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'The Terminal List' review: Chris Pratt goes glum in weak SEAL series

The 'Parks & Rec' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star is in dour mode in Amazon Prime Video action drama.

Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News

Chris Pratt is no fun in “The Terminal List.”

Pratt initially made his name as a lovable doofus on TV’s “Parks & Recreation.” Then, after a full-body upgrade, he graduated to being a movie doofus, playing the clueless hero in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Chris Pratt in "The Terminal List."

In the wake of those successes, though, Pratt has turned to more and more sober action roles. It’s like somebody put a spigot in him and drained the fun right out.

Now he’s downright depressing. In “The Terminal List” Pratt plays Navy SEAL commander James Reece. As the series begins, his entire platoon is wiped out in an ambush. He returns to the U.S. with a bunch of caskets, a headache and hallucinations. 

He thinks the headache and hallucinations are from a concussion, but in reality he has a brain tumor. He will spend eight episodes hunting down the bad guys who set up the ambush and planted the tumor in his head. He will kill lots of people in spectacular Navy SEAL super-guy shootouts. 

He will almost never smile.

“The Terminal List” is chock-full of tough guy clichés. Of course our hero has an arsenal of weapons in his garage. He also has bundles of cash at the ready. How do tough guys always have bundles of cash available? 

And tough guys often have their own idiosyncratic weapon. Reece has hatchets. You know those will be fun.

Real tough guys also have sidekicks. Constance Wu plays a journalist investigating the ambush; she’s mainly around to announce factual discoveries and outline the plot. On the action side, Reece has his longtime friend, a CIA spook played by Taylor Kitsch.

And here’s where “The Terminal List” does something notable. It covers Kitsch in such godawful tattoos that he almost looks bad. Almost. He’s still Taylor Kitsch.

Pratt will likely return to fun mode next week when he co-stars in “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Sight unseen that has to be a better Pratt-watching option than “The Terminal List,” which is wooden self-serious streaming content at its most mediocre.

Tom Long is a longtime contributor to The Detroit News. 

'The Terminal List'


Amazon Prime Video