Terminator Salvation, directed by McG, is the fourth installment of the Terminator franchise and brings a dark, hardcore, action packed addition to an already solid franchise. Even though I don’t think this Terminator is better then the first two created by James Cameron, it definitely was better then the latest Terminator film Rise of the Machines and makes for the perfect summer popcorn flick adding intense fast paced sequences with powerful performances from Bale and Worthington.
Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor played by Christian Bale is the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright played by Sam Worthington, a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.
Before entering into this film I watched all three trailers to the Terminator movies to get refreshed on who’s who and the time lines of everything that is going on. I think it really helped to not get lost while watching this movie because there is definitely a lot going on. McG did a decent job of setting the atmosphere of the world after judgment day. The sets and art direction was top notch and it really set the scene for the post-apocalyptic world that the characters were living in. The plot on the other hand is a bit sloppy. I really think they could of did a better job developing the story a bit better as I felt a little disconnected from some of the characters. The dramatic sequences would have been that much better if this had been the case.
I also felt Christian Bale’s performance which was the pure definition of intensity was also sub par compared to the other characters. It’s like he was trying to hard at some points to be this crazed man who screams at inappropriate times. I could see now why he absolutely freaked on set he must have been so jacked up while playing this character. John Connor who you think is going to be the main part of Terminator Salvation almost seems to take a back seat to Marcus Wright who may have had more screen time, and in this case Sam Worthington steals the show with a breakout performance. He plays the part just right and in the end we feel more for him then we do for Bale as Connor. Then there is the newcomer Anton Yelchin who plays a pivotal role as Kyle Reese who played by Michael Biehn in the original Terminator film. First, Star Trek now Terminator Salvation, Yelchin is having a huge year and I thought he was absolutely great as Reese. He just has a very likeable quality about him and I’ll have to check out what he has coming up in the next couple of years.
But, Terminator Salvation is a summer blockbuster, and it succeeds as a summer blockbuster. Who cares if the plot takes a back seat to the action sequences the action sequences were some of the best I’ve ever seen. It was like watching Transformers without the cheesiness. Edge of your seat chase scenes, badass fights, a few twist and turns at the end, and the real cameo of a lifetime which had me smiling from ear to ear. Terminator Salvation isn’t a perfect film but it’s a perfect summer popcorn flick that everyone needs to go see.
STAMP IT….I’LL BE BACK!
Rotten Tomatoes: 27%