Cast Away (2000)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
This review contains spoilers. SPOILERS I SAY! If you haven’t seen it, just move it along here folks.
Now, onto business. Cast Away is a great movie that could have been an even better movie, in my opinion, if they lopped off more from both the beginning and closing sections of the movie.
Tom Hanks plays a UPS man who is every Tom Hanks cliché rolled into one, a sweet, loving, and generally well liked by everyone kind of guy. He has a fiancée that he is about to wed, before fate and his job put him on board a plane that crashes out in the middle of nowhere, leading to him being stranded on a deserted island for the next four years of his life.
The scenes on the island of Hanks working to build fire, contemplating suicide, pulling his own teeth, etc are remarkable pieces of filmmaking. (That said, I found Wilson the Volleyball to be a little annoying, but I guess Hanks had to talk to SOMETHING). The bookends both before and after, however, are cloying and unnecessary and serve only to dilute the stronger parts of the film.
This is one of those movies that misses several chances to end. The best time would have been when Hanks’ character first comes upon the big ship that saves him. The next spot would be at the airport where Hanks sees his former fiancée with another man, or the famous scene where they finally reunite and he learns all about her life for the past four years.
But no, the movie continues on, explaining everything—giving away all its mysteries, and settles for a cutesy finale with him delivering one of the packages from the plane crash and then winding up standing at a cross roads.
In any event, this is my long standing critique of this movie, but that said, as I said in the beginning this movie is still a great film for the most part. I just know to hit the stop button once he’s off the island now.