McG‘s Terminator: Salvation, is the type of film that keeps you asking, what is next? From each scene, to the film as a whole, there was never a point where I felt anything was concluded. It seemed like the film was more concentrated on setting you up for a series than actually producing one solid piece of work. The film stars Christian Bale as John Connor, the leader of the humans who are trying to resist the Skynet terminators, but focuses more on the new Schwarzenegger of this generation, Marcus Wright, (Sam Worthington).
After being dead for fifteen years, Wright wakes up in 2018 to a world of chaos, and nothing like the one he left behind. Shortly after being out in this new world, Wright is heroically saved by teenager Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), the future father of Connor. Reese carries with him an adorable little girl as a side kick, but this tiny character is so flat that her contribution doesn’t add the very least bit of emotion to the film. Instead she makes the film seem unrealistic because Reese and Wright develop an affection for her that involves [them] saving her life more than once.
However, Terminator, has its great moment; those moments of hope. Every night, Connor gives a heartfelt speech through a radio with hope of someone hearing it, and while giving his speech, there is a montage showing people all around the world listening to Connor’s words of hope. Kudos to the editors, the montage added sentimental value to the film unlike Reese’s sidekick.
Even though Christian Bale stars, he is no star as John Connor. He yells too many times, and his voice is like his Batman voice, which is not good for the film because I kept thinking of him as Batman from The Dark Knight. His co-star Sam Worthington, gives a performance some what worthy of being seen. His character is well developed, and his actions are believable; he makes you care for him and what he might do next. Moon Bloodgood is also a great asset to the film. She isn’t heartless like other tough women in thriller films; but both tough and sentimental at the same time.
Terminator becomes predictable and at times, down right cheesy. After meeting Wright, Connor decides that he is the enemy, and tells his wife, “I thought I knew the enemy, but after seeing that, I feel like I don’t know them at all.” Shouldn’t he be ready for the unexpected? After all, he is the leader of the resistance, why is he being so vulnerable? But don’t let Christian Bale’s weak dialogue keep you from seeing the film, Terminator is an action film, filmed at its best. This is not cookie cutter cinematography. The camera movements are descriptive and help us to understand what the characters are experiencing. The fight scenes keep the camera up close, making you feel as if you are are part of the scene itself. And the sounds are the real thing: The explosions, the helicopters, and clashing buildings are all impressively delivered.
And to all of those Terminator fans, the new director does include that beloved old line: “Come with me if you want to live.”
The film is worth a watch, preferably if you are not a fan. It won’t be necessary to watch the first three Terminator movies to understand McG’s new version, but to fans the film may come as a disappointment. The film dedicates more time to the development of character relationships than the actual goal of the film, which is to destroy Skynet and save all of the prisoners inside (which eventually does happen). But if you are looking for a great action film, then simply sit, don’t think, and let your eyes enjoy Terminator for what it will be; another film with spectacular action shots.