The Terminal Reviews
This Spielberg-directed picture may not be Philadelphia or Schindler's List, but I enjoyed it much more than most romantic comedies. It's the sweetest story I've seen in some time, though I do wish for a better ending for Amelia (Jones). The moral is something like: Some things are worth waiting for. It's a little sappy melodramatic, but you'll feel good after anyway.
Viktor Navorski: I don't know. Both.
"Life is waiting"
I watched The Terminal for the first time in about 5 years and I don't know why I liked it so much. I remember really enjoying this movie the first time I saw it; but now it's just irritating. The accent is annoying, the Indian janitor is annoying and most of all, Catherine Zeta-Jones is annoying. This is just to dull not be considered one of Spielberg's worst movies. I'm not saying it is the worst, as I still think that belongs to The Lost World.
There are a couple things I like about the movie I love that it was shot on location. The airport is actually the best the thing about the movie. I also liked the performances from Stanley Tucci and Zoe Saldana. Most of the time I can take or leave Tucci, but in The Terminal he is really good. As for Saldana; I always enjoy watching her.
I guess you could get away with saying the movie is charming and touching. But I just don't see it that way. I just see it as another lame attempt at making an original romantic comedy; that failed. After the fact that a foreigner is trapped inside an airport; nothing about it is original. It's still a formula driven romantic comedy. It does have a few likable moments, but "few" is the key word.
The other Spielberg-Hanks team ups might be what makes this movie look so bad to me. I've seen what they can do as a team and offering the audience this less than satisfactory movie is just as annoying as the film. They could have done way better.
Saw it again! Excellent Film! The story and the script was just perfect. Tom Hanks easily could have been nominated for an Oscar for his amazing role. The movie had comedy, drama, romance, had it all! Steven Spielberg did it again! I loved The Terminal for many reasons, but one big reason is it's simplicity. And more importantly, because it is good at being simple. It doesn't contribute anything new to movies, it doesn't try to. It is what it is. A great, feel-good film. Something that is getting rarer and rarer these days. Sometimes you'll want to see a gritty, wrenching melodrama, but other times you'll want to see The Terminal. Amazing film everyone should watch and delightfully enjoy.
Former Krakozhian Viktor Navorski is almost in New York City for the first time in his life. "Former" and "almost"?: while Viktor is flying to JFK Airport, Krakozhia has been overthrown as a country with no nation recognizing the new regime, therefore all government papers such as passports, visas and currency issued by Krakozhia are also not recognized internationally. With only these papers in hand when Viktor arrives at JFK, he is not allowed entry into the United States. All air service in and out of Krakozhia has been suspended and thus Viktor cannot even be sent back until Krakozhia's situation is resolved. Frank Dixon, Director of Customs and Border Protection at JFK, allows Viktor to stay in the international lounge until the problem is resolved. Dixon gives Viktor enough meal vouchers to last for a day or two, with Dixon expecting Viktor to secretly escape the lounge into the outside world. Viktor, however, wants to be as proper as possible and decides to stay in the lounge. Viktor poses a problem for Dixon, as Viktor may be the black mark in his promotion to head of the department. Their relationship becomes an antagonistic one, where Dixon will now do whatever he can to prevent Viktor from ever entering the country even if he ever did learn the heartbreaking reason for Viktor's visit. As Viktor stays in the lounge, he only has limited resources on which to live and a limited understanding of the English language. Viktor's encounters with lounge employees is also initially antagonistic, but they all learn to live in harmony and friendship as Viktor's stay increases. The one person Viktor would like to meet and know is United Airlines flight attendant Amelia Warren, who is in transit through JFK every few weeks and who seems to be dealing with her own personal demons.
It's funny, quirky, and pretty charing, despite all of the ridiculous product placement. Even though the story is ludicrous, it is a funny concept to think about. I mean, a guy is trapped in an airport termina ldue to some nutty redtape and loopholes. There's a lot of material here for schtick, satire, and fun. ost of which is taken advantage of.
The performances are good. Hanks isn't the most credible foreginer, but he's still charming, classy, and funny. Stanley Tucci is great as the easily annoyed guy who trieds to do his best to keep Hanks' character from getting out of line and getting the best of him. Zeta Jones isn't bad, but maybe could have been a little better (just my opinion).
For a goofy but fun movie, this isn't too bad. It's kind of somewhere in the middle of Spielberg's filmography as far as quality goes, so take that as some sort of indication of whether or not you may like it. Saying that might not help, but you never know.
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.