This item originally appeared in the June 24, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.
By BRIAN TYNES
Most people have probably been there. Stuck in an airport waiting out a delayed flight or just waiting for a flight to start boarding.
But what if a flight is not what is causing the wait?
Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) must wait in the International Lounge in John F. Kennedy International Airport until his homeland resolves its conflict. So Navorski does the only logical thing; he takes up residence at Gate 67.
Hanks is great as the uninformed Navorski and makes the audience feel for him. Steven Spielberg is able to capture the hopelessness of the situation and the humanity of Navorski in the same shot. The focus is always on Navorski and deservedly so.
The only major setback the film suffers from is the romance between Navorski and a lovely flight attendant played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. These scenes are overly sappy and so saturated with sweetness the audience will need to brush their teeth afterwards.
Even though the focus of the film is Navorski and his struggle to regain citizenship, thereby gaining entrance to New York City, the plot wanders at times off the main path. But as it turns out, everything has a purpose in the end, including the romance. Hanks brings Navorski off the screen and into the audience's heart by providing big laughs and striking humanity.