Terminator Salvation

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      Starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington. Rated 14A.

      It’s now been a quarter of a century since James Cameron started the Terminator franchise, and 90 years since Karel Capek wrote about the annihilation of humans by robots in R.U.R., the Czech play that invented this particular science-fiction theme. Although Cameron signed off after Judgment Day, the saga’s second installment, series star Arnold Schwarzenegger hung around for The Rise of the Machines (after which he became an only slightly less mechanical governor of California). Thus, Terminator Salvation is the first episode that must get along without an Austrian accent emerging from a mountain of muscles (well, almost—and no, I’m not going to tell you what I mean by that).

      Watch the trailer for Terminator Salvation.

      This time out, John Connor (Christian Bale) must try to save the life of his father (who is currently less than half his age). The year is 2018, and most of humanity has been eliminated, but small rebel bands still exist here and there. The question is: will Connor accept the help of a mysterious stranger (Sam Worthington) whose heart might not be in the right place?

      While T:4 isn’t particularly original, it’s certainly an energetic film. The evil agents of Skynet (a computer network suspiciously like the Omnius system in the Dune novels) are capable of assuming all sorts of shapes (Transformers!), even if most of them look more like Cylon “toasters” (Battlestar Galactica!). As for the backgrounds and homicidal toys, they’re strictly video game, which might be seen as a plus in some eyes.

      So, even without Arnie in the lead role, Terminator Salvation isn’t boring. To be sure, it lacks the nightmare quality and lowbrow humour of T:1, but with things going kablooey every 30 seconds or so, how many people are even going to notice?



      Donald Smith

      May 22, 2009 at 2:06pm

      This movie simply does not live up to all the hype. My advice is simple: save your money and spend it on a better movie. Go see Star Trek again. There is very little story and you never connect to the characters and their supposedly grim situation. The scariest part is the realization there will probably be a T5 and maybe a T6.

      I'm a fan of the Terminator series and own all three. I will not buy this one on DVD. A real disappointment, to squander so much money, effort and talent on a story that is barely capable of supporting 15 minutes worth of movie.

      Tibor A

      May 24, 2009 at 7:19pm

      I enjoyed this T 4 rendition. It was different, lacked the one liners of T fame, but it stared robots / machines. Marcus the cyborg / human role was simple and to the point and well acted. There were LOTS of hommages to other movies: Alien, War of the Worlds, Batman, Matrix, Mad Max and others. This was an ACTION movie, some what dark but lighter than T3. Essentially it was a fun, holy ___ type flick that never stopped.