The Terminal * * 1/2
Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Sasha Jervasi, Jeff Nathanson.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Stanley Tucci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Diego Luna, Chi McBride, Barry Shabaka Henley, Zoe Zaldana, Kumar Pallana, Eddie Jones, Michael Nouri.
Despite the two of them being perfectly suited to collaborate on a project, it took Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg a long time to finally get around to doing it. Then in quick succession, they churned out three films together. This being the third and least effective.
Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) lands at JFK airport, to find his homeland of Krakozhia has dissolved in a rebellion and his passport is no longer valid. Stranded in a bureaucratic no-man’s land, he must live in the airport, unable to go home and unable to venture onto American soil.
1998’s “Saving Private Ryan” was the first brutally realistic collaboration between actor and director, followed by 2002’s “Catch Me If You Can” which was more light-hearted with dark undertones. This 2004 film is lighter still and if going by this progressively gentler pattern that Hanks and Spielberg were to collaborate again, it would probably be a whimsy film version of “Little House On The Prairie”. That’s not to say that there isn’t anything to enjoy here. There is, but it seems like a step down for them. It’s still a light-hearted fable that’s hard to resist though, considering Spielberg’s knack for cranking up the schmaltz factor and Hanks’ knack for endearing characters. The performances from all involved are good (particularly Hanks and Stanley Tucci) but nobody is really stretched.
It’s not the finest hour from the names involved and probably best suited to fans of romantic-comedies but I still enjoyed passing time with it and it did raise the occasional smile with it’s uplifting positivity.