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The TerminalThe Terminal

Starring: Tom Hank, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci
Directed by: Steven Speilberg


 

Bluntly speaking? The Terminal is a movie that asks you to suspend yourself from belief for a couple of hours and head into kind of a movie schnookie woo-woo world. We go, willingly, but find ourselves aboard a one-man vessel lacking a solid spine. It tries - very hard - to impersonate those rare fluffy-poodle-cuddled-up-while-the-storms-outside-roar films Tom Hanks is so good at...in the end The Terminal is sweet, sentimental and the kind of sugarcoated cinema that is forgettable, yet entertaining.

Tom Hanks, as always, is just adorable. Here he does a goodski jobnik as a thick accented Eastern Krakoshaecroatiaalbaniayugasloviakia European motherland lovin' palookaloff just tryin' to get into the big applerini. But, adorable, Bambi aside, does not a movie make.

Story goes...Viktor (Tom Hanks) has come to New York to keep a promise. As he arrives he's detained due to the fact his homeland , a tiny made-up Eastern European country, is engulfed in war and now he's a man with no country. Thanks to a by-the-book semi tyrannical customs official (Stanley Tucci) who can not seem to find one interpretor that speaks Vik's native sputnikskiloff, in New York City, at JFK, Vik is delayed - indefinitely - in an huge cold airport terminal.

Under the ever present eye of security, "somehow" Viktor manages to set up house, eat and even thrive all while awaiting his destiny....

Cue the love story: Enter one ditzy bad-at-love stereotype of a stewardess, Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She's perpetually coming and going as Vik is forever waiting. Over the course of nine months (yes- I said nine months) he manages to almost, nearly, just-about-there, get a date... for him at least , love blossoms beneath the fluorescent bulbs.

All the time Vik is awaiting release so he can visit New York City, he becomes more and more fluent in English and starts to gather friends in the form of employees of the airport.

This wildly unbelievable tale is supposedly based (emphasis on based) on a true story, you'll have to kind of let the other-side of our cynical brain indulge the piece or you may heckle the screen at some of its more swollen fructose injected parts.

Tom Hanks is, was, the only man who could have pulled this off. Hey, remember this man and a volley ball entertained us for hours a few years back. He's just watchable, lovable and one of our finest - but still I must poo-poo the tale which reduces mega-talent Catherine Zeta Jones into a first role bimbo and catapults itself into a land of marshmallow dreams.

Snack recommendation: Burger King with a side of saltine canapés.


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