Thursday, May 21, 2009

Terminator Salvation Review

If anyone can painfully recall Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines blew huge Skynet chunks all over the place, which was unfortunate. The first two movies created by James Cameron were absolutely amazing and innovative not to mention brilliant. I remember watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day at least a 100 times as a kid. I loved it and still do! It’s incredible how the special effects used in T2 still wow people to this day. When hearing they were making a 4th Terminator movie I was a little worried. I thought after T3 bombed we decided to tie a heavy metal bow on it wrapping it up for good. (haha) That kind of thinking in Hollywood is just plain naïve.

Charlie’s Angels director
McG drops us in the year 2018, after a nuclear holocaust has effectively ended civilization as we knew it. With Terminators of all shapes and forms snapping up the few remains of the human race, a small group of survivors have gone underground in an effort to battle the organized company Skynet. Standing up against all odds is John Connor, the one man who knew this was going to happen, and Marcus Wright, a death-row inmate who’s about to be executed when he’s given a second chance on life by a scientist who unknowing to Wright, has big plans for his future.

McG tackles the hard to handle task of carrying on this series without its signature star and actually pulls it off with two hours of first-rate, non-stop action. It's too bad he didn't spend a little more time thinking up a better plot. But I will say I loved how they tied in tons of classic lines ("I’ll be back") and music (Guns & Roses) from the past movies. That was really fun for die hard fans like myself to see. I just have a couple questions…

Who is this Marcus Wright? How does he fit into the past or the future? Is he a sort of prototype for the Arnold terminator? Why was he locked away so long? Why does Connor react to him with such hatred, especially after being raised by something similar in T2? These are some of the questions that should have been addressed in this film, especially for such a crucial character? Fortunately, Sam Worthington brings this mysterious half man/half machine to life with great confidence and style. Christian Bale as Connor is definitely likeable, but somehow takes a backseat to Worthington’s performance, which is weird because isn’t this movie suppose to be all about John Conner and his fight to save our future? Hmm…

Rumor has it that the original movie plot was going to be a story about Marcus with just a cameo appearance from John Connor. The movie probably would have been a lot stronger had it stuck with the original plan. Bale was unfortunately the least interesting character in his own blockbuster. The only actor who gives Worthington any challenge is Anton Yelchin, who plays Kyle Reese and is a very convincing younger version of Michael Biehn's character from the first Terminator. In case you didn’t know Yelchin also starred in an earlier summer blockbuster hit as the soft-faced Chekov in Star Trek.

Not to give too much away regarding the final scene, but the movie went from “ok this is a pretty good action flick” to “WTH, this is a little ridiculous.” It’s not the best Terminator movie but if you turn your brain off you will be entertained with excitement, intense trills and action. It’s definitely worth seeing if for no other reason than to get the horrible, horrible taste of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (rolls eyes) out of your mouth.



RATING: C+

So readers, what did you think of this movie?...

2 comments:

Blazing Goddess said...

I saw an interview with McG that said there were three more in the owrks, if this one went well. I'm assuming those will address some of the hanging threads of the storyline. If one cared enough to to investigate.

Lew said...

You raised a few questions. I'll try to respond to a couple based on my thoughts.

1. Who is this Marcus Wright? How does he fit into the past or the future? Is he a sort of prototype for the Arnold terminator? Why was he locked away so long?

Response: After multi-layered time travel in the first 3 films, this movie is taking place in an alternate universe (which happened to be explained in Star Trek by Spock). It means the world logic is totally screwed up. There is no more clear definition of the past or the future. Hence there is no point for us to figure out a timeline anymore. Easy tool for the writer.


2. Why does Connor react to him with such hatred, especially after being raised by something similar in T2?

Response: A. Even though that's exactly how Connor's mom reacted to a machine (1st movie), both of her and Connor learned that a machine may be protecting them (2nd movie). But possibly due to the alternate universe thingy having taken place a few times, Connor has realized that Skynet at his current time only produces machines that kill. Therefore he reacts strongly to one. This reminds me how Ripley (in Aliens) reacted to a man-machine thanks to her bad experience in Alien.


3. Christian Bale as Connor is definitely likable, but somehow takes a backseat to Worthington’s performance, which is weird because isn’t this movie suppose to be all about John Conner and his fight to save our future?

Response: I guess not. The movie is about the "salvation of a terminator", hence the focus on Sam instead of Christian.

Lewis (colleague of your brother David)


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