I'm not sure though whether we should be disarmed though. The Terminal is released at a time when American airports are so security conscious that they resemble military zones. But Spielberg, despite the film's potentially discomforting connotations, is too eager to focus on light rather than darkness.
Apart from humourless Dixon, the security staff come across as friends rather than as armed patrols. The photography, by normally reliable Janusz Kaminski, softens and renders homely a place that Viktor would surely view as a lingering, in-between perdition. John Williams's score, too, is bubblier than the maddening drones, beeps and electronic chatter of most real airports.
Spielberg, normally one of the most assured directors when it comes to tone and register, here seems unsure of what he's trying to do. The screenplay, by Sacha Gervasi and Jeff Nathanson, doesn't always help. The comedy, all pratfalls on slippery floors and over-the-top reactions to beeping pagers, is exaggerated.