Terminal (2018)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 7/28/18
Producer: Margot Robbie
Cast: Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Mike Myers, Dexter Fletcher, Max Irons

A miserable man named Bill (Simon Pegg) hangs out at a train station contemplating suicide when a janitor (Mike Myers) convinces him to visit the 24-hour End Of The Line Café instead. There, he meets a delightfully dark and twisted waitress named Annie (Margot Robbie) and they engage in a deep philosophical discussion about death. At the same time (or maybe not), a couple of idiot assassins take on a high profile job from the mysterious Mr. Franklyn, and one of them (Max Irons) becomes romantically involved with Annie. It turns out that the unassuming and impossibly beautiful waitress has a complex agenda of her own and is setting everyone up for a fall.

"Terminal" is frustrating because it feels like there's half of a good movie in it struggling to break free. It was shot in Budapest, and the enormous industrial sets are breathtaking to behold. The cinematography is stunning and creates a wonderfully oppressive neo-noir world that's saturated with neon light and thick haze. It's a beautiful film to watch, and in many ways the atmosphere reminds me of "Hotel Artemis" (2018). Simon Pegg is delightful as a sad sack loser and Margot Robbie's femme fatale is nothing short of amazing (although she suffers from hideous makeup throughout). Unfortunately, the dialog is terrible and the film's numerous attempts at humor are embarrassingly awful. Annie's motivation and intricate endgame keep you guessing throughout the entire story, but the ridiculous and overly protracted denouement goes completely off the rails and asks way too much of the audience, which spoils everything. I realize that it's all fantasy and make-believe, but the logistics are simply too much for a rational mind to comprehend and reconcile. Once the veil is lifted, the illusion falls apart and leaves you with more questions than answers. I feel that if the movie had stuck to the Simon Pegg story line and gotten rid of the assassins story line, it would have been much stronger and more cohesive. As it is, the film tries to do too much and becomes a victim of its own cleverness and overreaching aspirations. Overall, it's a moderately entertaining psychological thriller that's delicately held together by Margot Robbie's captivating presence along with some pretty slick art direction.