May Contain Spoilers!
Six years after the intended opening act of a new post-apocalyptic trilogy, taking the events of the first three Terminator movies into new territory, it is time to take a fresh look at what would soon become a failed attempt and a movie which is now looked upon with contempt by so many. But is this fair?
Well, first off, let us see what I was saying about this back in 2009…
A surprisingly worthy sequel/franchise reboot. McG has done a good job of capturing the sense of the original Terminator franchise whist talking it into a new and more dramatic direction.
The only flaws I felt this film had was it’s slightly overblown action, which at times, though obviously overblown by definition, was too much to take in and it seemed that he simply wanted to have the biggest and best explosions.
But the T-800 sequences and the ALL the Terminator sequences were first rate! The effects and sound design was generally very good, but not quite perfect, but nothing ever is.
Beside and ending which I personally found to be farcical, this was an enjoyable movie. Role on number 2…
Originally posted in November 2009
Well, there was no number two to start with and I do stand by a lot of this, but what is missing here, is any real comment about the plot as a whole.
So, it is 2009 and a few months after this, we were about to see Avatar, the second film to star that year’s “next big thing”, Sam Worthington, who is portraying Marcus Wright, a man who was executed in 2003, just prior to the revised Judgment Day as established in Terminator 3 but has signed his body over to Cyberdine for medical research just prior to his death.
As the war with the machines rages on, this research in bastardised by Skynet who turns him into a Terminator etc… But there is too much focus on Wright and not enough on Christian Bale’s John Connor, a casting decision which I like. His wife on the other hand, originally played by Claire Danes is now Bryce Dallas Howard, and how she continues to get work is beyond me. She has no charisma what-so-ever and in this action heavy script, has very little to do.
All bar a couple of scenes in which she appears to be a bit hard faced, I do not believe in her one bit, Bale on the other hand, I can get. But this is not the Terminator film we want and that is its biggest problem. As a post-apocalyptic war film, it looks great for the most part, but it is just two or three steps too a far way from the original premise and the first two excellent movies.
In short, anything beyond Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) is unnecessary and unless someone intends to fully reboot the franchise and start again, without Arnie or the myriad of call backs to the original, then we do not need to see another Terminator film… ever!
The real problem is that the Terminator premise is flawed and the more we dwell on it, the brighter the light we shine on these massive plot-holes and contrivances. In The Terminator (1984) it was stated that the war was won and Skynet was beaten and in Terminator 2 (1991), that it only took a few hours after Skynet became self aware to successfully destroy humanity, overnight.
If Skynet is a super-computer with cold calculatory skills to make this decision so quickly, how is it plausable that a war between man, who presumably has no ability to produce mechanised weapons, have fought this war for over 30 years and won? And that is before we even get into the ton of time travel paradox issues.
So we don’t. We keep it simple and focus on the simple themes of survival which are at the heart of the franchise. But Salvation is digging itself deeper and deeper into a hole where it shakes the entire foundation of the entire concept by trying to justify how humans could beat the machines, something which is best lefty to our imaginations…
Terminator: Salvation is nowhere near as bad as its reputation would suggest but it is extraneous to the franchise, though the action is good as are the production values. The plot is shaky though and begs more questions than it needs too but if this is the weakest film of the franchise so far then the Terminator movies are defiantly at the upper end of the genre as a whole.
Don’t let the naysayers put you off…