The Terminal List centres around James Reece (Chris Pratt), one of a team of marines who are tasked with going on a covert mission, Odin Sword, to seek out intel on an arms dealer’s chemical weapons programme.
However, things go South very early on, and almost all of his team end up brown bread, but for Reece and anyone left alive, can they find answers about what happened? Well, the basic premise states that he’s the sole survivor, so there’s someone out there who’s trying to clean house, and he’s determined to find out who caused it. Helping him seek justice are hippy friend Ben Edwards (Taylor Kitsch) and journalist Katie Buranek (Constance Wu).
But then there’s an issue of whether he has recollections of certain events that differ with everyone else. Has he got some strange mental imbalance going on in his head – which is making him think certain events have taken place, or is it just a rather basic Hollywood-style set-up going on?
When I first read the plot for this series, a Navy SEAL setup movie sounded like the opening scene to Michael Bay’s 1996 thriller, The Rock, starring Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery. Unfortunately, the opening firefight feels all disjointed and random. As they’re all getting bumped off one by one, there’s no sense of coherency to it. Bad fight direction, I guess.
There’s also elements which reminded me of the Tim Robbins 1990 drama, Jacob’s Ladder, in which he plays a Vietnam veteran, and as time passes after their return, his fellow veterans are dying one by one, and you have to figure out if it’s all accidental, or foul play is afoot. Well, that film is the biggest mindfuck I’ve ever seen and I certainly couldn’t spoil anything that’s so difficult to comprehend.
However, for The Terminal List, while I’ll give no spoilers, obviously, for me and the two episodes I saw (totalling around two hours), things played out with no alarms and no surprises. Complex plotting, this did not have.
Chris Pratt is fine with comedic roles such as playing Starlord in the Avengers movies, and when the acting involves ‘walking around with his top off’, but ‘anguished marine’? He doesn’t really cut it.
It’s also got lazy cliches, such as how it’s easy to bribe certain officials in order to further the plot: Shoving in a couple of high-value dollar bills in order to get someone to risk their life-long career? That bullcrap isn’t going to work in any real-world situation.
If you know the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series, and are one of the strange individuals that seem to enjoy the films that came after Clear and Present Danger, when they clearly sucked big-time after Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin had long since left them in their wake, then you’ll probably also enjoy this undemanding nonsense.
All that said, if I was next on the titular Terminal List, I would be glad of the release.
Thanks to our friends at Prime Video for the screener prior to release.
The Terminal List is on Prime Video from Friday July 1st.
You can also buy the novel in paperback.
Series Directors: Frederick EO Toye, Sylvain White, MJ Bassett, Antoine Fuqua, Tucker Gates, Ellen Kuras
Producers: Max Adams, Kat Samick, Ronald Cosmo Vecchiarelli
Writers: Tolu Awosika, David DiGilio, Olumide Odebunmi, Hennah Sekandary, Max Adams, Lisa Long, John Lopez, Brooke Roberts, Daniel Shattuck
Novel: Jack Carr
Music: Ruth Barrett
James Reece: Chris Pratt
Katie Buranek: Constance Wu
Ben Edwards: Taylor Kitsch
Lauren Reece: Riley Keough
Lucy Reece: Arlo Mertz
Secretary Hartley: Jeanne Tripplehorn
Ernest ‘Boozer’ Vickers: Jared Shaw
Tony Layun: JD Pardo
Commander Bill Cox: LaMonica Garrett
Mac Wilson: Christina Vidal
Admiral Gerald Pillar: Nick Chinlund
Liz Riley: Tyner Rushing
Junior Alba: Drew Starkey
Nicole Deptula: Alexis Louder
Steve Horn: Jai Courtney
JAG Captain Howard: Matthew Rauch
Mike Tedesco: Paul McCrane
Richard Fontana: Stephen Bishop
Donny Mitchell: Patrick Schwarzenegger
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.