I greatly admire Richard Linklater, the director of BOYHOOD, but his new film, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME, about a group of college baseball players in the 1980’s, doesn’t have a real plot and it goes way over the top with too many crazy party scenes.
In A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING, though, the reliable Tom Hanks scores another success, this time as an American salesman completely out of his element in Saudi Arabia.
Hanks (as Alan mimicking the Talking Heads song): And you may find yourself looking for your large automobile. And you may find yourself without a beautiful house, without a beautiful wife, and you ask yourself, how did I get here?
A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING begins with a dream sequence. Hanks is Alan Clay, a down on his luck salesman who’s working for a corporation that wants him to pitch a three dimensional holographic meeting system to the Saudi King.
But Alan soon learns that he can expect little or no cooperation from the Saudi’s he’s supposed to work with. The king doesn’t show up on schedule, his own team is relegated to a tent, and it turns out that a supposedly wonderful city in the desert is nothing but an ambitious plan.
King’s worker: Industrial city, business center, university…
Nothing is going right. Alan’s only friend is his kooky driver, wonderfully played by Alexander Black.
Alan: There was something going on there yesterday.
Driver: Yeah, that’s where they do the executions. You want to go back and check out what’s going on now?
Alan: No, no. no.
When Alan finds himself in a hospital….
Alan: What happened to me?
Doctor: Anxiety attack. You’ll be OK
Alan: Thank you.
the doctor turns out to be the one person he really connects with.
A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s sweet, funny, well acted, and very entertaining.
EVERYBODY WANTS SOME is also funny and very well acted, but its lack of a plot is a big problem.
The baseball players are egotistical jerks who know how to chase girls, party and give each other a hard time.
The main character has to go along with their macho program to get along. He’s the only one of them who sees females as people.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. thunter@hawaiinewsnow