With Charlie Wilson's War Tom Hanks is a long, fine way from the famous bucket of caramel corn, Forrest Gump. No Gump or Gumby is this.
The movie's energizing strength is intelligence. It is so entertainingly adult. Of the many smart people in it, the main brain is Congressman Charlie Wilson.
Up from rural Texas with more than a hint of Lyndon B. Johnson in speech and connivance, Wilson gives Hanks a juice fest of political Americana. Wilson, by passion and skullduggery, roped together covert deals and some congressional black-op budgets to feed modern arms to the Afghan guerrillas fighting the Soviet invasion of the 1970s.
A Universal Pictures release
Director: Mike Nichols
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Ned Beatty, Shaun Toub, Om Puri
Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
(Shanghai Daily January 22, 2008)