The Terminal * * 1/2

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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(Tom Hanks) lands at JFK airport, to find his homeland of Krakozhia has dissolved in a rebellion and his passport is no longer valid.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.

Mark Walker

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6 Responses to “The Terminal * * 1/2”

  1. I saw this on TV so found it a standard 3 star film, but I would have found it disappointing to see it on the big screen.

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    • Yeah, it’s not all bad but a little too lightweight and schmaltzy for my tastes. Decent flick to pass the time, though.

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      • It just felt like a TV movie with a bit of Hollywood glamour thrown in. It is a warm movie though, and there’s always a place for those.

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      • Yeah, I’m with you on that. It does have its place but I expected a bit more from Hanks and Spielberg, to be honest.

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      • True. No one has a 100% record. Hanks did The Ladykillers remake and the less said about The Crystal Skull the better. I’m a huge fan of Christopher Nolan but didn’t like Insomnia much.

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      • The ladykillers is my least favourite of the Coens, I have to admit. Thought Hanks was brilliant but it didn’t have their usual creativity. I’d also have to say that Insomnia is not one of Nolan’s best but I did like it more than The Prestige.

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