: : : Cast Away

Story

Cast Away is a good movie that wants to be much better. While director Robert Zemeckis's earlier film Contact achieved a kind of mainstream spiritual significance, Cast Away falls just short of that goal. That may explain why the film's most emotionally powerful scene involves the loss of an inanimate object, even as it presents a heart-rending dilemma in its very human final act.

It's three movies in one, beginning when punctuality-obsessed Federal Express systems engineer Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) departs on Christmas Eve to escort an ill-fated flight of FedEx packages. Following a mid-Pacific plane crash, movie number two chronicles Chuck's four-year survival on a remote island, totally alone save for a Wilson volleyball (aptly named "Wilson") that becomes Chuck's closest "friend." Movie number three leads up to Chuck's rescue and an awkward encounter with his ex-girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt, in a thankless role), for whom Chuck has seemingly risen from the grave.

It's fascinating to witness Chuck's emerging survival skills, and Hanks's remarkable physical transformation is matched by his finely tuned performance. With slow, rhythmic camera moves and brilliant use of sound, Zemeckis wisely avoids the postcard prettiness of The Black Stallion and The Blue Lagoon to emphasize the harshness of Chuck's ascetic solitude, and this stylistic restraint allows Cast Away to resonate more than one might expect. Even the final scene--which feels like a crowd-pleasing compromise--offers hope without shoving it down our throats. You may not feel the emotional rush that you're meant to feel, but Cast Away remains a respectable effort. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Commentary by Robert Zemeckis & Crew
  • "The Charlie Rose Show" Interview with Tom Hanks
  • "Wilson: The Life & Death Of A Hollywood Extra" Featurette
  • "The Island" Featurette
  • Special Effects Vignettes
  • "S.T.O.P.: Surviving As As Castaway" Survivalists Documentary
  • HBO "First Look" Documentary
  • Storyboard-To-Film Comparison
  • Concept Art Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots

Cast

Tom HanksChuck Noland
Helen HuntKelly Frears
Paul SanchezRamon
Lari WhiteBettina Peterson
Leonid CiterFyodor
David Allen BrooksDick Peterson
Dmitri S. BoudrineLev
Michael ForestPilot Jack
Viveka DavisPilot Gwen
Nick SearcyStan
Wendy WorthingtonWendy Larson
Valerie WildmanVirginia Larson
John DuerlerJohn Larson
Steve MonroeSteve Larson
Lisa LongLisa Madden
Lauren BirkellLauren Madden
Elden HensonElden Madden
Timothy StackMorgan Stockton
Alice VaughnAlice Stockton
Joe ConleyJoe Wally
Garret DavisPilot Blaine
Jay AcovonePilot Peter
Christopher KriesaPilot Kevin
Chris NothJerry Lovett
Jenifer LewisBecca Twig
Geoffrey BlakeMaynard Graham
Wilson the VolleyballHimself

Ralbycs and 7 others watched Cast Away
TheWolfen and 12 others own Cast Away
7.6

Cast Away suffers from trying to be two films instead of one. That said, it is still...

  • Genre: Adventure Movies
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producer: Fox
  • Length: 143
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaDec 22, 2000
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    Europe12
    AustraliaM
  • Blu-ray Release
    North AmericaDec 4, 2007
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaSep 2, 2003
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7.6 / 10
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