Wasting talent is much more reprehensible than the actual absence of talent, because the latter is unfixable. Seeing your favourite soccer player miss an easy shot, your favourite writer disappoint with his latest book or even your favourite, and very talented, actress in a disaster of a movie is a shame, just an utter shame.
Terminal focuses on a couple of key characters crossing paths with waitress/stripper/killer Annie (Margot Robbie): a teacher battling a terminal illness, two assassins carrying out a new job for a mysterious master, and a crippled night shift train station janitor with a major secret. The reason these characters cross paths is left as a mystery only to be revealed at the end.
The film’s idea is, in itself, very promising combining key elements such as mystery, sophistication, and moving away from the traditional. Do you feel a “however” coming on? Yes, right on cue. However, the film butchers all the potential it has with incomprehensible plot structure, a predictable and almost cliché script, and unnecessarily prolonged scenes.
The film starts with a very intriguing intro that draws the attention of the audience and prepares them for a thrilling experience to come. But it doesn’t come. Instead, until almost half way through the film, the audience has no clue who these characters are, what they are doing here, and what the movie is about. There isn’t a thin line between mystery and incomprehensibility; there is a giant concrete wall and Terminal charges right through it leaving a mess-shaped hole behind it.
The idea behind the film is original, but the script is just lazy with multiple clichés and such predictable dialogue that the audience was able to guess the characters’ next words. Why watch a movie when you know what is next, right? Moreover, The film is a total of 95 minutes and does not begin to make any sense, if at all, past the midway mark.
The only reason audiences stayed in the theatre is probably the undeniable talent of Margot Robbie, but even a talent as radiating as hers could not save this film. Robbie excels at playing the demented, dark killer and this role fits right into her forte. Her performance was captivating and intriguing, which is the worst thing about this film; the complete waste of her talent. The supporting cast members also performed brilliantly with acting being one of only two of the film’s strong suits.
The second being the shooting; the cinematography and the framing are very noticeably remarkable, creating an atmosphere which matches a reference to Alice in Wonderland outlined by the film. The neon lit shots are frame worthy, again such a shame.
Terminal will disappoint but only because what it could have been, i.e. an unforgettable great film. Instead, it is another one in the “could have been” pile.