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Terminal

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
17 May 2018
Rating
NC16 Violence and Coarse Language
暴力画面及粗俗语言
Runtime
95 mins
Language
English - subtitles to be advised
Genre
Thriller
Director
Vaughn Stein
Cast
Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Dexter Fletcher, Max Irons, Mike Myers
Synopsis
In the dark heart of a sprawling, anonymous city, TERMINAL follows 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.
Reviews
By Say Peng  16 May 2018
Terminal is a neo-noir thriller by first-time director Vaughn Stein and stars Oscar-nominated “I, Tonya” lead Margot Robbie, who also co-produced the film, along with “Hot Fuzz” star Simon Pegg and “Austin Powers” star Mike Myers.
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Terminal is a neo-noir thriller by first-time director Vaughn Stein and stars Oscar-nominated “I, Tonya” lead Margot Robbie, who also co-produced the film, along with “Hot Fuzz” star Simon Pegg and “Austin Powers” star Mike Myers.

Set in an anonymous neon-drenched city, Robbie plays Annie, whom we first meet in a chiaroscuro-lit confession booth as she tries to convince an unknown person to hire her as a contract killer.

Annie also works as a waitress at a dilapidated railway diner called End of the Line, where she meets Bill (Simon Pegg), a terminally ill and suicidal school teacher, whom she tries to convince to kill himself in scene after scene of dialogue that waxes philosophical on life and death, that aspires to be witty, and is witty at points, but winds up being tedious.

She’s also somehow a stripper at the White Rabbit Club. And she also manages to wedge herself into the company of two hitman, the elder Vince (Dexter Fletcher) and his apprentice Alfred (Max Irons), in whom she develops a romantic interest.

For three quarters of the film, seemingly nothing connects the various story threads. The film tempts and promises to lead to a big revelation that will reward our patience and make sense of what has been pretty nonsensical. But when the big reveal comes, it sorely disappoints. Without giving away the revelation, Annie basically has gone to a lot of trouble to take revenge on certain people because of abuses in her past.

The film is essentially a revenge story, upon which is layered the noir and buddy film elements that Stein loves so much. But Stein fails to locate the emotional gravity at the heart of a revenge story. Despite Stein’s intention to make her simultaneously funny and demented in the Harley Quinn mould, Annie comes across as a deranged and blood-lusting femme fatale with no care for the world. The budding romance between Annie and Alfred, perhaps the only upbeat thing in this nihilistic outfit, ends up with Annie mercilessly shooting him in the head despite him having not done anything wrong by her. (She kills several others too.) Thus, any sort of empathy the audience has for her would have, by the end of the film, evaporated dry.

Wearing his influences too proudly and naively on his sleeve, the film pillages Tarantino and half a dozen other films and filmmakers, from Double Indemnity to Blade Runner to The Usual Suspects to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and The Neon Demon to Wong Kar-wai and a hodgepodge of other cultural references (predominantly, Alice in Wonderland), but what it ultimately lacks is a sensible story and relatable characters.
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