The Terminal

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The Terminal
Review (8/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

The first thing I determined after watching The Terminal is the fact that Tom Hanks is probably the best actor on the planet at this moment, or at least the one actor who can carry a movie on his back from the opening scene until the final credits. He sort of did it in Forrest Gump. He definitely did it in Castaway. And he has done it again in The Terminal. To put it quite bluntly, Hanks is brilliant in this movie.

He plays Viktor Navorski, a man from the country of Krakozhia, who gets stranded in New York's JFK International Airport when the government of his small country is overthrown in a coup and as a man with no country and no valid passport, he is not allowed to enter the United States or leave the airport. Navorski, who speaks no English, takes up residence in the airport, makes the most of his terrible situation and soon wins the hearts of almost the entire airport staff and a beautiful stewardess named Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

The movie features a brilliant supporting cast, including Stanley Tucci as the hard-ass airport bureaucrat Frank Dixon, Kumar Pallana as Gupta, the airport janitor and Diego Luna as Enrique, a lovestruck airport employee. But in the end, The Terminal is all about Tom Hanks. It gets to a point in the movie where we pretty much forget that it is Tom Hanks who is acting. We only see a countryless man stranded in a New York airport. He is just that good in this movie.

Besides the brilliant cast, The Terminal is a really well-written movie. It is laugh-out-loud funny in many parts - the "Italian dinner" episode comes to mind. It is intense at times. It even pulls at the old heart strings, probably more for the friendships made in the movie than for the hopeless love.

But this movie is not without its faults. There are moments where it was just too unbelievable, but that, I could look past. You have to expect that from a movie which features a man living in an airport. The only major complaints I would have is that the movie dragged on just a bit too long at the end - the ending tried to be too fairy tale. It was a bit weak in my opinion and it caused the movie to end on a bit of a down note - and the whole romance between Viktor and Amelia, although charming, really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I thought the romantic angle of the movie could have been better (although it was probably pretty realistic, unfortunately).

Nevertheless, The Terminal is nothing short of great entertainment teetering on pure brilliance. It is a fun movie that should leave you with a smile on your face and a feeling of relief when, on your next trip to an airport, you are only delayed an hour, maybe two, and not the nine months that Viktor Navorski had to endure at New York's famous JFK airport!

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