The Terminal List
Spearheaded by leading Hollywood actor Chris Pratt, as a tribute to those who gave their lives in service to their country, one of Amazon Prime’s latest thrillers brings together the action of John Wick with the dramatic suspense of a Tom Clancy series.
Adapted from a novel by Jack Carr, The Terminal List centres around Lieutenant Commander James Reece, a former Navy SEAL, played by Chris Pratt.
While on a covert military operation in Syria, Reece’s unit is given bad Intel and, as a result, are ambushed and all but two are killed in action.
On returning home to his family, Reece struggles to reintegrate as he tries to deal with the loss of his brothers and, seemingly, his memory.
The former SEAL starts to investigate whether his recollections are fact or fiction and in doing so discovers that his platoon may have been the subject of a sinister experiment that has led to his cognitive trauma.
“The Terminal List is unique in the way it examines the unseen mental wounds that veterans bring back from the battlefield.”
After his family are caught in the crossfire, Reece seeks the help of friend Ben Edwards (played by Taylor Kitsch) and investigative journalist Katie Buranek (played by Constance Wu), to expose what happened and take down all those responsible.
Though it draws similarities to other Amazon Prime series such as Jack Ryan and Reacher, The Terminal List is unique in the way it examines the unseen mental wounds that veterans bring back from the battlefield and cleverly incorporates it within the story.
Reece’s doubt in his own memory, seemingly compromised by Post Traumatic Stress, lays the foundation for a compelling series as the audiences are forced to question what is real and who is right.
It is clear from his raw and real performance that Pratt, who in the past has been cast in primarily comedic roles, was really committed to his portrayal of a battle-bruised US serviceman.
No doubt his family’s long history with the armed forces, including his brother Cully Pratt who served in the US Army for more than 8 years, contributed to his tribute to the troops.
In fact, Pratt was praised by many veterans for his faithful depiction of the trauma that servicemen sustain well after they return home.
There were an array of solid performances given by the supporting cast which were both faithful to the material and grounded in reality.
Constance Wu’s role as the relentless reporter is commendable and she does well to show the range of drama and emotion needed for the part which differed from her usual cinematic appearances.
“An audience of thousands is scoring this “well acted, well scripted and well directed’ series with a 95 per cent rating.”
Since its release in July, The Terminal List has been a point of controversy in Hollywood.
Critics, numbering only 56, are giving the series a low score of 39 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes while branding it bland, boring and brutal.
In contrast, an audience of thousands is scoring this “well acted, well scripted and well directed’ series with a 95 per cent rating.
Whatever the reason for this divide, whether it be clashing agendas or insistent ideologies, the majority must rule in this case as this series offers a thrilling drama that honours its genre with engrossing storytelling and standout performances.
The Terminal List, rated MA for violence and language, is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.