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Thoughts on "Terminator Salvation" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, June 01, 2009

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee. Unless the sight of explosions turns on the inner pyro lurking inside you, then I would suggest a matinee or even a rental, which would probably be the best option.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I could generally care less if I ever see this again, although I might watch part of it on cable if I was flipping channels some lazy afternoon.

1) "Terminator Salvation" is a solid entry into the popular franchise, a film that adheres to the precedent of the first two films, but one which doesn't further the mythology in any tangible way beyond a few faint glimmers that are never fully realized. It is an extremely loud (explosions, gunfire) and overly serious endeavor and the latter choice certainly sucks some of the fun out of the project.

2) This bleak tone also manifests itself in the look of the movie as it is shot in muted colors and washed-out vistas signifying a future (year 2018) that is largely a desolate wasteland after being blown away by computer-generated killing machines. A human movement - the Resistance - still fights the machines led by its prophesized (sp?) leader John Connor (Christian Bale).

3) I'm tired of Christian Bale. He's a good actor, one of the best working today, but like the movie itself, he seems utterly lacking in any good humor. I get that you're an intense actor who is committed to your craft, but lightening up once in awhile or taking on a different role couldn't hurt. That being said, he is perfectly fine in 'Salvation' as he mainly has to yell, shoot guns and give orders, a trifecta right up his alley.

4) Sam Worthington, a newcomer from Austrailia who is supposed to break out soon with more starring roles, is actually a more interesting character as a half-human, half-machine made by Skynet, but one who can possibly help save the Resistance. He goes toe-to-toe with Bale, and doesn't shrink as many actors might back down. Worthington gives a very watchable performance that reeks of future potential.

5) The director of 'Terminator Salvation' is McG, a man who is somewhat of a joke because of his name and because his main credits prior to this film were music videos and Charlie Angels movie franchise. Many people were hoping he would fall flat on his face with 'Salvation,' but he doesn't. He has crafted a servicable movie that is never inspired, but only rarely awful. I suppose that in itself is a small victory, but for me, this movie left little to no impression and for that reason, I'd say there's no real rush to run out and see it.



  1. wigsf Says:
  2. Such a shame. I really enjoyed the first three. Especially the second one. Hell. That second one is so freakin' good, I've kept the Laserdisc even though I no longer have a player for it.

    But bringing in a music video director with a goofy name to direct and letting Christian Bale do his action hero voice (worst action hero voice ever, sounds like a constipated Stallone impression) can ruin most any movie.

  3. TROLL Y2K Says:
  4. Won't be seeing it. On Red-Eye (great show!) they said that they used a body-double for the Governator's cameo. Ahhhnold's gone flabby, apparently.

  5. WIGSF - T2 was the best one . . . the third was just OK. This one is as good or better than that one, so it's not a total misfire, just not nearly as fun as 1 or 2 (at least to me). And yes, you nailed another annoyance of mine with Bale's voice as it's almost comical (uses it in Batman too).

    Troll Y2K - I'll have to figure out what show that is as I've never heard of it. And yes, Arnold does show up and he is definitely computer-generated as he looks like he did in the 80s. It's pretty impressive CGI stuff, but still . . .

  6. nobich Says:
  7. No desire- not even for "Stupid Movie Sunday" but thanks for the review.

  8. Boxer Says:
  9. I'm with you, I'm done with Christian Bale. One of the things I did enjoy about the previous Terminator's was the"humor" or moments of levity, a great line/etc. Now things sooooo serious. Or maybe I'm just having Dark Knight flashbacks.

    Great review, as usual.

  10. BostonPobble Says:
  11. It seems Bale has confused Serious Actor with great talent. When you have great talent (as I agree with you he does), you actually show...range. Yeah, novel concept. No matter how serious or intense the roles, if you only play one note, you only play one note. He needs to have some fun ~ and do it brilliantly ~ before he loses his edge.

  12. Nobich - Yeah, probably not even for SMS for you as it's not fun in many ways. Sorry, but there's always next week as I plan to see 'The Hangover' and that should be great for your Sunday.

    Boxer - I know what you mean about Dark Knight, which I just watched for the 2nd time recently. Bale is in full blown yelling mode and then speaking in that really gravelly voice he uses lately when he's not screaming. And I'm tired of it all. That all being said, I think he will be good in 'Public Enemies' with Johnny Depp this summer, which is a film I really want to see.

    Boxer - Exactly. Show me some range, some nuance, something different as he's in a rut right now (see above comment for hope on his next project). The problem compounds in the fact that he seems like he lacks any sense of humor off-screen as well (just read the latest GQ where he was the cover story), and I just don't care much for people who can't laugh at themselves a bit.

  13. JLee Says:
  14. I agree about Bale...he needs to lighten up AND lose the weird gravelly voice. I also agree about Worthington...I see some great potential there for future roles.

  15. Linda Says:
  16. This post confirms every reaso I had to NOT see this movie. I also like Bale as an actor, but I'm not sorry I'll miss him in this.

  17. Miss Ash Says:
  18. *Snooze*

    Not the review, the movie itself would most likely make me bored though Mr. Bale isn't too shabby to look at.

  19. Jlee - I bet you see potential in Worthington. Ha. I think he's in some big budget James Cameron movie coming out late this year or next year. And I agree totally about Bale - time to move on.

    Linda - Yeah, it was almost exactly liked I assumed it would be from the previews. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad that it confirmed my suspicions, but it was nothing special in any way, shape or form.

    Miss Ash - Yep. I would skip this if I were you as Bale is mostly covered in grime and yelling, so you can check out something else he's in if its just for looks. Ha.

  20. kmwthay Says:
  21. Sorry I'm late getting over here. I think I am with you on this movie. It did keep my attention throughout the movie - but I feel like once is enough. I haven't liked him in many movies, although The Prestige is a big fave.

    stop on over on Wednesday for my new culinary throwdown challenge entry.

  22. I didn't even watch the last Terminator movie. I liked Terminator 2 when I was a sophomore in high school, but I feel it probably wouldn't do much for me anymore.

  23. Farzan Says:
  24. Never saw Salvation, but I enjoyed the first three Terminator films. Even though T3 was the weak one compared to the first two films, I still enjoyed it to some extent. Salvation looks horrible and doesn't even feature Arnold in it. No, the CGI Arnold is just not going to cut it for me. I might give this movie a chance when it hits Blu Ray, but I'm definitely trying to avoid it at all cost. I saw Drag Me To Hell this weekend instead of this and I really enjoyed it. One of the most fun I had at the movies since Star Trek.

  25. Kmwthay - That's how I felt about Salvation too. It didn't drag, but it never got me excited either. And you're right about the Presige - very good film. Will be over Wednesday.

    Native Minnow - That's about when I saw T2 as well (maybe 9th, 10th grade), and I own it on DVD. It still holds up pretty well as I watched it a few months ago for the first time in many years & it was still very solid.

    Farzan - Thanks for the 'Drag Me To Hell' recommendation as I was trying to decide on that one - on the fence, but was hoping it would be fun. Terminator Salvation would look good on Blu Ray as I would say just wait and rent it - once.

  26. TROLL Y2K Says:
  27. Red Eye is on Fox News Channel at 0300 EST. Panel show with a South Parkian look at current events. Always amusing, sometimes hilarious. Depends on the guests.

  28. Heff Says:
  29. .......................................................................................................................................................Poot !................................................................................................................

  30. Troll Y2K - That is the Red Eye hour for sure. Brutal. Thanks for the knowledge as I like to at least be aware of what is out there.

    Heff - I don't know how to respond to that. Ha.


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