Movie Review
The Terminal
The Terminal poster
By Gareth Von Kallenbach     Published June 18, 2004
US Release: June 18, 2004

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Stanley Tucci , Chi McBride

Running Time: 128 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $77,032,000
Spielberg keeps the film moving at a steady pace, avoids Hollywood clich?s and allows events to unfold in a natural manner without making it seem forced.
Arriving at an international destination can be very confusing, especially if you do not speak the language of the nation you are visiting. Such is the case for Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), who is visiting New York and America for the first time from his Eastern European nation home.

As he is preparing to clear immigration, Viktor is detained by security and is informed that he is unable to enter the country due to a coup in his homeland that occurred while he was in the air. Viktor has become a man without a country, as his government no longer exists causing his passport to become invalid and leaving Viktor unable to leave the airport or return to another country.

As difficult as this is for Viktor, the head of the airport security, Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), finds it even more intolerable ? not for any humanitarian reasons, but rather, Viktor complicates his life when he is about to get a promotion. Dixon believes that in time Viktor will grow weary of waiting and will slip away into the city where he will become someone else?s problem, allowing him to concentrate on other matters.

Things do not go as planned, as Viktor remains faithfully in the terminal finding ways to sustain himself through his ingenuity and the kindness of some airport workers. As time passes, Viktor meets an attractive flight attendant named Amelia (Catherine Zeta Jones) who is taken by Viktor?s kindness even though she is having issues in her life due to her involvement with a married man. Viktor adapts to his situation, makes friends, and becomes closer to Amelia, but never loses sight of his goal to enter America as his spirit and endurance help him gain support and admiration from those he meets save Dixon.

Hanks is charming as Viktor, with a na?ve quality balanced by wisdom, compassion, and integrity which makes him a believable and sympathetic character. The supporting cast is good, especially Tucci and Luna who come across as very realistic characters, as their intentions are well defined. Zeta-Jones also has great chemistry with Hanks, making you wish they could have had more screen time with each other.

Praise also goes to Spielberg who keeps the film moving at a steady pace, avoids many Hollywood clich?s and allows events to unfold in a natural manner without making it seem forced. I was very surprised by ?The Terminal,? as it is a solid and entertaining film that will delight Hanks? fans. Yes, the film does require you to suspend certain realities but the majority of events are plausible and allow the audiences to learn about Viktor as he learns about America.
Gareth's Grade: B
Gareth's Overall Grading: 50 graded movies
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