Pros: Awesome effects for a PG-13 film. Definitely fun for TERMINATOR fans.
Cons: Could have used a better plot.
I will not give away any of the few Spoilers in this film, but, the reason why I felt it necessary to write this review is that I feel the movie critics have unfairly graded this film and I urge all Terminator fans to go and see it.
Typically, I read reviews on Yahoo Movies or in my local newspaper before seeing a film and normally, the reviews are spot on. I tend to stray from movies the Critics rate lower than B (average) and I pay close attention to the actual users’ grades to help weigh my decision.
So what do the critics say about TERMINATOR SALVATION?
My favorite: Roger Ebert, gives it a “C”, calling it “a video game you don’t get to play”.
The San Francisco Chronicle calls it “worse than Terminator 3”…
Numerous others say its “all action and no plot”, and so forth and so on.
As far as I’m concerned, “Terminator Salvation” makes for a great futuristic Sci-Fi war movie that definitely was entertaining and definitely was worth my $7. I rate it a solid B+.
The film takes place in the near future, around 2017 after the military defense network, “Skynet” becomes self aware; launches a global nuclear war which creates a human holocaust; and then decides that it should wage a seemingly endless war against the survivors. John Connor, who we are used to seeing as a boy running from time travelling cyborgs, is now a commando – who moves from battlefield to battlefield fighting the machines which have chainguns, rocket launchers and railguns able to kill everyone they lock onto – except John Connor.
If you even have a basic understanding of the Terminator storyline, you’d know that it is John Connor who commands the resistance, breaks into Skynet and hacks their Time displacement equipment to send his father, Kyle Reese back to the 80’s in order to stop the Terminator Skynet has sent through intent on killing his mother – thereby retroactively aborting him. Kyle meets Sarah, conceives with her and then is killed fighting the Terminator before Sarah is able to finally crush it in a hydraulic vice.
But the whole premise of the Terminator films is silly.
Why does Skynet bother building robots as big as 5 story buildings to go after human resistance? Skynet has the ability to produce nuclear power cells for its robots, but are we to believe that they can’t continue to wage a nuclear war against the poorly equipped humans? Unlike the machines in “The Matrix”, Skynet doesn’t need humans for energy. Why continue to round them up for extermination ?
Obviously Skynet can build machines efficient enough to do slave labor…
And why bother coming up with the elaborate time machine to send assassin’s back in time? Why not simply build Terminators that can pose as scientists to spearhead the development of Skynet and make it stronger than ever – earlier than it should be?
And to what end does Skynet wish to fight? If it kills off all humans on Earth, what then will it do with itself? Why is Skynet so blood thirsty?
Salvation raises more questions than it answers because the film feels like a “middle film” to a Trilogy. This movie isn’t about Connor’s hijacking of the Time Machine, its simply about Skynet coming up with yet another elaborate plot to capture the mostly irrelevant John Connor.
Christian Bale (John Connor ) is upstaged by the co-star, Sam Worthington in a similar situation where he was upstaged by Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”. Worthington is a condemned killer in the film named Marcus Wright who, as the Trailers for the movie give away, has a “secret” which makes him indispensable to the resistance. I won’t give it away for those of you who want to be surprised, but, I can say that the camera spends more time on him than on Bale, and the movie makes us actually care about what happens to him.
While I strongly believe this film should have been based around the plot element of Connor sending Reese back through time, what I can say is that despite the PG-13 rating, the effects were definitely exciting and well done even this day in age where action movies are overly clichéd.
The Terminator bots are very well done and one of them in particular is sure to give the audience a reason to cheer. But, why is it the robots, like to throw people around like rag dolls when they could so easily snap necks, punch holes through chests or break vital bones? Seems to me that a Terminator who is facing its primary target should act a little more concerned with an immediate execution rather than torture.
But then again, I’m the type of person who would put bullets through James Bond’s knees before I’d bother bragging to him about my master plan. You know – just so he can’t escape.
Overall, I went to see this movie based on my expectations being raised by the now- possibly cancelled – TERMINATOR: Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I thoroughly enjoyed during its last season. This movie doesn’t add much to the Chronicles’ storyline, but it does give us the future glimpse into the apocalyptic war that each previous Terminator film only elude to in their opening 2 minutes.
I liked the film and despite my feelings the plot should have gone elsewhere it was definitely worthwhile.