Film Review – A Hologram for the King (2016)

Hologram for the King

Title – A Hologram for the King (2016)

Director – Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run)

Cast – Tom Hanks, Sarita Choudhury, Tom Skerritt

Plot – Tasked with heading to Saudi Arabia to sell a new business meeting system to the king, struggling I.T salesman Alan Clay (Hanks) finds his trip to the dusty land being anything but straightforward.

“It’s a brand new city. Its uncharted territory and we are the trailblazers”

Review by Eddie on 12/04/2017

Is it possible that German born director Tom Tykwer and Tom Hank’s film A Hologram for the King could’ve been a commercial, critical and awards baiting hit?

It’s hard to say, as based on the finished product this adaptation of Dave Egger’s novel is a curiously misguided affair that squanders its chances to be a cultural crossing feel good event.

Tykwer who burst onto the scene with his frenetic Run Lola Run and delivered some unique offerings with the likes of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and his tales in the box office flop Cloud Atlas, seems to be trying to reign it in here with Hologram barely allowing the director to escape the bonds of its out of place American stuck in a foreign land trying to get by and fix his slowly disintegrating life and the director seems unsuited to making the most of this potentially great story.

We get brief glimpses of Tykwer bringing something new and inventive to the table, an initial moment as the film begins seems to be suggesting some surreal imagery is coming our way while some of the films locations are captured in some eye opening ways, but for a majority of the films fairly brief runtime, the audience will be just as bored as Tom Hanks’s Alan Clay and his I.T crew.

Making his mark in 2016 with the memorable Sully, its lucky Tom Hanks had Clint Eastwood’s film behind him as Hologram marks down another so-so performance from everyman actor that has seen the beloved performer deliver disappointing turns over the last decade.

Alan on paper seems like a great fit for Hanks to inhabit but his not a particularly likeable presence and when the most pressing thing in his life is dealing with a growth on his back, Alan doesn’t exactly call for audience engagement and for a film that seems to be going for oddball comedic moments, Hologram is light on laughs to go along with its narrative mundanity.

Not memorable in the slightest and wasting its talented lead, A Hologram for the King is a deserved box-office flop that was always an odd choice for director Tykwer, who can do and should do a lot better than this middling effort, that often seems content with remaining in first gear.

1 ½ weak Wi-Fi signals out of 5

8 responses to “Film Review – A Hologram for the King (2016)

  1. This’ll be coming right off my Netflix list after reading this review, thanks for saving me from wasting my time. Can’t say I’m not disappointed though, Tom Hanks is usually on top form.

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