Review of 'Terminator Salvation'

4th film in the 'Terminator' series

terminator_salvation.jpg The latest in the Terminator franchise finds the battle well and truly joined following Judgement Day with SkyNet now controlling the planet and terminating it's human population. The story begins back in the present day with a death-row inmate Marcus Wright signing over his body to CyberDyne Systems (from previous movies, the developer of SkyNet). It is Marcus' story rather than the rebel leader, John Conner, that is the focus of the movie as Marcus is put to death for his crimes but then re-awakens in the hell that is Earth of the future. The resistance is working on a major strike against SkyNet but Conner disagrees with his thoughts on rescuing humans that the robots are rounding up. Thrown into the mix is Kyle Reese, the future (?), father of Conner himself who is young and trying to find his place in the resistance.

McG brings this world of the future to vivid reality. The same cannot be said, sadly, of Christian Bale who appears to only have one or two methods of expression in his acting repertoire (see Batman). More interesting is Sam Worthington as Marcus whose story is the one that we follow throughout. It is his struggle to find meaning, to redeem himself, that is most interesting from a character perspective.. The story is good but largely one of a chase movie that obviously sets itself up for future sequels. Do not look for a lot of depth here (given the previous movies, this is hardly surprising). Quite enjoyable for summer movie-goers who demand action and special effects – Though do mind the copious amount of male testosterone being spread all over the screen. Love is absent with violence and destruction being the order of the day.

For those fans of the original movies there are touches that make this new movie worthwhile including many nods to what has come before. Fans will also appreciate the attention to detail such as the muted lighting (evidently) due to the loss of the ozone layer (according the film-makers). Obviously, the story does somewhat conflict with Terminator 3 though many largely try to ignore this addition to the canon (particularly Arnold's send up of the character that made him famous).

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2009-06-06

Directed by: McG

Studio: The Halcyon Company

Year: 2009

Length: 115 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films in the 'Terminator' series: