I can’t tell you much about Terminal because a.) talking about its multiple twists would allude to the degree of deception that is continuously at work in the film and b.) the movie is often so incomprehensible, you can’t make heads or tails of it.
So, what can I dish out? Well, I can tell you it stars Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Ready Player One), Dexter Fletcher (Eat Locals), Max Irons (The Host), and Mike Myers (SNL, the Austin Powers franchise). I can also tell you they all deserve better, even though it appears Terminal challenges these actors in new ways. The film is a dark and mysterious crime noir, and it’s not afraid to get messy. If you’re a Mike Myers fan, that’s enough of a hook to pique your interest. Unfortunately, his role as a quirky wallflower is just a reworking of his previous characters. That is, until…shoot, that was a close one.
As much as Terminal is an ensemble piece, the film belongs to Robbie and writer/director Vaughn Stein. Taking her first crack at producing a movie, Robbie excessively flaunts the sex appeal of her character, a seductive assassin. The effect, however, doesn’t resonate as much as when filmmakers underplay her looks (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and her cameo in The Big Short spring to mind). Matching Robbie’s performance is Stein, making sure the tantalizing allure translates to the style of Terminal as he works closely with DoP Christopher Ross. This all results in a film that’s harsh for the viewer – both visually and psychologically. Terminal suggests that it’s paying tribute to pulp fiction, which would explain the exaggerated style. However, Stein’s dialogue tries very hard to be clever; as if his inner writer is attempting to rise above the initial homage.
Not only is Terminal confusing for the viewer, but it’s a confused production that has trouble sticking to a specific vision.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie