Terminal

Studio: RLJE Films
Directed by Vaughn Stein

May 10, 2018 Web Exclusive
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Terminal is built entirely on atmosphere and style and, at times, impressively so. Director Vaugh Stein - a long-time assistant director - makes his feature debut, working from his original script, and attempts to flex his bona fides in every frame of his movie. Terminal is a commendable calling card of what the new director can visually do. Too bad it didn’t have more going on at its core.

Unfortunately, Stein's flair for style outweighs his thirst for substance. It's hard to write about Terminal because the movie is an empty vehicle heading towards its final act. It's a story comprised of reveals and gotchas, a third act in search of its first two. In its simplest description, Terminal follows a variety of questionable characters: Bill (Simon Pegg), a dying teacher, a mysterious janitor (Mike Myers), a pair of hitmen (Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons) and Annie (Margot Robbie), who seems to appear in all of these characters' lives for whatever reason.

Not much more can be said about Terminal because to give any in-depth backstory to these characters that float in-and-out of frame would give away all the secrets the movie works up to. Revelations in the final act feel contrived because nothing that came before it gives any clue to this movie adding up.

At only 90 minutes, Terminal feels long and meandering, suggesting perhaps it could have worked better as a short. The neon-soaked scenery is undoubtedly intoxicating but there just isn't enough meat on the bones to ever get lost in the hollow underbelly of the film's setting. 

Author rating: 4/10

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