Cine Reviews: ‘Term Life’ (2016)

Term Life is a 2016 crime-drama film directed by Peter Billingsley. The film stars Vince Vaughn, Hailee Steinfeld, Bill Paxton, Jordi Molla, Shea Whigham, Mike Epps, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and Jonathan Banks among many others.

PlotA guy wanted around town by various hit men hopes to stay alive long enough for his life insurance policy to kick in and pay out for his estranged daughter.

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Term Life is a painstakingly boring mess of nothingness that manages to never become interesting nor worth watching in its tedious, slow run-time that insistently puts you to sleep right from the start. What makes it so bad could be seen in the cast and in how they are utilized. There are a lot of well-known actors and actresses whose talents are never put to good use, and what makes matters worse is that the film never even tries to add in a little something to their respective characters. Vince Vaughn looked and felt awkward, and it all seemed as if he didn’t know what to do or what it takes to star in a “thriller”. Hailee Steinfeld did an average job but still, it couldn’t be deemed appreciable due to the film’s bigger flaws stepping on her little efforts.

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What becomes of it are dulled down characters who could’ve been slightly fun to watch. Nonetheless, all of that adds up to one a thriller about a father and a daughter that inevitably fails for the most part due to lack of proper direction and writing. There is nothing to speak about regarding its plot because basically, it wants us to believe that there is none as it just throws in scenes that are having a hard time connecting to one another. Granted, this is a black comedy like it suggests it is, but again, you just couldn’t say that because the tone is all too messed up-there is simply nothing to justify the so-called “thrills” and “laughs” that it seemingly puts out. To state the improvements that it could’ve used, it would have been better if this project fell into the hands of a director who knew exactly what to do with such a concept.

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I see no potential either if it were to happen, but I think I can say that it would have been watchable at the slightest. Both the protagonists and antagonists are boring, and you could easily see the wrongful ways of the film in those vital elements.  Term Life just couldn’t quite catch on to the better things that could’ve made it a decent or at least mediocre thriller. More so, it couldn’t even brand itself as a thriller because it just quite couldn’t define itself. There are absolutely no thrills and even if it tried to make it look like there is such, you just couldn’t care either because by the time all of that has been attempted, you are already done judging what it has become and what it really is introspectively.


Rating:

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* Term Life is now showing in Philippine cinemas from Pioneer Films.

 

 

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