The Terminal (2004)


Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks in his third Spielberg role) is from Krakozhia but gets stranded at JFK Airport when his country’s government is overthrown and his passport becomes invalid…

Seen before? No.

Best performance: Stanley Tucci, an always classy actor who I passed in the street outside my office last week, plays airport boss Frank Dixon. (Catherine Zeta-Jones is in it too. Blimey, she’s an attractive woman, isn’t she?)

Best scene/moment/sequence: The breezy montage where, so he can help his new pal Enrique, Victor’s trying to get information about customs official Dolores. She’s played by Zoë Saldana and – cutely, given Saldana’s later career – is a Star Trek fan.

Review: The Terminal is based on a true story (see Mehran Karimi Nasseri’s Wikipedia page) yet it still smacks of contrivance and implausibility. It’s whimsy, with a blunt rom-com thrown in seemingly as an afterthought. It’s not a disaster, by any means. Some of the humour works well (I liked the running gag about the janitor who enjoys watching people slip on his recently cleaned floors) and it does have some charm. But Spielberg movies are rarely dull, and this gets very close to joining Sugarland Express, Hook and The Lost World in that category. Perhaps it needed a more quirky approach – what would Wes Anderson or Terry Gilliam have done with this story? Something much more interesting, I’d wager.

Five prominently placed Burger King logos out of 10.


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