3 stars

A strange, narratively weak film that manages to keep your attention, mostly thanks to a strong performance from the always dependable Tom Hanks as a fish out of water businessman trying to land a deal with the King of Saudi Arabia for a holographic video call system. Perhaps the meandering, unfocussed story is meant to leave us as baffled as Hanks’ character encountering the strangeness of the “KSA”. Director Tom Tywker is not one to shy away from difficult novel adaptations (e.g. Cloud Atlas) but I can’t say this one is entirely successful. Newcomer Alexander Black is a charming presence though, his character, Hanks’ driver Yusuf is an unkempt counterpart to the slickly polished employees of the King.


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