Tom Hanks (Viktor Navorski) touches down at JFK and finds himself in limbo. His country has had a revolution while he was in the air, and now he can’t enter the United States – or anywhere else. He’s confined by US Customs to the International Transit Lounge and given vouchers for food (in the food court). He speaks almost no english, and he’s a bit panicked and confused. Stanley Tucci plays the bureaucratic security director of the airport and is appropriately a rule follower without room for compassion. The rules must be followed. No exceptions. Viktor spends his time wandering around the several floors of his confinement. Days go by. Then weeks. Viktor begins to make friends with many of the workers at the airport. Tucci’s character gets meaner and more petty as the days grow long. Viktor grows sweeter and more likeable (ain’t that sweet?). He meets a stewardess (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who keeps making bad choices in men. They develop a friendship that could go somewhere, but can Jones’ stewardess break her self-destructive behavior?
Question: Ok, so Viktor can’t speak English very well, but why does he walk so funny?
That was rhetorical. I’m sure you don’t have an answer.
I was surprised to see that Steven Spielberg directed this film, I had no clue until the credits rolled. Maybe that’s why I had it in my queue. Regardless of Spielberg’s cachet, the film is a bland blend of romantic comedy and slapstick humor. I think the film desperately wants to be relevant, but doesn’t lift a finger to be so. It’s just that there’s no there there.