Will Smooth Flight Prove Audience Delight?

Austin Chronicle | June 21, 2004
Spielberg enters his Capra phase with The Terminal. Although this new film has a comedic brightness, Spielberg’s real attention here focuses on the story’s minimal plotline about an average Joe overcoming bureaucratic roadblocks. It’s an optimistic world-view that features a melting pot of American faces, most of whom want to do good if given the chance, and who like to embrace their folk heroes with group unity. The director who inadvertently invented the summer blockbuster with the release of Jaws in 1975 has now moved into a more populist phase of his career that tries to introduce democratic ideals and "significance" into his resolutely mainstream movies. Hanks is phenomenally good in this comedy role, using lots of physical humor and a made-up foreign dialect. Seeing The Terminal is like experiencing an uneventful flight: The trip was pleasant but not delightful, and you’re happy to deplane at the other end.

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