Terminator Salvation

Dir: McG
Voice: Sam Worthington, Christian Bale, Moon Bloodgood, Anton Yelchin

I didn't hate this. And that, by itself, counts as something of a pleasant surprise, given that the film's most lasting contribution to pop culture is probably Bale's infamous rant against the director of photography. Marcus Wright (Worthington) is a Terminator-human hybrid, sent to try and hunt down Kyle Reese (Yelchin), whom as you should recall, would eventually go back to the 1980's and father John Connor. However, Wright's human side begins to surface, to the point that he denies his mission and sides with the rebels, who believe they have found the key to winning the war - a secret signal that can be used to deactivate their robotic enemies. They prepare a raid on Skynet's headquarters, but when Connor finds out the facility contains a large number of human subjects, he demands the raid be postponed until he and Wright can try and break them out.

As a sequel, it's probably the least-interesting of the series, with the movie never making the most of its post-apocalyptic setting, or bringing the characters to life - particularly, John Connor (Bale), who is reduced to a sidelight, when he should be the central focus of the movie. Bale also never gets to deliver the intensity which is his trademark. However, on its own terms, this is okay, with some impressive sequences (the really big robot comes to mind, impressing in a way Michael Bay has yet to match), surprisingly reliant on physical effects rather than CGI, and possessing elements that feel as if the writers were told to work some elements of Phillip K. Dick into a $200m blockbuster. To borrow a quote from Samuel Johnson, "It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all." Still, this is a horse suffering from serious rigor mortis, and too many angles (such as the mute kid) don't work, for this to be more than a time-passer.

May 2010

But only a token Schwarzenegger
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