Review: Terminal

5 10

PLOT: A mysterious woman (Margot Robbie) toys with two hit men (Max Irons & Dexter Fletcher) and a terminally ill teacher (Simon Pegg) in an after-hours train terminal.

REVIEW: TERMINAL is all style over substance. Now, that’s not always a bad thing, but there has to be something to latch on to if you’re going to convey any sense of urgency or drama. TERMINAL, the directorial debut of Vaughn Stein (a long-time assistant director), is a gorgeous movie to look at, and nicely conveys a palpable sense of atmosphere, but after about half-an-hour, the whole thing becomes increasingly tiresome and familiar, dragging towards a predictable end cribbed from THE USUAL SUSPECTS.

That’s too bad, because the film has it’s good points, namely jaw-dropingly gorgeous cinematography by DP Christopher Ross, which makes this perhaps the best-looking VOD genre film in history. It’s no wonder he’s been snapped up to shoot Danny Boyle’s musical, and if he plays his cards right, he may even carry-over to the next Bond outing. His work, coupled with a gamely wild performance by a scenery chewing Margot Robbie, and against-type casting of Mike Myers makes this an interesting curio. If only it were better, because these elements alone might have made it something of a cult sleeper (similar to distributor RLJE’s work with S. Craig Zahler).

It’s really the premise that does it in, with TERMINAL obviously intended to be the love child of SNATCH and THE USUAL SUSPECTS, but only emerging as a pale imitation of both. Robbie, who’s exceptionally well shot by Ross, looks incredible in a series of jaw dropping outfits, with her mysterious waitress (at the aptly named “End of the Line” Café) morphing at points into a burlesque dancer, red wearing vixen, and psych ward nurse. In some ways it almost plays out like a practice run for her solo Harley Quinn movie, albeit with a cockney lilt, but she’s not able to quite pull it off here.

She plays a hit-woman who, ostensibly, is auditioning to be the number one hit-woman for a never seen crime boss (whose identity is laughably easy to guess), with the proviso being that she eliminate his top killers (Max Irons & Dexter Fletcher), with a meek schoolteacher, played by a miscast Simon Pegg (too young for his part), caught in the middle. She does this through a series of cons, with a connection between her trio of victims eventually emerging, while she’s aided by an elderly night manager, played by Mike Myers in what seems to be a tribute to Ronnie Corbett.

It really is quite fun to watch Robbie and Myers mug around in this type of movie, again making the viewer resent that it’s not better than it is. Stein’s premise must have read better on the page, because he’s attracted major talent, with Robbie also producing, but it’s just a case of the premise never gelling. So, if you’re wondering why a Margot Robbie movie, fresh off an Oscar nomination for I, TONYA is going straight-to-VOD, you have your answer. It’s not very good, but it could- nay – should have been.

Source: JoBlo.com



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