One could easily make the argument that Tom Hanks is over exposed. Sure, he’s a great actor, but all the movies. This is especially true when he plays oddballs. In The Terminal he plays Viktor Navorski from the country of Krakozhia. He ends up being trapped in a New York airport due to his passport being invalid. Yes, it was valid when he left his country, but by the time he landed in the US his country was overthrown.
I had no idea customs worked like that.
You do have to suspend some reality when you watch this movie. For instance, Hanks ends up living in a section of the airport that is under construction. No one really notices until it’s time to complete work in the area. To the construction worker’s surprise Hanks has done most of the work.
There is a love interest, but it’s pretty boring. The only reason Catherine Zeta-Jones is in the movie is to look sexy and provide someone else for Hanks to pratter on to. The movie’s real gems are in the interaction between Hanks and the minor characters. The janitor, the food delivery guy, the baggage man, they all add a funny, touching and real twist to his confinement.
Stanley Tucci is also in the movie as the evil customs guy. He seems to go out of his way to make Hanks’ process even more unbelievable, but then again we’re talking about customs and the TSA, so nothing would surprise me.
It’s explained in the movie that Hanks has come to America to collect signatures of jazz musicians. His father kept a newspaper photo throughout his life that had 40 or more jazz musicians on it. He vowed to himself that he would collect signatures of from all the musicians. He dies before completing this task.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The set design was fantastic and captured the feeling of an airport that happens to be at a mall. I also enjoyed the part where Hanks had to make money while being contained in the terminal.
The story is probably based on an Iranian named Mehran Karimi Nasseri who lived in a French airport for 8 years.
This is a family pic with very few areas you need to be concerned about. It gets a 3 out of 5 stars.