Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation has all the action you’d expect from the franchise. The film is filled with high-octane sequences of humans and robots and robo-men and hu-bots all shooting the crap out of a beautifully designed and filmed (Shane is a FUCKING PROFESSIONAL!) post-apocalyptic California. But still the film leaves you unsatisfied. McG can certainly handle the BOOM! but it’s the script and story that make this the least interesting or enjoyable entry in this long running series.

The plot is pretty simple – humanity’s future Keanu Reeves savior (John Connor as played by Christian Bale) must save Kyle Reece (his daddy for those hat still remember 1984, played by the awesome Anton Yelchin). There’s also some cool new robots to look at and an attempt by the clever Skynet to get Reece & Connor first with their new ultimate weapon – a 25 year old, digitally rendered Ahnuld! The problem is that where Cameron’s films and even that 3rd one knew that they were trying to be awesome-cool summer blockbusters, this one actively tries to completely forget that. Salvation it totally humorless (save a single joke… yes there is ONE line in the films that asks you for a chuckle). On top of that, there is really nothing in here that gives you a sense of awe that each of the previous entries offered. The best parts of the Terminator films are the whole big brother aspect hinted at around the awesomeness of the action that takes place right in front of you. Each film is part of a grand mythology about the future of the human race. This one offers none of that epic joy. It’s a self contained series of fights and escapes and the big reveal is… a production line! Seriously? That’s all you got for us? No hint of what is in store for mankind after this? No hint of what could lead to the time travel so integral to the rest of the series? No hint of what technological breakthroughs might lead to the T-1000? Come on give offer up a little Skynet R&D. Even Lucas teased the Death Star in the prequels.

Beyond that, Connor himself is not really someone who screams savior of humanity. He’s not even the lead in the film but a strong supporting character the people look at in awe… but the film never really gives a reason why. The character doesn't actually do anything. The actors aren’t even at fault here – again it’s just the cold, robotic script that hurts what is otherwise a visually compelling film.



alex said...

I'm really pissed that they didn't call Biehn in for a cameo. That poor man needs a break.

Though I do like the idea of Biehn retrofitted with a jokey Russian accent.

- Jester - said...

hehe, yeah he kinda does - though Yelchin has no accent here.

edgarchaput said...

I turned by brain off for 100 minutes and found some enjoyment.