* Prices may differ from that shown
Intro and Info:
Terminator Salvation is a sci-fi action film that was made and released in 2009. The film was directed by McG who has also directed other films like This Means War and Charlie's Angels. Terminator Salvation was produced by four people Jeanne Allgood, Derek Anderson, Moritz Borman and Mario Kassar. The film was also written by two people John Brancato and Michael Ferris. Terminator Salvation was made on a budget of 200 million dollars but the film grossed well over 371 million dollars and so the film was a huge box office success grossing well over the budget. The IMDB website rates Terminator Salvation 6.7 out of 10 and that is based on well over 145,000 Votes.
Christian Bale as John Connor
Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright
Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese
Bryce Dallas Howard as Kate Connor
Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams
Common as Barnes
Good points and Bad Points:
The direction I thought was superb, all of the scenes had the right camera angles and everything looked good throughout the film. Also all the scenes ran well together, and the lighting was really good as well, except in some scenes in the movie I thought that it was a bit dark and difficult to see, it could have been because of numerous things but it was just something I picked up on. But overall great lighting and I think it adds a good effect to the scenes and film and brilliant directing.
Terminator Salvation is a sci-fi action film and so I expected there to loads of CGI and Special effects and overall they were to a very good standard. The CGI looked good in most scenes but in some scenes the CGI looked unrealistic and the colours were washed out and you could tell that it was CGI in the film, overall however the CGI was good. The Special effects in the film also were very detailed and very realistic when it was used which also makes the film look better and in my opinion, like I said before the film did rely a lot on special effects but they are not overused also the special effects looked better than the CGI in my opinion and were to a better standard.
The picture quality was brilliant which is to be expected nowadays and the sound quality was good and so pretty much what I expected from a film that was released not too long ago, However the sound quality was clear throughout most the scenes in some scenes the sound became quieter and almost muzzled and so it became harder to hear, overall however the sound was good in most of the scenes. Because the film is 115 minutes long it is a long film but in my opinion I thought it was easily watchable and the film is very entertaining and the film's story doesn't fell stretched.
The acting was overall very good too but again I think it could have been slightly improved. Overall many of the actors did an amazing job of portraying their characters but some of the actors didn't seem to put show enough emotion in their characters. In some of the really intense scenes the characters didn't seem to be very engaged, however this is only in one or two scenes and throughout the whole film the acting is actually very good. Most of the actors also managed very well to show their characters emotions and feelings and so I was very impressed with the acting. Every one of the actors were also very easy to understand and all of the actors spoke clearly.
The story is also well written and did well to join in onto the other Terminator films and I thought that the way that the films story links with the other Terminator Films was very good and the story writers did a very good job of that. The film's story is very action packed and kick-starts very quickly, the story can become slow in places and sometimes there are a few things that I thought weren't really needed in the film but overall the story is relatively fast paced. The story did have sub plots but there weren't that many of them and in my opinion they weren't that great. They seemed to be small little things that didn't really affect the story or make it substantially better, there are a few twists that surprised me but overall the film lacked sub plots in my opinion. The story is also easily understood and isn't confusing.
There was a soundtrack in this film and it wasn't that great in my opinion. The soundtrack had a few good songs and music that really did well to make some scenes much more entertaining but then throughout most of the film there wasn't much music in the scenes and when there was it didn't really fit the what was happening in that scene. The Music also created some suspense in the film when it was needed and also made the film more dramatic in places but it lacked this kind of music in the most important scenes in my opinion. The Music in this film wasn't that good and could have been easily improved in my opinion.
Terminator Salvation is a good film and it does well to become integrated in the Terminator series in my opinion, however it thought that the film could have been better in a few things like added sub plots and twists, more music as there wasn't really any soundtrack in this film and a few other things. The length isn't really an issue in my opinion because the film is slow in places but overall it is relatively fast paced.
Terminator Salvation is the fourth film in the series and is based further into the future then the other three films. There have been many rumours that there will be a Terminator 5 film but whether it would be a directed sequel to Terminator Salvation is unsure also Arnold Schwarzenegger is said to be returning as a main role in the next Terminator film. I think that t would be interesting to see whether they make another Terminator film because of what the story is and when it is set.
Overall I enjoyed watching Terminator Salvation and think that it was a Good film. The CGI and Special effects were to a high standard and all though the CGI could have been improved slightly they were good in most scenes in the film. The story and screenplay provided a good story and the story is easily followed, also it is very action packed though the story did lack sub plots and can become slow is some places overall it did well to become part of the Terminator series. The sound track as I have previously mentioned I thought wasn't very good at all and it could have been easily improved to make the film better. Most of the actors did an amazing job portraying their characters. Overall I enjoyed watching Terminator Salvation and I would recommend the film is you want to kill time or if you're a big terminator fan but don't spend money to see the film as it isn't a great film and that's why I've rated it
3.5 Out of 5
Recommended if you want to kill time or are a big Terminator fan.
