a review by Greg Arganda
Judgment Day has passed, McG's "Terminator Salvation" follows the blazed trail of John Connor (played by Christian Bale), hero of the human resistance against the Skynet war machine. Set in 2018, the audience is thrown head first into the action of John Connor's valiant efforts to dismantle Skynet's machines once and for all. The future that Sarah Connor told his son has changed suddenly, as the machines are no longer killing on site, they are taking human prisoners. The machines are learning to create machines that are disguised as humans to infiltrate the resistance and learn more about them to their strategic advantage. A machine named Marcus Wright (played by Sam Worthington) awakens in the midst of the chaos, seeking knowledge, not knowing anything but his own name and his human past. As the war effort ensues, Marcus Wright & John Connor's destinies are inevitably set to collide.
The good aspects of this film range from the incredible serious overtones in terms of acting, the bleak environments and settings, the wonderful C.G.I. and special effects to the small cameo appearance made by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The seriousness of the film really added something that was missed in Terminator 3, a film that seemed to only make fun of the Terminator franchise. This film is unrelenting in how serious it is and it works so well. The bleak environments in the film really put the audience in the world of the human resistance with great success. Watching the massively open dusty areas and destroyed metropolises is brutally fantastic to watch. The C.G.I. and special effects in this film really shine because of how scary the robots really are. One in-particular was a beefy human sized robot wielding a mini-gun that just looked terrifying. Finally the small appearance of Arnold will not disappoint. I won't give anything away, but his appearance is nostalgic in the sense of the original Terminator. The film is really enjoyable, although it does have a few distinguishable flaws that attempt to 'Terminate' the audience's good time.
The bad parts of this film are the highly impossible outcomes of some scenes, the lack of true character depth and development and Bryce Dallas Howard's lackluster performance as Kate Connor, the wife of John Connor. Several times we watch the lead cast members narrowly escape grim reaper's deathly grasp in pure action movie fashion. Not that I would like to see John Connor die, just let him get a little chewed up now and then. While i find something to like about most characters in this film, some depth and character development would be nice. I want to feel more for every character the same way I have have felt for John Connor and others in the first two films. Finally, Bryce Dallas Howard's performance as Kate Connor is simply ghost-like, she is not there. While her eyes bug out of her head now and then, it hardly makes her acting noticeable as she lulls the audience to the point of not listening to her. With all the bad in this film, it hardly shadows the enjoyable nature of this film, it wins me over.
I give McG's "Terminator Salvation" one solid thumb up for being a serious and brutal look into the future of the Terminator saga. I completely recommend this film to everyone and hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.
IMDB Rating: 8.3/10