Ye gods, where to start with Vaughn Stein’s Terminal? Among other things, it’s Margot Robbie’s follow-up as a producer to I, Tonya — though it doesn’t share that film’s politics or social commentary — and Terminal’s tagline of “Revenge Never Looked So Good” is so tacky it might as well be “You Can Start Jerking It to Her Again Without Feeling Guilty.” Taking place in an unnamed city so aggressively art-directed it proves you can have too much neon, Terminal’s interweaving stories and timelines mostly center on a waitress named Annie (Robbie) who seems to be living a double, if not triple, life.
Unfortunately, the most interesting subplot in this wildly overplotted film — a two-hander with Annie and an English professor (Simon Pegg) dying of cancer — resolves itself by the end of the second act. Terminal also harkens back to that most bleak period in indie film history, the wave of Tarantino-wannabe films in the late ’90s. Seriously though, a hitman named Vince wears the iconic Pulp Fiction suit and there’s a shot of him and his partner from inside a trunk and Robbie wears a Mia Wallace wig in one scene and there’s a burst of third-act torture porn and is it 2018 yet? Terminal is a hot mess, heavy on the “mess.”
Opens Friday at the AMC Van Ness 14.