Review Date: June 16, 2004
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Sacha Gervasi, Jeff Nathanson
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Walter Parkes, Laurie McDonald
That said, I can't help but "call" the film on a number of plot points, especially the main one which features this foreign dude hanging out in an American airport (New York, no less), with very little known about him (or the odd package that he carries around with him!), and yet, he's able to walk around quite freely and even live in a section of the airport that's being renovated. Uhhhhhm...I don't think so!! The fact that Jones' gorgeous stewardess character falls for him is also quite the stretch of the imagination, even more so, because the two of them don't seem to have much in common and don't really get into any deep conversations. In their relationship's defense, I did appreciate the romance in the film's latter half, which helped me get into it a bit. Yeah, I'm a softie this week. A subplot about two airport employees getting married without barely knowing one another was also unbelievable, as was a certain security guard's action later on in the film and the entire airport's workers so openly "falling" for Viktor (why such adoration??) All that said, it wasn't necessarily the film's plot points that I admired (you can look at it as some sort of "fantasy", if you want), as much as its aura and outer-glow. Some of its snowy New York sequences were particularly fetching. As usual, Hanks is the key to this film's success and unless you believe and like his character as the film flows along, you're not likely to appreciate it all so much. I found him to be affable and genuine, and had no problem following his journey. Stanley Tucci was also solid (as always), but I can't say that I appreciated his character's singular dimension. The guy just became "evil" for the sake of being "evil" at some point. He needed more layers in order for me to take him (and that part of the film) more seriously.
So yes, the picture has its share of problems and Spielberg definitely needs to work with other cinematographers once in a while (enough with the overhead lighting, dude...there's way too much light in a number of scenes and it's getting distracting), but the film is also very light on its feet, features a cast of engaging secondary characters that keep things interesting, a cute romance between Hanks and Jones, which thankfully isn't the film's main focus (expect to be frustrated by its resolution though), a great score, as well as a cute, sentimental message as its conclusion.