Daddy issues and gunfire.
Lately, it seems the “worthless-dad-pressed-into-service-to-defend-his-wayward-daughter-from-scumbag” has been the go-to action genre, thanks to the original Taken and its worthless sequels.
The latest entry into the field is Term Life, a straight-to-home-video release that goes the unorthodox route and casts Vince Vaughn (Dodgeball) as Nick Barrow, a professional thief (he’s more of a heist-planner actually) who scrambles to set up his daughter with a life insurance policy before he gets plugged full of lead by a host of malevolent ne’er-do-wells.
With the mob on his tail and a shifty federal agent (Bill Paxton) gunning for him as well, Nick and his daughter Cate (Hailee Steinfeld) are the run, dodging bullets and embracing awkward father/daughter conversations about sex and human biology.
That’s the long and short of Term Life, a serviceable-enough thriller that is buoyed by a bevy of recognizable faces, a breezy pace and a strong performance by a surprisingly engaged Vince Vaughn. That last one: Vaughn is actually pretty decent in this, bringing his go-to sarcasm together with enough seriousness to make for a compelling action lead.
Storywise, there’s not too much going on here. Barrow gets screwed and then it’s cat-and-mouse all day long. Paxton’s appearance on the screen spices things up–mainly because he’s Bill Paxton–and there are a decent amount of gun battles to keep things interesting, but…there’s not really enough plot to put Term Life on your radar.
I will give the movie this much: the ending could have been a lot bleaker.
Straightforward Blu-ray here: 2.40:1 (1080p), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround and a making-of featurette.
A mediocre excursion into dad-action. That’s about it.