ever wanted to see a movie that was all Tom Hanks, all the time? Here it is. In Cast Away, Hanks plays an efficiency-obsessed FedEx troubleshooter who survives a plane crash and washes up on an isolated Pacific island devoid of Gilliganish conveniences. No coconut radios, no monkey butlers, not a Ginger or a Mary-Anne in sight.
Cast Away is good within its limitations, and Hanks, a naturally gregarious actor, rises to the interesting challenging/nightmarish ego trip of working solo for almost two-thirds of the film's duration. Director Robert Zemeckis and cinematographer Don Burgess (Contact) do a chilling job of conveying the empty majesty of the sea.
But I would have liked to have seen more of Hanks's transformations. What happens to a man whose life is relentlessly driven by the clock when he's thrust into an existence where there are none, and is then sent back into the world? The film's ending hints at the answer, but then it just ends. Hanks certainly shows enough range here, from confident go-getter to unwilling hermit, to have managed that most interesting part of his ordeal.
If nothing else, it's good to see that Zemeckis, Oscared for Forrest Gump, can still make a film that doesn't rely on digital effects for its drama.