Terminal, written and directed by, Vaughn Stein, allures you in with its stylish cinematography, its dialogue that glides throughout scenes and its eclectic assortment of characters. But soon, when all the glamour begins to ware-off and you look ever so slightly beneath the surface, you find a film without much depth and without much meaning. Now, the question is: despite the lack of depth and the lack of meaning, is there still a film in there worth watching? Well, let’s make our way on into my review and find out.
In Terminal, an assortment of nefarious individuals with dangerous secrets occupy a rundown train station and its surrounding area. Warring assassins, a mysterious crime lord, a prostitute leading a double life, and a suicidal English teacher all play a part in a plot that will see few of them left alive at the end. But Why?
The aspect of Terminal that will immediately catch your eye is the moody, neon lit cinematography. The work by the Christopher Ross (the film’s director of photography) does a fair bit of the leg work in the beginning to entice you in and cause you to want to fall deeper down the rabbit hole into Terminal’s offerings.
The distinctive, flashy style of the film is certainly something that never leaves it, and first-time director, Vaughn Stein, assembled a talented crew to bring his nihilistic neon future to life. Above and beyond everything else, it is your eyes that will receive the most stimulation when viewing Terminal. And this also boasts Christopher Ross’ most memorable work in some time – work that you’ll never tier of enjoying.
I reiterate the point of the visual aesthetic of the film never losing you because the same perhaps can’t be said for the rest of the film. If you’re someone looking for a film that’s entertaining enough that it passes the time for 95-minutes and has a reasonably engaging plot and a host of characters whose evil ways are something to delight in, then Terminal is a film that will fill those wants… but, if you’re hoping for something with a little bit more substance (or any) then you might struggle with this one.
You see, below all the flickering neon lights and the snappy dialogue, lies a predictable film that despite only being 95-minutes in length, does feel like it’s starting to drag as it goes on – especially in the final few scenes, which turn into heavy-handed exposition that sucks all of the possible mystery out of the film.
Though the primary contributor to the film feeling like it’s struggling to maintain its momentum is its plot which is thin on substance and for the most part lacks any noticeable driving force. There is certainly a plot, but it’s the bare minimum, and again, only those looking for something light and unobtrusive to snack on will find it satisfying.
Within that plot are some characters that are fun to watch. Vaughn Stein assembled a talented cast for his film and they all do a great job of emboldening their characters with performances that are magnetic – Margot Robbie being the standout, despite her wonky accent that at times disappears and reappears within the very same scene.
Overall though, the actors on hand all do a good job of building their characters out into more than what they are. There’s a particular side plot involving Margot Robbie and Simon Pegg’s characters that allows for some great back-and-forth between the two and also a scene around a large pit that ended up being my favourite to watch.
And it’s here that I find myself back at the main point that I’ve been circling throughout this uncharacteristically short review (for me) and that is that Terminal as a film and as a watching experience is… fine. I didn’t find myself bored by it, but I also didn’t find myself that enamoured with it either. It was a serviceable film that I’m content having watched.
I suppose I’ll recommend, Terminal. It isn’t a film I would say you need to rush to see, but with it being readily available on Amazon Prime (where I watched it) it’s one you can stick on if you’re looking for an inoffensive film to fill the time. If you do find yourself watching Terminal, I hope you find some enjoyment in it.
I’m really interested to know what you thought of both Terminal as a film and my review of it, so if you find the time, please consider leaving a comment down below. Also, if you liked what you read, I hope you’ll consider following both/either my blog and my Twitter – @GavinsRamblings – and help me to grow this little blog into something more. But I’ll stop taking up you’re time and finish up by offering you my thanks for clicking on my review and reading it. Thank you and have a great day!