Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Terminal Invasion (2002)

Terminal Invasion is not the kind of movie that you'll be likely to hold in high regard. It's no great piece of film-making. Yet it's still an enjoyable enough slice of fun, thanks to the brisk pacing, a lack of pretension, and Bruce Campbell in the lead role.

Campbell plays Jack, a prisoner who ends up in a tiny airport with two officers guarding him closely. One trip to the gents later, everything gets a bit strange and dangerous. People are dead, and Jack is the one being blamed by the other people in the airport, including the security guard. It turns out that the killer was an alien, and it may not be the only one in the airport. Jack tries to convince others of the danger that they're in, but if they don't want to believe him then he'll do whatever it takes to break free and make sure that the one pilot in their midst (Chase Masterson) flies him all the way to another country.

Directed by Sean S. Cunninghman, the man perhaps best described as part horror maestro and part carnival barker, this is standard b-movie fun, trying to overcome its low budget with the charisma of Campbell and the potential fun of the premise. It's hard to believe that it took three people to write the script (Lewis Abernathy, John Jarrell and Robinson Young), but it's not as flat and lifeless as many other TV movies of this ilk.

A large part of that, however, is all down to Campbell, who has cornered the b-movie market in smartass, cool anti-heroes. Masterson makes for a decent partner, as the bizarre reality of the situation becomes clear, and Kedar Brown and Sarah Lafleur also do pretty good work. Jason Jones, one of the more recognisable faces in the supporting cast, is onscreen for a little while, and he's the only other one to make a decent impression. Andrew Tarbet, C. David Johnson, Marcia Bennett, and others populate the story without ever feeling like more than stock characters/fodder for the dangerous alien.

There are attempts made to keep viewers on their toes, each one being either too predictable or too laughably silly to work. Still, I appreciate the effort. It may be nothing more than an average film, when all of the pros and cons are weighed up, but it could have been much worse.


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