The cinetrix needs to step up her game. See?
A comedy about a stateless Eastern European tourist stranded indefinitely in the limbo of Kennedy International Airport, The Terminal sounds—at least on paper—like it might be director Steven Spielberg's exercise in Beckett lite. Fear not, it isn't even Minority Report lite. "After Catch Me If You Can," the press notes quote the filmmaker, "I wanted to do another movie that could make you laugh and cry and feel good about the world."
To that end, Tom Hanks's Viktor Navorski first appears as a real goat-fucker, stooped, grizzled, and no doubt smelly, clutching a rusty Planters Peanuts tin and babbling in an invented Slavic language as he attempts to clear U.S. customs. When it develops that a coup in Viktor's (imaginary) Krakozhia homeland has effectively invalidated his visa, he shaves his stubble and graduates to increasingly accomplished, cutely accented English. It's a role that might once have bellowed Robin Williams, and indeed, Hanks's stranger in a strange land bears a more than passing resemblance to the repellently cloying Russian immigrant Williams played in the Reagan-era heart-warmer Moscow on the Hudson.
Sigh. Hoberman calls Tom Hanks a goat-fucker--a goat-fucker!--and suggests his role is Robin Williams redux. I, for one, feel good about the world after reading this review. Seeing the movie would only spoil things.