Terminal (2018 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Vaughn Stein|
|Written by||Vaughn Stein|
Terminal is a 2018 neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Vaughn Stein. The film stars Margot Robbie alongside an ensemble cast, featuring Simon Pegg, Dexter Fletcher, Max Irons, and Mike Myers. The plot follows the intertwining lives of two assassins, a fatally-ill teacher, a janitor and a waitress, all of whom become part of an evil mastermind's murderous plan.
Terminal was released in the United States on 11 May 2018, by RLJE Films. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on 26 June 2018 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of the American Dreams Strand. It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 6 July 2018 by Arrow Films. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticised the plot, narrative, pacing and direction, though many praised Robbie's performance and the visual style.
In the dark heart of a sprawling and anonymous city, two assassins carry out a sinister mission, a teacher battles a fatal illness, an enigmatic janitor and a curious waitress lead 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 who is hell-bent on revenge.
- Margot Robbie as Annie/Bonnie
- Simon Pegg as Bill
- Dexter Fletcher as Vince
- Mike Myers as Clinton/Mr. Franklin
- Max Irons as Alfred
- Katarina Čas as Chloe Merryweather
- Nick Moran as Illing
- Jourdan Dunn as Conejo
- Matthew Lewis as Lenny
- Thomas Turgoose as Raymond
- Jay Simpson as Danny
- Ben Griffin as Toby
- Robert Goodman as Priest
- Paul Reynolds as Doctor
On 12 February 2016, it was announced that Margot Robbie would headline and produce a "noir thriller" written and directed by Vaughn Stein, through her production company Luckychap Entertainment. Highland Film Group would be handling finance and introducing the project to international buyers in Berlin. Creative Artists Agency would handle domestic distribution sales in the United States. David Barron of Beagle Pug Films was also attached to the project as a producer. On 24 May 2016, Simon Pegg, Mike Myers, Max Irons and Dexter Fletcher joined the cast alongside Robbie.
Principal photography on the film began in May 2016 in Budapest, Hungary and lasted over the course of 27 nights. By September 2016, post production was near completion and a rough cut was screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival for potential international buyers.
Highland Film Group attended the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for selling distribution rights for the film. On 24 January 2018, RLJE Films acquired distribution rights in the United States. Initially, in September 2016, Icon Film Distribution acquired distribution rights for the United Kingdom and Ireland. However, in February 2018, Arrow Films overtook distribution rights.
Terminal received a limited theatrical release and was simultaneously released on Digital HD and through video on demand in the United States on 11 May 2018 by RLJE Films.. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on 26 June 2018 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of the American Dreams Strand. It was released theatrically in limited theatres in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 6 July 2018 by Arrow Films. On 9 September 2016, the first official image of the film was released at the Toronto International Film Festival, featuring Robbie in character. On 21 March 2018, a teaser trailer for the film was released, followed by a full-length trailer released on 29 March. In the United Kingdom, an official trailer was released on 25 May 2018 by Arrow Films. The film was released "unrated" in the United States by the Motion Picture Association of America. In the United Kingdom, it received a 15 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification for "strong language, violence, suicide references, threat". In Ireland, the film was given a 16 certificate by the Irish Film Classification Office for "strong violence, injury and language, and suicide theme".
The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the United States on 26 June 2018 by RLJ Entertainment. It is set to be released on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On Demand in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 6 August 2018 by Arrow Video.
Terminal received generally negative reviews from critics, with many criticising the plot, pacing, direction and narrative, though Robbie's performance and the film's visual style and production values received praise. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 20% based on 60 reviews, and an average rating of 4.2 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Worth seeking out for only the most hardcore of Margot Robbie completists, Terminal lives down to the medical definition of its title in dreadfully derivative fashion." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 27 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Rolling Stone's Peter Travers heavily panned the film, awarding zero stars, stating "The title of this wretched Tarantino-meets-Blade-Runner noir rip-off doubles as a diagnosis". Rex Reed of the New York Observer also awarded zero stars, calling the film a "a turgid, pretentious, and incomprehensible existential joke." David Edelstein of Vulture gave a negative review, criticising the plot's focus, saying "since the film doesn’t establish a baseline of reality, it’s hard to pick out a premise." David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a D writing, "Vaughn Stein's Terminal takes a mess of dead tropes and Frankensteins them together into an crime saga that’s in desperate need of brains. And a soul. And a story." Jacob Knight of Birth.Movies.Death. heavily criticised Stein's direction and wrote, "no amount of pretty pictures could save a script this abysmally written. Stein has penned scene after scene after scene of nasty people talking circles around one another, no character defined by anything beyond their comic book-ready aesthetic." Jeffrey M. Anderson of The San Francisco Examiner awarded the film two and a half stars out of four, describing the film as "mediocre", though praising Robbie's performance writing, "Robbie is a bright one, and even though “Terminal” isn’t much, it offers a chance to watch her shine." Clint Worthington of Consequence of Sound heavily criticised Stein's direction, calling the film a "waste of time" and "An entirely empty exercise in dated, exhausting hyper-stylized filmmaking."
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, awarding three out of four stars, writing, "The final 15 minutes or so of Terminal are flat-out nutso. One can imagine Robbie, Myers et al., breaking into laughter after hearing "Cut!" — not out of disrespect for the material, but out of sheer giddiness for having the opportunity to try something so audacious. Even when it doesn’t work, “Terminal” is a film with never a dull moment." Kenneth Seward Jr. of IGN gave a mostly positive review, scoring the film a 7.5 out of 10, indicating it is "Good", stating, "Terminal is an interesting revenge story that mostly works. There are a few missteps, namely a few wasted characters and a straight forward plot made needlessly complicated. Still, Vaughn Stein should be pleased with what’s here." Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave a highly positive review, awarding three and a half out of four stars, praising the film's visual style, noting, "Every moment of "Terminal" engages the eye, and — unexpectedly — the mind. Even the makeup is arresting — the arterial red of Annie's lipstick is hypnotic."
James Berardinelli of Reelviews gave a mixed review, awarding the film two and a half stars out of four, writing "At its best, Terminal is a tasty, tangy parfait – a kaleidoscope of neon-tinged visuals and a twisty storyline with a tortured time line." However, he criticised the film's ending as "generic" and "anticlimactic". John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter gave a mostly negative review criticising Stein's direction, writing, "An airless debut that says much about its writer-director's cultural diet and little about anything else in the world, Vaughn Stein's Terminal blends tropes from several sorts of crime flicks into a soundstagey affair that's more brittle than hard-boiled." Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times also gave a negative review, calling the film a "a flashy, hyperstylized bore." Shaun Munro of Flickering Myth gave a mostly positive review stating, "It’s messy and navel-gazingly ostentatious, but fitfully entertaining thanks largely to a scene-stealing, against-type performance from Simon Pegg."
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