Plot: Inside a control room with access to a wealth camera feeds that display all kinds of locations and situations, sits Mr. Franklyn. He is well known to say the least, an infamous shadow that has his hand on just about all the criminal activities around him, yet no one knows who he is. Although he is not the kind of man to toy with, a young woman named Annie (Margot Robbie) has chosen to get his attention with a bold move, asking to be in charge of his assassination needs. As he has two capable assassins as it stands, she offers to make his decision an easier one and plans to kill the killers, which would then make her the clear choice. Mr. Franklyn finds the situation interesting, so soon Annie is off to do battle and see which of the assassins is the best of the best. But who will emerge as the sole survivor and even when the dust has settled, will anyone discover who Mr. Franklyn is and what his real intentions are?
Entertainment Value: Terminal is an interesting movie, one that puts the emphasis on style over substance and is likely to confuse or frustrate a lot of viewers, but I think it has a lot of positives. The narrative is simple at first glace, as one assassin tries to take out and replace her rivals, but the story never keeps things that simple and veers into all kinds of odd, sometimes surreal flourishes. So if you’re someone who values a straight ahead, competent narrative, Terminal will not fill that need, but I also feel there is some method to the madness here. The movie veers into tangential threads often, most of which don’t bolster the narrative and sometimes even weaken it, but these threads also have some of the most memorable moments. This ranges from stylish, visually dynamic sequences to off the wall, head scratching moments, but to me, these side threads are interesting, if nothing else. I do think the movie is disjointed and inconsistent though, so I can see where the criticisms come from. But for me, while Terminal has plenty of issues, I love the visuals, production design elements, and oddball overall presence, so I think it is worth a look.
The movie’s visuals and atmosphere are likely the bright spots, but I think the main draw for most viewers will be Terminal’s cast. Margot Robbie is white hot in this one and turns in a manic, over the top performance that has shades of her Harley Quinn work, but tuned well to the material. I know some have found her performance to be strange or too over the top, but I thought it was fun to watch. The movie also features Mike Myers’ return to film after a hiatus and while the role is different than his usual routine, he shows no signs of rust here. He pulls some humorous faces and overacts, but is scaled back for the most part and given the film’s oddball nature, those bursts of overacting aren’t a concern. Simon Pegg also has a prominent role and does well, while Nick Moran, Katarina Cas, and Dexter Fletcher help round out the cast. Even if you don’t fall in love with Terminal, it does have some creative, interesting touches and for the visuals alone earns some points.