Sunday, 21 April 2019

Hanks makes light work of comic role

THE ever-watchable Tom Hanks is still a big box office draw and appears unstoppable

THE ever-watchable Tom Hanks is still a big box office draw and appears unstoppable well into his fourth decade on our screens.

Fresh from his success in the critical and commercial hit Bridge of Spies, where his performance alongside Mark Rylance won rave reviews, his diversity will once again be on show in A Hologram for the King.

His ability to adapt and play characters with such poise and emotion is undoubtedly the Oscar-winning actor’s greatest strength and has elevated him to the level of Hollywood royalty.

Director Tom Tykwer will be hoping his leading man puts in another stellar performance as Alan Clay in this week’s release.

Cultures collide when the American businessman is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime.

Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wisecracking taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).

Clay is a washed-up IT salesman whose potential salvation rests in a new city, planned for the Saudi Arabian desert, that might require the latest hologram technology.

The film sees Clay floundering way out of his depth, both culturally and and commercially. Based on Dave Eggers’s bestselling 2012 novel, the film will hopefully be as quirky and original as the book.

Hanks has form in the comedy drama genre — think Splash, Forrest Gump and Catch Me If You Can — so all the signs are promising, to say the least.

The only concern here is with Tykwer in the hot seat. The German director has worked predominantly in the realm of thrillers, so let’s hope he will be able to expand his repertoire.

A Hologram for The King is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from today (Friday).

Review: David White

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