News Of The World – PG-13 – 1 hr 58 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Monday February 15, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
5th new movie seen in theater in 2021
Tom Hanks plays Captain. Kidd, a walking, talking Google News of the 1870s. He travels from town to town reading newspapers to groups of people. After one of his news readings, he runs into a hanged black man in the woods and a young, scared girl left alone.
He takes the girl who speaks a foreign language into town, along with her papers, trying to figure out the plan. He learns from the officials that he must wait three months for the emissary to return and “pick up the strays.” He thinks about waiting it out and then ultimately decides he’ll take her to family some 400 miles away through unfriendly territory.
This is one of those stories about a trip from one place to another with obstacles thrown at the main characters along the way. These range from violent dust storms, to conflicts to a pedophile cowboy and his clan to a town fixated around one dominant owner.
Through it all, we’re reminded that if it wasn’t for Tom Hanks, this movie would be kind of predictable and boring. As stated in our video below, it’s almost like the screenwriter just threw ideas at the wall until somebody said, “hey, that might be cool to do”
Originally released in theaters on Christmas day, we finally had a chance to see this in theaters this week. Underwhelmed by the story, but it was a different period piece than Hanks normally does anyway. He is playing the same good guy with almost zero flaws character. Last time I saw him, he was in Greyhound and before that Mister Rogers. This role isn’t stretching Hanks very far from his familiar zone, but it’s something to see him in the wild, wild west.
The ending is one of the better parts. If you can hold out that long through the adventure, there is a worthwhile payoff. Sadly, we have to wait this long to learn more about Captain Kidd to take him out of being a fairly one-dimensional character. The rest of the movie has suspect pacing, a mostly forgettable score and a few WTF moments. The dust scene where they need a horse and the girl just gets them one induces an immediate eyeroll.
Kara didn’t agree with me about Tom Hanks making this movie more entertaining. If it had been a lesser actor, I’d have rated this at least a half star lower.
Even so, neither of us were that thrilled with this one. These remain challenging times for new movies in theaters. Not recommended.
Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️ (Kara)