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Saturday, 6 June 2009

Terminator Salvation Review

PLOT: After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors led by John Connor struggles to keep the machines from finishing the job. (IMDB)

Alright, here it is! The war between man and machine that the past three movies only talked about is finally here. Does it disappoint? Not really.

I kind of don't understand the negativity behind the movie. Yeah, Bale isn't good and sure it doesn't "feel" like your typical Terminator movie but you gotta understand that it's the effing war. You can't make it all about one all mighty and calculating machine that's chasing you throughout the whole movie. It's a goddamn war. And I expect robot kicking action! It's like making Inglourious Basterds NOT (partially) about brutality to Nazis. What's the point? :(

The visual effects are top notch though the robots in the movies reminded me too much of Transformers (one scene especially reminded me too much of a scene that's eerily similar in the first Transformers film). Nonetheless, the visual effects serve their purpose for this big action film and because it's an action film, it had to have over the top action and it did that.

I especially liked the battle in the beginning where it was just one continious take (of course they're just cleverly put together to look like one continious take). Harkens back to Alfonso CuarĂ³n's 2006 film, Children of Men (a favourite of mine and a recommendation for anyone).

I felt the film had a lot of great iconography and homages to past Terminators, for example the climactic battle in Terminator 2 is partially replicated in this one. Oh and don't get me started on the cameo made by a digital Arnie. Probably my favourite part of the entire movie even if it was a tad cheesy.

Now the plot description provided by IMDB isn't exactly correct because for me, the movie was just as much about John Connor as it was about Marcus Wright, played by Sam Worthington. Worthington's performance as a confused Terminator unit who believes he is truly human, is exceptional, considering that he hasn't starred in any real major action blockbusters and also considering that his name is billed right before Christian Bale. I can't say the same for Bale though. I'd like to think he couldn't be bothered getting into the role so he used a dumbed down version of Batman throughout the movie. Bale was disappointing at best. Anton Yelchin played Kyle Reese quite well. Most other people have praised him for his performance but I saw Sam Worthington as the better actor in this movie. Oh and why bother putting Kate Brewster/Connor (played by Bryce Dallace Howard) when she's limited to only 3 lines in the movie (that's an underexaggeration of cource) and is only put there as a plot device for "character development". Such a waste. THEY DIDN'T EVEN TALK ABOUT HER PREGNANCY! Could've at least said something like, "Our child won't have to grow up like us" us something cornball like that.

Plot wasn't very sound either, like how did they acquire the jamming systems against SkyNet? Why did they not talk about Kate's pregnancy? How did Marcus get "activated"? Some of these things may have been explained but I didn't pick up on it. Either I wasn't paying enough attention or the movie just tells me I should assume things.

All criticism aside though, Terminator Salvation was still a nice and entertaining watch. It wasn't any Star Trek but it gets an A for Effort nontheless. Should be a good box office draw and is, in my mind, a worthy addition to Terminator canon. Oh and by the way, they pretty much tell you to forget about everything that happened in the third movie. Actually now that I dwell on it, by the end of the third Terminator, they practically tell you to forget everything that happened in that movie...

Anyways, Terminator Salvation scores a 3/5 from me.

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