Blu-ray Review: Terminal - (2018)

By , Contributor
Stick with the new direct-to-video Terminal to the very end and I promise you—your head will be spinning. There are twists so unpredictable during the concluding act of writer-director Vaughn Stein's debut feature that you may want to start it again from the very beginning as soon as it ends.

Unfortunately, this neo-noir is an utter slog to get through during its first two acts. Confusing, visually garish, and barely coherent from a storytelling perspective, Terminal brings to mind (at least stylistically) a lesser version of Terry Gilliam's terrible The Zero Theorem. But Terminal's above-the-title cast will absolutely rope in looky-loo after looky-loo: Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, and the ever-scarce Mike Myers. Robbie stars as a waitress who appears to be leading a double life, of sorts.

Pegg is former school teacher Bill, forced into early retirement by an initially unnamed bronchial condition that's hastening his demise. He strikes up a prickly relationship with Robbie's waitress. And Meyers, made up to look a lot like his Tommy Maitland Gong Show character, plays a subway janitor who may or may not have a deeper role in these people's lives.

Again, Terminal is a poorly-crafted feature film. It will go down as a highlight in none of its leading stars filmographies. The plot defies easy summary, because it is difficult to make heads or tails of as it unfolds. Yet director Stein, possibly bored with his mousetrap plot contraption, throws in everything but the kitchen sink with a go-for-broke finally that just about redeems the whole enterprise. Surreal, unsettling, unpleasant in many ways, and incoherent for much of its running time, Terminal still manages to be worth a look for those with a taste for the truly bizarre.

Image Entertainment's Terminal Blu-ray, which boasts superb A/V specs (the inventive sound design is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1), throws in a series of three production featurettes for those looking to delve a little deeper into Vaughn Stein's loopy world.

Terminal BD.jpg

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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