"A Hologram for the King" is well-made but ends up being a big WTF



I will not stress this enough in saying that there is a reason why a movie starring Tom Hanks is getting the always demise-ridden April release date it has gotten. A Hologram for the King is directed by Tom Twyker, a competent director whose done a few things I've liked over the years including an under seen gem called Heaven starring Cate Blanchett which was released in the early aughts. This new film is Okay, it does have better craftsmanship than most of the ludicrously unfathomable releases we've been getting this spring, but it's just not good enough for the talent that was involved.

Hanks is in a sort of mid-life crisis, and a well-respected architect, that goes out to Saudi Arabia with his team to convince royalty that they're hologram infused proposal is the best thing for real estate project being built in butt-fuck nowhere dessert-town Arabia. The odd-job of stereotypical characters do show up: The wacky tour guide, the well-educated love interest, foreign hostility, ethical translations being lost in the mix etc.

There are interesting tidbits here and there and Hanks, every the showman, delivers another satisfying performance, but there doesn't seem to be a point to the whole thing. The best part is actually Saudi Arabia itself which is such an intriguing, mysterious country. Plot strands do - however- get lost and never concluded, the narrative mingles its way through all sorts of unintentional messiness and the film concludes in such an abrupt manner. It's a big what-the-fuck, which is a real shame because I did have hopes for this film to be at the very least a solidly crafted movie.
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