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Terminator Salvation (Director's Cut) (2009)

A movie directed by Joseph McGinty

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A Worthy Addition To A Much Loved Franchise.

  • Jul 21, 2009
As a fan of the entire Terminator movie series, you would be forgiven for assuming that I would hate this movie. The truth is that I didn't watch this movie hoping it would match the brilliance of the original movies as I knew that simply wasn't going to happen. What we got was not a film that captured the terrifying doomsday essence of what made Cameron's two Terminator films so brilliant. We also didn't even get the cool and slick looking destruction heavy style of the third Terminator film. What we got instead was, what I felt, to be a perfectly captured post-apocalyptic world which contains a marvellous depiction of the human race when faced with what seems as the impossible fight for survival. Director McG has received a lot of doubt about his ability move the Terminator saga into the post-apocalyptic world which we first gained a glimpse of in the first Terminator movie. That doubt had no foundation and what McG presented in the finished piece, although the plot could do with some polishing, was a fantastically frightening environment with some cool effects and worthy acting throughout.

The plot sets John Connor in the year 2018. The machine uprising has begun and only small pockets of human resistance movements exist with the soul purposes of surviving and destroying the machine threat. John Connor has finally entered the position he was fated to enter since before he was born and is now the leader of the human resistance. He has encountered the machines before which gives him and his teams the advantage when knowing what they will be put up against as the human/machine war continues. As the resistance fight continues Connors father, Kyle Reese encounters Marcus Wright who we see at the start of the movie receiving lethal injections on death row just before the war begins. Marcus doesn't know what's happened as he woke up in the post-apocalyptic world with no memory of the machine initial attempt at destroying the human race. Marcus quickly partners up with Kyle Reese and a child we know as Star who are also on a mission to find the resistance leader and join the fight. The mystery eventually unfolds and we find out whether Marcus was sent from the future or is merely a survivor of the past and he becomes pivotal in the fight against the machine threat.

The film itself was very touch and go throughout. Some parts worked where others didn't but the entire piece presented an enjoyable action movie that doesn't go too much into the fight for survival on the psychological end of things but does retain the aura of desperation that the humans feel in their fight. Christian Bale was surprisingly awful in this and I honestly expected more from a man taking the reigns of the legendary John Connor. Bale presented an ultimately one dimensional character and you had to question his motives of taking the role of this infamous movie character. The mysterious Marcus Wright character, played by the brilliant Sam Worthington is a movie saving character from start to finish. His whole performance is brilliant throughout and manages to drive the plot along successfully with very little to work with in terms of original character depth. Kyle Reese played by the brilliant up and comer Anton Yelchin is also a delightful addition to the movie and adds again a bit of depth to the movies plot. Other supporting cast include Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams and Bryce Dallas Howard as Connor's wife Cate. Also, a cool little cameo piece goes to the delightful Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Serena Kogan who is a Doctor for Cyberdyne Systems and actually turns out to have a more pivotal role.

The action is brilliant throughout and with the apparent unbeatable nature of the machines this manages to present quite a daunting aspect to the theatre of the battles that ensue. The scale of the machine warfare is quite disappointing as when we first glimpsed the human/machine war in the first movie, we gained a glimpse of what seemed to be a constantly chaotic battle which left us wanting more. This film doesn't use Cameron's image as McG takes away the futuristic lasers and hoards of machines lined up executing human after human and he exchanges it for the odd flying scouting machine, a large harvester robot which merely collects the humans for what seems to be mass slaughter and of course, the T-600 machines which are a less advanced model of the T-800 machine which we all know as the 101 machine or Arnold Schwarzenegger who we all miss from this movie. This is probably what the movie is lacking the most as the absence of Arnie is certainly a drag for the Terminator franchise and I'm sure that if the effort were put into the writing, they could have found a role for the older Arnold in this film.

There's not denying that Terminator Salvation lacks the charm and excitement of its trilogy of predecessors, however, there's a lot that this film brings to the Terminator universe. The possibility of John Connors son, the look at the early models of the Terminator machines and the new machine concepts make it quite enjoyable. Had the acting been a bit better and the supporting cast a higher level of significance, this film could have been on par with the original 3. It's still a good film and a worthwhile waste of just under two hours.

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More Terminator Salvation reviews
review by . February 27, 2011
posted in SF Signal
Be forewarned - I didn't like it. Why - we'll get to in a minute but first: I don't hate all movies. I don't even hate all "modern" science fiction" movies.? But since I hated Charlies Angels, its probably safe to say that I do hate all MCG movies. I like a good science fiction film. I'll even give props to SF films that aren't 100% good; in fact, considering some of the flicks I do like, my standards are pretty low. But not so low as to include this abomination. …
review by . May 23, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
movie poster
Hollywood has a habit of rebooting successful franchises, and it seems like the next one on the list is James Cameron's "Terminator" franchise. I have always wondered how the futuristic apocalyptic world of this sci-fi franchise would look like and as to how humans are able to survive and keep a "resistance". Having the rare distinction of being both a prequel and a sequel, "TERMINATOR SALVATION" attempts to give us that vision. The film pretty much takes off after …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie had more heart than the others in the series. The end is the best part to me.
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Unfortunately it was not the final terminator movies, but oddly enough it was almost a prequel to the others.
review by . May 20, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Great Action, Cast, and FX     Cons: Dark Tone.     The Bottom Line: Terminator Salvation is a solid entry into the classic series.     Following up the legendary first two Terminator films was no easy task. Without series creator, James Cameron. many fans found “Terminator: Rise of the Machines” to be lacking the depth, action, and character of the earlier films.  When Director McG was announced to continue the war …
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Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #47
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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Terminator Salvationrestores some of the balance of huge freakin' explosions and emotionally compelling plot to theTerminatorseries. Set entirely after the nuclear assault that left the computer system Skynet in control of the world,Terminator Salvationfollows John Connor (Christian Bale) as he grapples with both murderous robots and his superiors in the resistance, who aren't sure they believe the prophecies that Connor is destined to save humanity. Into the midst of this struggle tumbles Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington, who would later star in James Cameron'sAvatar); the last thing he remembers was being executed in prison decades before. Baffled, he falls into company with Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin,Star Trek) and a mute little girl, who soon get captured--but Wright then meets and bonds with Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood,Eight Below), a resistance fighter who remains loyal to the confused Wright even though Connor suspects he's not what he seems--or what he believes himself to be.Terminator Salvationisn't the astonishing synthesis of action and feeling that eitherThe TerminatororT2were; the plot threads are poorly woven and fray completely in the last third of the movie. Despite this,Terminator Salvationhas at least two skillfully orchestrated action sequences that will get your heart racing, and Worthington’s beguiling mixture of toughness and vulnerability gives his relationship with Bloodgood a genuine pulse. It's imperfect, but compared ...
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Director: McG
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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