Monday, 18 March 2013

FILM: Terminator Salvation (5/10)

Why did I watch it?
I recorded this about a year ago and the fact that I only just got around to watching it tells you everything about my expectations for it. In the right hands, The Terminator franchise is a brilliant story so I was willing to give the new chapter a go.

What's it all about?
Set in 2018, fifteen years after Judgement Day, in the midst of the war against machines referred to in previous Terminator instalments, Salvation follows Resistance fighter John Connor's (Christian Bale) attempts to save a young Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and free humans from Skynet. Sam Worthington stars as Death Row inmate Marcus Wright, put to death in 2003 before being brought back to life by Skynet in the present.

Should you watch it?
Due to its very nature, in making a film of the post nuclear war against machines between the Resistance and Skynet, director McG was already onto a hiding to nothing. James Cameron's films featured an occasional shot of the war but were always based around a single Terminator relentlessly pursuing its targets as part of an intelligent time travel plan. By focusing on the war, what made the previous films successful is lost. Connor and Reese fight against motorbike terminators, hunter-killer planes, aerobots and giant terminator robots, proving successful against them all. To say the tension is missing would be an understatement.

Bale does his deep Batman voice thing, less forgiving here, and in places the script suffers from cheese overload in places, none more so than Connor stealing (or a lazy tribute to) Arnie's seminal line, 'I'll be back'. This was almost too much to take. Yelchin is also given some equally cheesy lines that seem out of kilter with his character's previously strong willed and determined nature.

Visually, McG does deliver some decent looking action scenes but the film doesn't have the charm of the originals. Salvation is an overblown, sledgehammer approach to the series, and as a standalone action film it would be average but as an entry into the Terminator franchise it is a weak one and one that does not need repeating.


  1. Some ok special effects but the story was pretty weak. This is the worst in the series by far despite having a good premise.

    This film is infamous for being the one that Bale goes nuts on some light tech during shooting.

    1. I can't remember, did Bale use his Batman voice to shout at the tech?!

      It was disappointing, the premise was interesting but the execution left a lot to be desired (and I didn't like T3 at all).