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When a bank is hit by a brutal heist, all evidence points to the owner and his high-powered clients. But as a group of FBI agents dig deeper into the case - and the deadly heists continue - it becomes clear that a larger conspiracy is at play.
Steven C. Miller
"Term Life" fails to deliver on the promise of its premise. It has an interesting premise. A man facing imminent and unavoidable death takes out a life insurance police to provide for his estranged daughter and must contrive to survive extraordinary odds until the policy takes effect. Somehow, I equate the film to Jason Stratham's "Crank," but rather than having less than a day, Vaughn's character has three weeks, which lends a leisurely pace.
Hailee Steinfeld was great in "True Grit," but isn't given much to work with here. At twenty, she looks possibly twenty-four and seems far too mature to play sixteen and for what? Her character could just as easily be in her mid twenties. There is relatively little chemistry here. I felt more chemistry in "Safe," another Stratham film, between him and the Chinese kid. Steinfeld's character isn't particularly interesting or even three-dimensional.
The plot seems familiar, with elements we've seen before. The characters are fairly two-dimensional. Cinematography is weak with a lot of jigglycam shots. I don't actually remember a single shot that looked as if a rigid camera mount was utilized. The action scenes are of the caliber of episodic television series. Some plot developments seem implausible. Several characters seem to know more than they could possibly know in real life.
Overall, it's a watchable low-budget film that devotes too much attention to a relationship that isn't particularly interesting. At 93 minutes, it could probably be cut to 70 or less without losing much. Performances are generally competent, particularly with Vaughn, but hampered by an unimaginative script.
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