Review Rating: 7
To preserve the past and encourage the future to be saved, John Connor, Kyle Reese, and newcomer Marcus Wright gather the last stragglers of humanity in a desperate fight against the machines controlled by the supercomputer Skynet!
Okay, in all honesty, that intro there makes the movie sound a lot better than it really is. Yes, there are new kinds of machines, they’re neat-looking and scary and we haven’t seen them before, cool. And there’s Christian Bale as John Connor, who probably has to be the best actor they could get for him. Or would be, if frankly, they had given him a better, more fulfilling, role to play. Then there’s the scenery: bleak machine-blasted landscapes, no real color as far as the eye can see, entirely depressing. There are cute little attempts at humanity, like the Guns N’ Roses blaring from the jacked car that Kyle Reese and Marcus Wright steal, but it seems to miss the mark somewhere between generations of fans for Terminator movies.
And, on to the few things that should’ve saved the movie but really just made it worse, spoilers! Yes, there is an Arnold-Terminator in this new movie, and yes, he’s trying to kill John Connor. But the where, why and how, just makes you want to throw popcorn at the screen! Indeed, there is a full-on role for Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Serena Kogan, a very naughty scientist who’s obviously deeply immersed in the whole Skynet thing. But, well, the climactic scene where Dr. Serena, now an implanted personality in Skynets’ mainframe, reveals the whole truth to poor Marcus Wright, it’s been done better elsewhere. It’s not as though Carter had a bad role to play, the movie gods should have seriously fleshed it out more (oh that’s a bad pun) for us movie-goers who want plot. And then there’s Marcus Wright himself, an extra spiffy brand new version of a Terminator, who’s more and less like a cyborg, a relative humanoid breed with machine implants? Or is it a machine that’s been implanted with human parts? The movie isn’t entirely clear on that, probably on purpose, but it’s a bit annoying.
And finally, I can’t stand waiting for years for a movie sequel to a fantastic series to come out and when it does, it’s totally pre-dict-able. Down to the ending itself, if you pay attention to the plots of the Terminator movies at all, you should see the ending coming too. And we so hoped for better from our beloved killing machines and humanity’s last freedom fighters!
Everyone will see this, and whether you love it or hate it, Terminator Salvation is a summer blockbuster, if for no other reason than riding on the coattails of it’s movie predecessors!