I promised I’d have a review up eventually, and here it is after teasing that one was coming. Because I knew it was important in today’s modernity-infested world, I wanted to make sure that I paid attention.
This was mostly thanks, in part, to the fact that upon the release of “The Terminal List” on Amazon Prime, leftist outlets couldn’t talk about it with enough venom. According to leftist reviewers, everything about the show was awful, especially the show’s lead who they claimed couldn’t carry the emotional weight necessary for the role.
Yet, Chris Pratt’s “James Reese” was so solid that I can’t imagine anyone else in the role now. I’m convinced it wouldn’t have worked half as well without him. This, of course, didn’t matter to the left whose actual problem with it wasn’t that it was a bad show, it’s that it was a good show that didn’t carry their political messaging within it in any capacity. There’s no LGBT commentary or 90 lb women knocking out 200 lb men. There is no discussion about climate change, or gun control.
(READ: Chris Pratt’s ‘The Terminal List’ Is Sending Leftists Into Conniption Fits While Audiences Love It)
“The Terminal List” is a solid, apolitical tale that ropes in a myriad of story-telling elements to create what could be considered some of the best-acted and best-written television I’ve seen in some time.
My review won’t be the first, but it will be the most honest. Let’s start from the top.
“The Terminal List” is based on Jack Carr’s novel of the same name. It follows the story of James Reece, a Navy SEAL veteran who gets intel about the location of one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. This information is verified from the top and Reece rallies his crew to locate and defeat the target.
But, it soon becomes clear that the enemy had been prepared and is on his way. Reece is injured in the head and is pulled from his death by a fellow squadmate. They’re forced to retreat and only he and his friend Earnest “Boozer” Vickers (Jared Shaw) survive. All others are killed.
Reece now speaks to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and his account contradicts what was recorded from the mission. Reece’s head trauma and confusion about the series of events had his superiors put him on ice.
Reece believes that Boozer’s version of events is wrong, and he seeks help for head trauma. But then he hears that Boozer has committed suicide. When Reece shows up at Boozer’s apartment, it’s clear to him that his best friend didn’t take his own life. Between the altered events in the audio logs, Boozer’s murder, and the clear setup from the mission, Reece begins to pull on a fact thread.
Reece, assisted by Katie Buranek (Constance Wu), embarks on this investigation to find the true story behind a serious betrayal. Reece then goes out on a revenge operation that goes deeper than anyone could imagine.
It’s a collection of many different things, all neatly packaged into one cohesive package. It’s a story of political and military intrigue, corporate sabotage, a revenge mission, a sicario tale, and all with solid action peppering it all.
Before I get into the good, let me list some of the negatives, and I’m doing this first because there aren’t many.
For one, the show is dark and I don’t just mean from a narrative perspective. Even daytime scenes, most of the scenes are affected by a blue-filter. If it’s a nighttime scene, you’d better not have any glare on your television screen, because you won’t see some of it. Sometimes it can prove frustrating. While this artistic decision works well with the show’s narrative, especially in the beginning, it wears out its welcome quite quickly. Editors would have made the show more enjoyable by dimming the lights just a bit.
Moreover, while I wouldn’t say that the show suffers from too much filler, it is there and it does slow the show down on occasion. Reece is more susceptible to flashbacks than he should, and interrupts can slow down the flow of the show.
That’s it. Now onto the good, and I’m going to start with the elephant in the room.
Pratt was criticized by the media for his role. The loveable goofball from “Parks and Rec” had no business acting as a character that has to carry this much emotional luggage according to reviews. His rage and sadness seem shallower than necessary, they claim.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
Pratt gave James Reece such an amazing presence that I was surprised by it. As well as his determination, he can also wear pain. His family is his backbone and he manages to make him intimidating. Although he is constantly being pulled in different directions, his reactions and mood swings are natural. Pratt’s ability to manage rage with the non-reactiveness and calmness expected of a Navy SEAL impressed me.
It’s pretty clear that Pratt put a lot of training into this role. You almost forget that he wasn’t actually a SEAL. His movements, from the way he walks to the way he handles his gun, look like it’s something he’s been mastering for years. He took being James Reece very seriously and knowing Pratt it’s because he takes people who do what Reece does very seriously.
His fellow actors don’t drop the ball either. Wu delivers a superb performance as a journalist determined to get to the bottom of Reece’s predicament. While I expected Buranek to annoy me, I often found myself enjoying her every moment on screen and she ended up being one of the plot’s largest driving forces.
Jai Courtney, Sean Gunn and other antagonists in the series impressed me. Courtney is particularly convincing as the evil, corrupt, and heartless head of an inhuman corporate entity. JD Pardo, who was the FBI agent Tony Layrun and charged with tracking down Reece, deserves a special mention. They were often the highlights of the show, and their cat-and-mouse game was often the best.
Of course, Taylor Kitsch as Ben Edwards played a perfect partner to Pratt’s Reece. Edwards becomes Reece’s literal partner in crime and scenes where the duo are together are often the most intense. Kitch portrays a reluctant man, but he is not willing to give up on his friend. His character also adds some humanity to Reece’s inhumanity.
Even though the action was grandiose, it wasn’t too extravagant. Although Reece may be an excellent marksman, it is his intelligence that is more prominent than his skill at hitting a target. Reece is a good guy and goes to extraordinary lengths to protect the lives of innocent people, even those he hunts.
It is well written and each mystery is solved by the end. Even though there are some exceptions, nothing feels unearned.
All-in-all, “The Terminal List” hits a very important cultural note by being a solid, apolitical movie. Like “Top Gun: Maverick,” the film focuses on good storylines, solid character development, and doesn’t shoehorn in messages that support leftist modernity. If studios really want to create programs people enjoy watching, then they need to get rid of politics.
It’s definitely going to upset critics, but as the American people have learned, their opinion is worth next to nothing now. “The Terminal List” is another show that proves they have no real bearing on whether or not an audience will flock to watch it.
(READ: The Professional Movie Critics Are Useless
I wholeheartedly recommend “The Terminal List” which I see as one of the first shows ushering in a post-woke era of entertainment.