Washed-up salesman Alan Clay (Tom Hanks) goes to Saudi Arabia to secure a major IT contract with the King, but runs into both practical and personal obstacles. Dave Eggers’s novel is a comment on life and realities after the Great Recession, but this film adaptation pays little interest in those themes, settling for well-staged but brief flashbacks to Clay’s life in the U.S. Relying almost entirely on Hanks’s winsome performance, the film follows his misadventures in the desert, attempt to rebuild his career and potential romance with a Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury). Slight, but done with a light touch.
2016-U.S.-Germany. 98 min. Color. Widescreen. Written and directed by Tom Tykwer. Novel: Dave Eggers. Music: Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer. Cast: Tom Hanks (Alan Clay), Alexander Black (Yousef), Sarita Choudhury (Zahra), Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Whishaw, Tom Skerritt.