Due to the huge success obtained by super-heroes in the big screen, we hadn't seen a film based on a "mature" comic (ie, not including cloaks, super-powers or cosmic battles) in various years. Term Life is based on an "adult" graphic novel (from Image Comics) written by Andy Lieberman and illustrated by Nick Thornborrow. Lieberman himself adapted the screenplay, and along with director Peter Billingsley, they were able to create a very entertaining movie which makes the comic justice despite altering many of its elements. Some changes are small details, while other ones substantially change the premise (the affairs of the life insurance and the 21 days are barely mentioned in the film). However, the differences ended up being irrelevant, because Term Life made me have quite a good time and left me satisfied. I had found Vince Vaughn unable to play serious roles until I saw him in the second season of True Detective, and I changed my mind. His performance in Term Life displays once more his capacity to handle the drama and the action with equal credibility. Hailee Steinfeld also makes a competent work as his daughter, and she has a good chemistry with Vaughn. The interaction between father and daughter is the dramatic axis of Term Life, and it makes it more interesting than a simple tale about betrayal and criminal revenge. But that doesn't mean that the criminal aspect is neglected either; on the opposite, the initial robbery planned by the main character is well planned, and its consequences are ingenious and unexpected. In the supporting cast, we find many solid character actors (Jonathan Banks, Jon Favreau, Bill Paxton, Terrence Howard, Mike Epps, Taraji P. Henson and Jordi Mollà) who enrich the experience with their mere presence. Comparing it to other films based on thriller or action comics (without super- heroes), I would place Term Life above The Losers, but below A History of Violence or Road to Perdition. However, as I said on the beginning of this review, the comic origin is just a cultural curiosity; despite not being a great movie, Term Life works pretty well as an interesting thriller with good performances, dynamic direction and a well written screenplay, so I recommend it with confidence.
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A guy wanted around town by various hitmen 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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April 8, 2019