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'Terminal' Movie Review: Come Back, 'Suicide Squad,' All Is Forgiven

By Rolling Stone Staff / Published on Friday, 11 May 2018 09:24 AM / Comments Off on 'Terminal' Movie Review: Come Back, 'Suicide Squad,' All Is Forgiven / 11 views

Yes, you read that correctly: zero stars. When talented people create one of the worst movies ever made, you have to ask: What the hell happened? Terminal is a case in point. Here’s another question: How did debuting filmmaker Vaughn Stein ever persuade Margot Robbie, just off her Oscar-nominated triumph in I, Tonya, to star in a script that plays like something Quentin Tarantino upchucked after watching Blade Runner while reading Alice in Wonderland and ingesting too many hallucinogens?

Set in an anonymous city that looks and feels like the soundstage it is, Terminal introduces us to Annie (Robbie), a waitress at a railway diner called End of the Line. If you think that sounds pretentious, just you wait. Annie moonlights as a stripper, as well as anything else that will entrap the men who fall into her web. Simon Pegg shows up as a suicidal professor looking for a train to throw himself under. (We sympathize.) And did we mention Mike Myers shows up as a station janitor who likes whistling “Danny Boy.” Myers came out of a seven-year film hiatus for this?! No, no, no.

The plot, such as it is, involves the unseen boss-man who puts hits out on people. His two current assassins of choice are Vince (Dexter Fletcher) and Alfred (Max Irons), who banter like John Travolta and Samuel J. Jackson in Pulp Fiction but without a semblance of their style and wit. Though precious little achieves clarity in this purported film noir, it won’t be hard to figure that Annie is seducing the doltish Alfred for a reason. Rewatch The Usual Suspects is you want clues. Or seriously, watch anything but this misbegotten attempt to pass two hours by stealing from other, better filmmakers. 

As one of the producers, Robbie deserves credit for taking a chance on new talent. But Stein, an assistant director on World War Z and TV’s Elementary, has created a lifeless vacuum of a movie. There isn’t a single spark of originality in this whole pointless exercise in neon-lit nilhilism. After 90 excruciating minutes, you may want to join Pegg’s character in wanting to end it all – or at least wanting it all to bloody fucking end.

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