Title: A Hologram for the King Director: Tom Tykwer Year: 2016 Run time: 1hr 38m
“Starring Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, A Hologram for the King follows businessman Alan Clay (Hanks) on a journey halfway around the world, far from his American roots, to a rising Saudi Arabian city. Based on the best-selling novel by Dave Eggers, Clay is dispatched to pitch a new IT contract to a wealthy King, a project that must be a success for him to stave off bankruptcy, pay his daughter’s college fees, and finally accomplish something big.”
0:58 – Loving all the new, slightly lower budget, idents. 3:22 – “You’ve got more questions than answers here.” 5:31 – Driver, guide, hero. Little bit of everything. 7:28 – Mentioning Alabama to Tom Hanks, eek Forrest Gump. 10:06 – “Look, they’re sweeping sand in the desert.” 13:36 – Bolting on your showbiz face. 17:12 – Seems silly to have a tent of black, it must absorb the heat crazily. 22:37 – I want an awesome driver. 29:53 – Him reading out his email is so like You’ve Got Mail, it’s weird. 31:58 – “You sound terrible, were you run over by a camel?” 40:48 – Amazing what goes on behind closed doors! 47:22 – Epic buildings. 1:01:06 – Tom Hanks selfie. 1:03:48 – Seems to be a lot of shouting in Saudi Arabia. 1:07:05 – “So if I would start a democratic revolution here, you would support me?” He’s ambitious! 1:13:00 – That better not be all Whishaw is in it. 1:18:26 – Yay, more mail! 1:24:04 – First date snorkelling!
Yay, another Tom Hanks film, right? Hmm, well, I’m not totally convinced.
The first half was great, Tom Hanks out of place in Saudi Arabia, the brilliantly funny driver taking him to and from a new city. I love new builds, particularly when they come in the shape of potential entire cities! The characters were great, the doctor, the annoying receptionist, the frustrated crew.
But the second half of the film tailed off significantly, and by the end, I wasn’t totally sure what I’d witnessed. It was still beautiful and still interesting to watch, but I’m not sure I know what the story was. I hate to say it, but what was the point?
Not a bad Hanks film really, but nowhere near his best work.