Terminal isn't a film for everyone. Its a modern film noir full of dark shadows a pulpy neon lights. This is a classic revenge story that is actually quite hard to sum up with out giving up key elements. All of the character eventually wind up at a certain diner and all characters have some kind of run in with a particular film fatale. Margot Robbie plays a hitman, or a is it awaitress or maybe its a stripper all in the same film. Simeon Peg is a teacher looking for a very special bus ride and Mike Meyers plays a whistling janitor. Basically in the film, two hit men (Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons) are working for the mysterious Mr. Franklin, who puts out contracts anonymously via voice-modulated phone calls. Franklin has instructed the men to camp out in a hotel room for days, waiting to shoot someone who will appear in a room across the street. They get testy with each other during the wait, but they have other problems they're not aware of quite yet: you see the film opened with Annie, our hitman/waitress/stripper, promising Mr. F that she'd kill all his go-to hit men so he'd have no choice but to hire her instead.
For fans of pure mystery or thriller, I feel the film will leave you feeling as if the final twist was just to campy, maybe to gory. Many of the key plot points are saved for the end of the film, leaving viewers in the dark to the very last frame. In my opinion it isn't that hard to shock an audience when they are not given any clues as to what is really going on. However, if one looks at the film through the eyes of a horror fan, the film becomes something else..an interesting take on the revenge/horror genera. The end of the film is well, it gets a bit lost in Alice in Wonderland allegories and strange horror elements that weren't in the first part of the film. That said I found the film an enjoyable ride with quite the gruesome pay off. The acting, is obviously on point and the direction by Vaughn Stein, well done for a first film. Stein has obviously spent some time watching films like Kiss Me Deadly, getting the whole lightning and angles necessary for a proper noir film just right.
Yes, the film is uneven, but what a wonder to watch. This is an art piece and the story is secondary to the back drops and lighting and beautiful camera work. There is an air of Sin City and you feel like crime could happen blatantly on the street in this film and no one would stop to take notice. The film has a coolness to it's editing using.that noir style of showcasing key elements and then throwing out the odd wide angle. For fans of this stylized genera this will be a delight to watch. The film is, unfortunately slow at times, building up to the insanity of the final act. Its far from a perfect film, but its a good watch for a Friday evening curled up on the couch. I give the film three stars. Terminal is now available streaming on various formats.