A Strong Mess: Our Review of ‘Terminal’ on Blu-Ray

Posted in Blu-Ray/DVD, Movies by - July 05, 2018
A Strong Mess: Our Review of ‘Terminal’ on Blu-Ray

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Sometimes it’s just important to embrace the absurdity of things and just go along for the ride…

With Terminal we get dropped straight into a super stylistic tale of revenge that tends to drift on more than a few kaleidoscopic tangents throughout the narrative but it will never ever be accused of being boring either.

In the dark heart of a sprawling, anonymous city, Terminal takes us on the twisting tales of two assassins carrying out a sinister mission, a teacher battling a fatal illness, an enigmatic janitor and a curious waitress leading a dangerous double life. Murderous consequences unravel in the dead of night as their lives all intertwine at the hands of a mysterious criminal mastermind hell-bent on revenge.

Having cut his teeth in the business as a second/third unit director, writer/director Vaughn Stein crafts a messy and occasionally maddening and mildly dystopian revenge thriller Terminal that plays like a piece of film noir from the 1940’s wrapped up in a pastiche of day-glow and grime that really only works thanks to an unhinged and very capable leading performance.

There’s little doubt that Vaughn Stein can craft an incredibly strong visual as the look of the film feels lifted from a myriad of things that has come before it to make something that while admittedly derivative is also something that you don’t want to look away from.  The narrative has a few too many twists and loops in it at times which could easily frustrate the less initiated viewer, but this is by clear design as Stein wants us as an audience to pull something from the neon muck that he is spewing.  It doesn’t always work, but there are some genuinely brave flashes of filmmaking in this movie and it draws you deeper into this well-intentioned and kind of fascinating mess of a picture that admittedly lacks some genuine soul but makes up for it in genuine scene chewing star power.

Margot Robbie (who also serves as a producer on this one to no surprise) is showing that she isn’t afraid to take some bold leaps into parts that she knows she can flat out own.  Playing her character Annie like a somewhat subdued Harley Quinn, it’s refreshing to see that she’s not afraid to not only get blissfully dark with some of her performances but allow her piercing eyes to sink deep into our very souls.  We know very early on that her character is nuts, but she’s easily the most sympathetic as well and that’s what makes Robbie such a special talent as someone who is not only willing but able to lay it on the line in a multilayered and multi-emotion performance.  The supporting players are pretty much exactly that as Simon Pegg role allows her character some moments of intellectual banter while Max Irons and Dexter Fletcher are there to be navigated anywhere her character wants them to be and Mike Myers gets domineered by Robbie’s character.  She works it all on multiple levels and while it’s an admittedly messy role to play, Robbie gets everything she can out of the page and we simply can’t look away.

Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are top notch as expected and the special features include some behind the scenes looks at the making of the film.

At the end of the day, Terminal isn’t going to be for everyone looking for a slice of distraction for 95 or so minutes…HOWEVER there’s a pulpy mash of revenge in their for people who like their movies to occasionally be flashy but rough around the edges at the exact same time.

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This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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