Now playing in select theaters and On Demand is one of the most uneven movies of 2018, Terminal. With a talented cast and a stylized look, it appeared that Terminal was going to be one of the most intriguing movies of the year, but the patchy film failed to deliver. This marks the feature-length debut for writer-director Vaughn Stein, and like she did in the critically acclaimed I, Tonya, Robbie serves as the producer. The film co-stars Simon Pegg, Mike Myers, and Dexter Fletcher.
The plot is described simple enough; a fateful night intertwines the lives of two assassins, an ailing teacher, an eccentric waitress, and a mysterious janitor. But if only it were that simple. Even with the runtime of 90 minutes, Terminal starts to overstay its welcome about 30 minutes in.
There are some striking visuals for sure, and Margot is often entertaining (assuming you find violence and the actor parading in a variety of outfits entertaining), but those mechanisms don’t make up for the unnecessary shuffled syntax of this film. Movies that are nonlinear can be a blast, like Pulp Fiction and Memento, but where it made sense in those films to present the story in that style, the rearranged composition of Terminal feels forced and out of place. Similarly, the story is way too complicated, and while it’s all not that confusing, it does feel forced.
And then there’s the curious case of Mike Myers. Myers portrays the enigmatic janitor, who apparently is a great deal older than the actor (like decades). Myers donning makeup to have him appear as a senior will merely remind viewers of the characters he portrayed in the Austin Powers movies, and the janitor having a British accent only adds to that.
While this does provide some much-needed laughter, in a film where the one-liners often fall flat, it just adds to the silliness of the whole thing. It could be argued that a younger actor was needed to portray the elderly character, but casting Myers is questionable; you’ll likely be completing each sentence he says with, “groovy baby, yeah!”
The story finally creeps to a finale, and the audience is taken to exposition city. Robbie explains every minute detail of all the convoluted subplots. There are a few twists, some you are likely to see coming, and the others you will likely not care about. One twist, in particular, is likely to make you laugh out loud, but that’s probably not what the filmmakers were looking to do. If this were more organized, the twists would have really been effective.
Because of an overly convoluted story, the needless jumbled arrangement, and questionable casting, Terminal is one of the most disappointing movies of 2018.