Synopsis: In Terminator Salvation, the war between the human resistance, led by John Connor, and computer network Skynet continues.
Release Date: May 21, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Science Fiction
Terminator Salvation offers a new twist on the Terminator saga and it is a welcome addition. Quite possibly the best thing about Terminator Salvation is the way it is presented: As a war film. There is more to it than just explosions, machines, and special effects. It runs at a slower more methodical pace, building intensity as it moves along showing that a deeper meaning exists, one that goes beyond the simple man vs. machine dynamic. While giving rise to a whole new meaning to what a cyborg is and can be, along with the ideas of consciousness, it tests the notion of “know thy enemy, for thy enemy may be thyself”.
Aside from a couple small issues with the CGI, that really are barely noticeable, the special effects can be summed up in one word: Awesome! You have to witness them to really appreciate them for words don’t do them justice. Especially one treat towards the end – priceless and perfectly executed.
Given everything that the character of John Connor has faced in the prior films, one may expect a little more passion and grit from the character in Terminator Salvation. Christian Bale does not portray Connor this way, he is actually a bit solemn and flat. There is no real emotion present for most of Terminator Salvation and when it is called upon, given the script, he does not deliver enough to really put you in place with him. This is a John Connor that feels beaten, tired, and lacking life. Perhaps that is how it should be for this war has been hard, it is difficult, and it feels like it will never end. That can rip the soul out of anyone.
On the other hand, the character of Marcus (Sam Worthington) is played with incredible depth. Marcus is naive to the war, to judgement day, and what has transpired. He is like a child, full of emotion and trying to grasp the world he finds himself thrown into. The fact that he is a machine makes this level of emotion he possesses hard to swallow, and Worthington plays it up so well you fear the future; for the humans (like Connor) appear more machine-like in Terminator Salvation than the actual machines.
Terminator Salvation is a very loud movie. That said, the level of sound suits it perfectly. In the middle of a war zone that is essentially a deserted wasteland, there is nothing to dissipate the noise made by the gunfire, the helicopters, the machine aircraft, or larger than life machines themselves. It is the machines that just may have the best sound effects in Terminator Salvation. The sound of metal upon metal as it adjusts, changes, clangs, clicks, and prepares to attack is absolutely astounding. To put it simply, this is what a film such as this should sound like, period.
There is plenty of action in Terminator Salvation, but do not expect it at every moment. This movie does not use action as an excuse for lacking in plot, it uses it as part of the plot. You may have to wait longer for the action to kick in at times but when you get it, it was well worth the wait.
There is no explanation as to how people survive, where they are living, how things are run. Just look at the character’s surroundings…you will figure it out. Thank you for making the choice to show, not tell.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): McG
- Cast: Christian Bale (John Connor), Sam Worthington (Marcus Wright), Moon Bloodgood (Blair Williams), Helena Bonham Carter (Dr. Serena Kogan), Anton Yelchin (Kyle Reese), Bryce Dallas Howard (Kate Connor), Linda Hamilton (voiceover)
- Crew: Jeffrey Silver, John Brancato, Michael Ferris, Michael Wilkinson, Danny Elfman
- Country Of Origin: USA, Germany