An actor on the up, another who can do little wrong, some British actors of note, an American who hasn’t been around for a while and a director with his first-time feature, we give you, Terminal.
She is trying to become the go-to person for killer contracts for the mysterious Mr. Franklyn, but first she must convince him she’s the best.
To do this she must dispose of Vince, Dexter Fletcher (Eat Locals, Cockneys vs. Zombies), and his assistant Alfred, Max Irons (Dorian Gray, The Host), who appear to be the only other hitmen in this strange place known only as Terminal, which seems to consist of a terminal, café and strip club.
Annie decides the best way to take-out her rivals is to set them against each other, so that’s exactly what she does, occasionally helped by a whistling cleaner at the station, Mike Myers (Shrek, Austin Powers).
A couple of asides to this see the excellent Simon Pegg (Ready Player One, Star Trek: Beyond) as a dying English Teacher and Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter) and Thomas Turgoose (This Is England (TV), Kingsman: The Golden Circle) as really bad muggers in the terminal.
But nearly everyone we’re introduced to has another side, be that a past they’d rather not have, not much of a future to speak of, or literally another side. Who is double crossing who?
Vaughn Stein is the writer and director of Terminal and this is his first stand alone feature. Previously he’s been second unit director on things like; Dark Knight, World War Z, Beauty And The Beast and more.
Terminal is very different. Filmed, as near as makes no difference, in one, open plan, aircraft style hangar of a location. It’s all neon-soaked tubes, lights that glare straight at the camera and dark, smoky rooms (without the smoke generally).
It’s nothing we haven’t seen before and, sadly for Stein, it’s something we’ve seen done better. Despite a short-these-days runtime of 1h 30mins, Terminal feels much longer.
The reason could be that it drags its heels over plot points and, without thinking, it’s incredibly obvious who’s behind it all, what’s going to happen and who will double-cross who.
When Terminal is at its best is when Robbie and Pegg are on screen together. Their storyline, thrown in to show what may have sent this woman nuts, in case you were wondering, is well played out by the two stars and they pop and shine off each other in glorious neon.
The scene when the two are sat alone in a booth in the café, talking about ways Pegg might end his life and put him out of his misery from this mystery illness which is trying to do it for him, is brilliantly done and acted.
Where its less successful are in areas like Lewis and Turgoose’s characters who are funny first time round, but quickly seem pointless as they don’t go anywhere, figuratively and literally.
Fletcher’s character is an overused trope of gangster/hitman and one I’m sure he’s played himself a thousand times before and the cutting back and forth in time to illustrate points becomes unnecessary because: we get it already!
Terminal has stars aplenty, music by stalwart Rupert Gregson-William, original songs by Newton Faulkner and is produced by Robbie. It has its moments, it really does, funny moments, well-shot moments, well-acted moments, sadly they are too few and far between to elevate Terminal to where we all expected it to be.