Terminal (2018) – Film Review
by Roger Crow
A few years before making some hit and miss superhero films, director Zack Snyder made Sucker Punch, a visually stunning fantasy adventure. It looked phenomenal, the production design was excellent, and the cast was great, but it fell wide of the mark due to a lacklustre script.
Of course that didn’t stop him going on to make Man of Steel, (the woeful) Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice, and a good chunk of the so-so Justice League. Some films, like Sucker Punch, are essentially show reels for good directors who just want to get their work out there, but are obviously hampered by middling dialogue.
Terminal, starring Margot Robbie and Simon Pegg, is also a visually ravishing spectacle that grabs you from the opening frames and doesn’t let go until the end. Alas, while Robbie and Pegg are excellent as always, we also have to put up with Dexter Fletcher dropping F bombs every 30 seconds as one of the most annoying hitmen ever committed to celluloid.
Robbie plays a coffee shop waitress at an all night café. Pegg is the chain-smoking teacher she crosses paths with. Intercut with their scenes of philosophy and thoughts on life and suicide are tiresome moments with Fletcher and hunky fellow hitman Max Irons.
Most bizarrely of all is Mike Myers as a comedic night porter, looking like he wandered onto the set from a funnier film and was too polite to ask for directions back to his own movie.
Writer/director Vaughn Stein clearly has a great team behind him. It’s one of the best looking films you’ll see all year, and every time she’s on screen, producer/star Robbie steals the show. There are times when it feels her Harley Quinn character from Suicide Squad has rocked up in her own spin-off movie, but despite her stunning looks and manic quirks, narratively the film is a mess until the finale when all becomes clear with some wince-inducing moments also reminiscent of Sucker Punch.
This is a half hour film padded to an excruciating 95 minutes, and a word of warning. One glimpse at the cast credits on IMDb or Wikipedia will give away a couple of major plot spoilers, so probably best avoid.
I’ve no doubt Margot and Vaughan could make an incredible film together. A shame this isn’t it.