The Terminal (2004)

The Terminal (2004)
  • Time: 128 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Zoe Saldana


Viktor Navorski is a man without a country; his plane took off just as a coup d’etat exploded in his homeland, leaving it in shambles, and now he’s stranded at Kennedy Airport, where he’s holding a passport that nobody recognizes. While quarantined in the transit lounge until authorities can figure out what to do with him, Viktor simply goes on living — and courts romance with a beautiful flight attendant.

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  • In The Terminal, Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) arrives at JFK International Airport only to find out that during the flight from his homeland, a coup over threw the current government spinning the country of Krakhosia into an indefinite war. Upon landing in the Big Apple, the limited English speaking Navorski is shuffled through the intimidating customs network only to be denied entry to the United States; which does not recognize Krakhosian passports in lieu of the political upheaval taking place. Unable to enter America and unable to go back home, Tom Hanks portrays a man stuck in the airport with no country to wait for something to happen in The Terminal. Considering the tight constraints on setting, director Steven Spielberg holds onlookers in their seats waiting for the next laugh in a comedy which at times has an unclear direction on where the plot is going.

    Tom Hanks pulls off a convincing accent while playing the innocent immigrant who only has one purpose of being in America which has to do with the peanut can he carries with him. This purpose is discovered by a love interest and flight attendant, Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who otherwise plays a seemingly unnecessary role which ends without closure. Other supporting roles include a group of airport employees, whom one of them finds enjoyment at watching travelers fall on the newly washed concourse floor. Tom Hanks is without a doubt the spearhead of the movie as he pulls off yet another great act while the less familiar supporting actors contribute to the overall success of the film.

    The actors were well directed in the roles which they were portraying. Spielberg does a great job of molding what would seem to be a limited script into a movie worth seeing. Who would have thought that a movie taking place solely within an airport could have been as creatively made? However, it cannot be ignored that at times there seemed to be some jumps made throughout the plot.

    The majority of the plot consists of the comical interactions of Navorski and the airport employees. At first the employees are skeptical of Navorski however they come to build a strong relationship with the man who lives at Gate 67 after he helps save a fellow immigrant from the grasps of the head of airport security. In addition, there appears to be another storyline between Navorski and Warren which makes it unclear as to which storyline is most important and how they fit together. These dueling story lines at times leaves the viewer confused as to the significance of what just played out in front of them.

    Despite the awkward cohesion of story lines, Spielberg saves the at times seemingly terminal film through his direction. The Terminal manages to bring the audience into the concourses of JFK International Airport and provide them with good humor and a heartfelt story through the comical acting of a great cast.

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