Tom Hanks deserves better than this. He deserves better than Larry Crowne, too. Through the 80s and 90s, he did some great work. Whether it was comedy like Splash, Joe Versus The Volcano or Toy Story. Or a drama, like Philadelphia, Apollo 13 or Saving Private Ryan. Or one of his many films with a touch of both like Forrest Gump or A League Of Their Own.
Tom Hanks probably needs a new agent. Because by all accounts, Bridge Of Spies, Sully and Captain Phillips were good choices of roles to add to Mr. Hanks’ resume. And regardless of how they turn out, no one’s going to blame him for doing Inferno with Ron Howard, or Saving Mr. Banks.
But then you have roles in films like Cloud Atlas, Larry Crowne, The Ladykillers, and A Hologram For The King. Roles that might sound decent from a synopsis, but whose scripts just don’t help their causes.
The best part of A Hologram For The King was the look it gave us at the landscape and culture of Saudi Arabia…. even if some of the views we got were actually in Morocco and Egypt.
The movie dragged along, pulling its viewers into the frustrations felt by Hanks’ character and his on-screen team of IT professionals who were being pushed aside, ignored and disrespected as they tried to prepare for a presentation in the audience of the King. The main plot simply served to push along the main thread of the story, where Hanks’ character was trying to find happiness in his life and deal with stress physically manifesting itself through medical issues.
The interpersonal relationship between Hanks’ character and his female doctor was an interesting one, but not to the extent that it makes the film worth watching. The same can be said for Hanks’ character and his driver.
If A Hologram For The King is available to watch on a cable channel to which you already subscribe and you have a free evening, you might not hate yourself for choosing to spend the time watching it. And if it’s the only thing available at a Redbox, it’s probably worth $2, but be sure to return it on time, because you might be even more disappointed if you have to pay extra for it.
If you had never heard of this movie before my review, I apologize for bringing it up, but at least the impact of viewing it won’t be to the degree that it might’ve been if I had reviewed it while it was in the theater.
My Rating: 55 out of 100
A caveat – there are films that I’ve also rated 55 out of 100 which had serious problems with them that HOLOGRAM didn’t. However, those films also had bright spots which made them at least somewhat enjoyable. HOLOGRAM was just bland and plodding, middle of the road. I can’t imagine anyone being enthusiastically positive about it.