance was pretty basic personally and in all honesty this film was made great by the supporting cast’s performances.
The language barrier between Viktor and the nasty head of security Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) and the rest of JFK airport does create some pretty funny moments, but the film rarely has you laughing out loud.
However, I am nitpicking here, simply because I am a huge Hanks and Spielberg fan! Overall, THE TERMINAL is still a very enjoyable comedy drama with some great characters, which engages you throughout and has you rooting for the protagonist. This film shows the importance of patience and the beauty of peoples’ spirits and commitments to their loved ones. It has an emotional and uplifting ending, and my only major criticism would be that maybe it is a bit too long.
“Life Is Waiting.”
Recommendation: Well worth an addition to the Tom Hanks collection, and a must watch if it ever graces Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.