Terminator Salvation [MOVIE REVIEW]

Christian Bale as John Connor? Will that work? Christian Bale... as John Connor? Okay sure Bale is a great actor but who came up with the idea that he would be the perfect guy to play John Conor? - What you just read was my first reaction when I found out Christian Bale is playing John Connor and I do not think I was the only one. But we will get to that later, this is the final film in the Terminator franchise before 'Terminator Genisys', is it any good?

Well if you go by the critical reaction then this movie is terrible - and I thought it was terrible when I first saw it. Having re-watched it now in preparation for 'Terminator Genisys' though, I do not think it is that bad. In fact I actually kinda liked it now which is funny because that is exactly what happened with 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines'. I actually think this movie is all right. It has great cinematography, astounding effects, mostly good acting and it finally does something the other Terminator film has not - something different. We finally see more of this post apocalyptic warzone which looks great but maybe a bit too Mad Max-y. I wished they went more with how it looked in 'The Terminator' but then again I cannot complain too much because it atleast does something different. Before I dwelve in a little further into the film I probably should mention that the version I saw this time is the directors' cut. Now the differences are not that major (only 3 minutes were added) so it is practically the same film - just with some more character development which was definitely greeted with open arms.

This movie came out in the time everyone was wondering why Sam Worthington was getting all these leading roles in these big movies. From 'Avatar' to this to 'Clash of the Titans' and later 'Wrath of the Titans'. Why and how did he get all these roles? He was probably the most boring person they could have given the leading role in 'Avatar' to (and now the Avatar series will be the only big movies he is ever going to be in from now on). With that said, I quite liked him in this movie. I was interested in the character of Markus and I actually had not seen the trailers for the film so I did not see the twist with him being part robot coming and thought it was great. The problem with this is strictly the script because it introduces some deeper meaning but it never goes far enough with it for the audience to feel fully connected with the character (but Sam Worthington really tries to sell the emotion and almost makes it work). The irony here is that Sam is supposed to be the boring guy and it turns out in 'Terminator Salvation' - Christian Bale is the boring guy. Now this again is not really Bale's fault, he was terribly miscast but the script also never really does anything with the character of John Connor in this film. In fact you would think he would be the main character but it is actually more focused on Markus in comparison as he is the person the audience can connect with the most and so much of the focus is on him. All we know of John Connor is that he wants to save people - and that is it.

This movie embodies the look of a gritty futuristic war movie and for the most part, while the colors are extremely muted - the cinematography looks great. There are several long shots in the film that adds a dynamic sense of scale to the whole thing - but none of them reach the point of just coming across as incredibly pretentious. It does not just show off because it can, it actually feels like it is there for a purpose.

If I were to sum up this movie in two words it would be; Inconsistenly good. Meaning it is good but also spliced in with random moments that are just bad or just too much which stopped me from enjoying it completely. The good does outweigh the bad though as we end up with a good movie - but very, very flawed. Pretty much like what I thought of 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines'. Yes this means I have yet to actually dislike a Terminator movie (which I know is not very common), these two post-Cameron movies are heavily flawed and does not come close to even sniffing the same quality of 'The Terminator' and 'Terminator 2:Judgment Day

The absolute worst part about the whole movie though is the ending, it comes right out of nowhere and concludes everything with a feeling in your head thinking... they really did not get anywhere did they? Not much was really accomplished with the characters and it cuts to the credits quite abruptly. I will not spoil what happens but if you are someone who has not yet seen this film and is for some reason looking up this review before you do - beware that whatever you think of the movie as a whole up to this point, you probably will not like the ending. You may like the film though just as much as you may not, for me - I almost consider it a good movie which is probably the highest praise this movie has ever gotten.


- Lucas


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