THE TERMINAL (12A) 125mm .0 Inspired by the true story of an Iranian man stranded at Paris airport when the Persian Shah was overthrown, but starring Tom Hanks and re-set in the John F Kennedy Airport of present-day New York, Steven Speilberg‘s smug movie misfire substitutes quirky characters, feel-good humour and emotional manipulation for the rich comic tapestry of real life. Its saccharine charm is achieved only through the use of artificial sweeteners; what little flavour it has is therefore thin, synthetic and with a faintly nasty aftertaste. Like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, The Terminal takes a story charged with social themes, political relevance and human emotion, and turns it into a shallow, tear-jerking Steven Spielberg Film.

Hanks plays Viktor Navorski, a citizen of Krakozhia, who is stranded at the JFK airport because of a military coup in his imaginary East European country. Effectively stateless, Viktor can neither return to his homeland, nor set foot on American soil. All he can do is wander about the arrivals hall in his dressing gown, an innocent, Capra-esque victim of an unfeeling bureaucracy that has bound him up in red tape. The inhuman face of this unfeeling bureaucracy is that of humourless Homeland Security official Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), for whom Viktor is merely an annoying glitch in the system.

Fortunately, despite his lack of English, Viktor is a resourceful man, smart enough to realise that if he returns the stray luggage trolleys to the rack, he can get quarters to spend on junk food. After a while, Viktor gets to know some of the airport‘s oddball, multi-ethnic staff: grumpy baggage handler Joe (Chi McBride), surly cleaner Gupta (Kumar Pallana) and Enrique (Diego Luna), who, in

The greatest table tennis

svoww::7::.\r.'.\ M . PING PONG (12A) 114min O...

t3tit‘1 ix f .K .\ ti { t: \L‘t l :1 t{\ ’.. \ tit:

, ' 1 o o x‘ \r xv \ r\ (V 1 ."\ 'l .‘ t [\1 urtit “' I) t ,‘ ,~ \‘ ' '~y\ )r\ \“ ‘v“ l" -i i '\ fl t! _‘\ .In \)\:‘\l f'."\‘ \t »l .‘4 ".1ixi 1"“ t \\ o

1 )'\ i no‘ vv\ \I ‘7‘ I n \\ ’t‘ A! .lm 3.0 t ' .1..i .: .. _‘\...~l‘i"_2'\l. "I

Pt \ x :\ \LMINK‘ }\\“ \ . tiNti. -. \ but? ' \} <2 ' ’V (A L pflbt U \A V p u wwu. y do. V uu‘C LL”

a n p 8.8 .V LIV V t SV 8 L/ LIV

‘om‘ioac e aoxe'sa' es and the r om persona "eurcses the ultra-compet t \e wer o c‘ h g“ sch-co tact‘e ten" 5 tearoamects. The oeaoca" Sr“ e. a though exceptional) gfieo at we game. ac~<s the »< ‘e "street to a s" c“ 0 parents. Deco. o" the sine“ "8"3. 9. one" coexer "o \. o\.e'cc\.‘.e*s :3 ayes c s attaC""‘E"’.S. be“

.E\ \iu’ \


CCeS :3 78 SEC".

gcccea.e.a s s:

r‘f‘ile\ Cr f

V the vV‘vw‘a'<er 6.6" W ,res so a "€828" 8"); roomest fC GENE), toe

can. 3 casts ee “gs 3' one

a ‘38:: o. e e E

88. v.8 .8 ode a .8 Go see 8.:

return for filched first class meals, gets Viktor to woo immigration officer Dolores (Zoe Saldana) on his behalf. Viktor even gets a cash-in-hand job, using his carpentry skills to earn enough money to buy a Hugo Boss suit, which he needs to impress glamorous flight attendant Amelia (Catherine Zeta- Jones), who's been unlucky in love, up till now.

A simplistic, inspirational fairy tale about the triumph of Viktor‘s optimism, and solidarity amongst the airport‘s exploited underclass, The Terminal is as fake as Alex McDowell's airport set. Like all Spielberg‘s work, it has the bland sincerity

HELLBOYLH" (12A) 122mm 000.

movie ever made?


mavericks and Satan‘s son 90 head to head in Hellboy


Stateless but full of dignity

of a forced smile. Only the genuinely funny, always believable Hanks emerges unscathed. His portrayal of ‘a stranger in a strange no man‘s land‘ is another triumph of comic playfulness: whether rattling off dialogue in his imaginary Krakozhian accent, or using his flawless comic timing to stage hilarious pratfalls, Hanks never loses sight of Viktor's selfless altruism or natural dignity. Sadly, Hanks' contribution aside, this bland, inoffensive pap is the cinematic equivalent of baby food. (Nigel Floyd)


~‘- THE LIST 13