Terminator: Salvation


Directed by: McG
Written by:

John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris

Starring:

Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin, Jadagrace Berry, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jane Alexander, Michael Ironside

Released: June 4, 2009
Grade: B-

Set in the year 2018, Terminator: Salvation paints a bleak future for the human race.  Robotic creatures, which were initially created to serve mankind, have turned against us.  They are systematically destroying all humans to prevent us from destroying the planet.  I guess we should have done something about global warming a little sooner.

A small number of survivors remain and a resistance is being led by John Connor (Bale).  They are trying to infiltrate the robot headquarters and find a way of shutting them down.  It won’t be easy however.  These robots are intelligent creatures with an ability to detect and track human movement.

It’s not well explained in this film but I should mention that John Connor has knowledge of the future.  There are certain things he must do to ensure the survival of our species.  Two people are key to his mission.  The first is a teenager named Kyle Reese (Yelchin).  Kyle is John’s father… in the future that is.  John needs to make sure that Kyle survives as he will become an important member of the resistance.

The second is a rather unusual being named Marcus Wright (Worthington).  Wright was sentenced to death in 2003 and donated his body to science.  He has since come back to life in a new body – one that is part human, part robot.  Which side of the fence does he sit?  Is he loyal to the humans or the robots?  Can he be trusted?

I’d call this film a “mixed bag”.  There are some good qualities and some bad qualities.  As much I hate the self-indulgent name which the director has given himself, McG, I think he’s done a good job putting together the action sequences.  They’re laden with special effects but it all looks great on a big screen.  There are plenty of close shaves, freaky looking machines and big explosions to satisfy action enthusiasts.  The sound effects are also cool – particularly the strange noises made by the robots.

In contrast, I didn’t think too highly of the storyline.  There isn’t a lot of substance or character development – it’s just people running around trying to escape the robots.  I usually like Christian Bale but I wasn’t a fan of his performance here.  I think he’s too serious and I didn’t care a great deal for his character.  Anton Yelchin is more likeable as Kyle Reese.  Yelchin is on a roll having appeared in the much loved Star Trek (released only a month ago).

The early box-office numbers from the States have been so-so and I don’t think Terminator: Salvation is resonating with audiences as well as other blockbusters have been in recent weeks.  I’d much rather watch Arnie and the earlier Terminator flicks.  More fun, more excitement.