A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks are back together for the first time since their best film, Captain Phillips. Hanks needing a bounce back after Greyhound was underwhelming, and while he was great in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Universal Pictures is hoping to ride him to a successful award season.
Our film begins by showing us Captain Jefferson and how he delivers the daily news to everyone, which I found quite interesting to watch as this would be an insane way to get the news daily. As he stumbled across into the woods, he comes across Jane, who is lost, and no matter how many times Jefferson tries to pawn her off, he is stuck having to get her to her Aunt and Uncle.
As we begin down the journey to bring Jane home, chaos ensues. Men looking for Jane are hunting her down, and Jefferson stands in the way of them. We get our first look at what makes Greengrass artistically good at being a director. The chase scene was well shot, and the score in the background enhances the sequence in which you are already on the edge of your seat.
For the most part, our film’s backbone lies in the hands of Captain Jefferson and Jane and the foundation of their growing relationship. Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel work well together even with the circumstances of Helena’s character and the lack of communication skills. But, Hanks felt like he was playing Tom Hanks but with a different accent, which got in the film’s way. Hanks is excellent at what he does, but I didn’t feel like he brought anything extra to this role that made it stand out.
Next, another issue I had with the film was the runtime. The film pushes almost two hours, and while a tight two-hour movie can be a great thing, this was far from that. There were lots of lulls that immediately make you disinterested in what is happening. I am sure the runtime would have been better with better editing (and probably a better story).
Finally, as we get to the movie’s conclusion, it lands in the predictable territory that you fully expected. I was okay with the beautiful bow thrown at the end of the film, but I was more upset that the movie as a whole lacked any risk taken moments that would have made this ending feel important.
Overall, News of the World is just another movie that brings a little pizzaz and is anchored by another just okay performance from Tom Hanks.
News of the World fails to make a headline.