Thank you for reading my film review, any comments or ratings are appreciated and I will try to rate you all back but if I miss you please let me know and I will rate. This Review may be posted on Ciao under the same username.
Salvation is the fourth installment of The Terminator franchise and sees the action move to just after Judgement Day and the first years of the war with machines. Connor is seen as a kind of Prophet who has his own following amongst the troops but the overall Commanders of The Resistance are less enthusiastic about listening to his advice and warnings about what to expect. This leads to conflict amongst the ranks as Connor continually sets off on his own agenda, determined to fight the war his way....
When he learns his name is Number Two on a list of targets that Skynet wishes to eliminate, Connor is disturbed but he becomes more disturbed when he discovers who is Number One; a civilian named Kyle Reece. Reece is destined to be sent back in time by Connor and eventually become his father so by killing him, Skynet will be able to reset the future....John sets out to find Kyle but Reece has his own problems. Captured by an H.K and placed in a Slave transport, Reece finds himself being aided by a mysterious figure who was once a murderer pre-dark but who signed his body over to Cyberdyne for experimentation before the war. But does this figure mean good or ill......one thing is certain, if Connor wants to get close to Kyle, first he needs to trust him explicitly even though he knows what he is and what he is capable of!
This is the weakest yet of The Terminator films and I don't say that lightly. I love Terminator but this glimpse of the future is way too bright compared to flash-forwards we have sen in previous films. Also, and I know it is early days, but I don't remember The Resistance ever using helicopters and planes before. I know the future has been changed ever so slightly by dabblings in the time-line but these are little niggles about the film I really didn't like!
Things I did like were all the nods to the previous films in the franchise. Connor says "I'll be back...", "You Could Be Mine!" from T2 plays at one point in the film and there are lots of subtle action sequences or moments that are inspired by bits from the earlier movies ~ almost too many to count in fact! If you are a film geek like me, you will delight in pointing out "that bits from the first Terminator film....they did that in T2 etc...."
Overall though this feels like a lazy entry into the series. It has some good moments but was nowhere near as good as I expected or wanted it to be! It is now my least favourite of the films and I only hope that an attempt to make a fifth film ends in more success! Christian Bale is okay as Connor but this is nowhere near his strongest role and it shows that he appears to get a bit bored half way through. Michael Ironside's cameo however is a welcome return to screen for an actor who has played so many of my favourite bad guys over the years!
Would I recommend this? Only for die-hard fans. It is okay but no more than that and nowhere near what fans expected from another Terminator film. Please, please, please make the next one better if you are going to do it again!
In 1984, Michael Biehn starred in Terminator as Kyle Reese, a man sent back from the future by John Connor to prevent a futuristic robot, model T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, from killing Connor's mother, Linda Hamilton and stop him from ever existing. Since then, this one single plotline has been the subject of three sequels, Terminator Salvation being the latest. What is essentially an easy to understand concept is a hard one to rationalise as it involves time travel. However, this is something that is featured in many films, so it's not an alien notion as far as cinema is concerned.
Yet there is still the dogged determination to chronicle and explain the events that led Reese to come back in time and save Sarah Connor. The sequel, T2: Judgment day, was a brilliant film, but sadly the third installment, Rise of the Machines, was disappointing, to say the least. Salvation looked to revitalise the saga, setting it in the future to give us ultimate understanding of what was (or should I say 'will be') happening to get him sent back in time in the first place.
Those who have followed the three films before this one will understand that a man made technology has gained some sort of self control. In the year 2018, this tech, known as Skynet, has destroyed the majority of humanity, hoping to take over the planet with complete control. Only a few survive, known as the resistance, and they include freedom fighter John Connor, played here by Christian Bale. Elsewhere, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) emerges from the wreckage of an underground base station where humans were held captive, and joins the resistance. As Connor's and Wright's paths slowly weave towards each other with the help of a very young Kyle Reese, Skynet's true trump card begins to take formation, and the battle for survival continues.
A lot of this plot revolves around the capture of Reese, and Connor's knowledge of his importance for the 'future' urges him to save him. If you have watched the previous films, then you'll know of this importance. If you haven't, it won't matter. Enough is explained in the opening half an hour to give a good enough description of events to pick up the story and understand the basics. Enjoyment will not be comprehensive as there are a number of elements of the film that need some sort of back story understanding to fully appreciate, but there's still enough here to get the gist and enjoy a decent film full of action.
Visually, the film is very dark, and the presentation is almost sepia-like in terms of visual quality. It makes it hard to define characters and scenes and locations, which I felt was a negative on the film, although I do see the bleak futuristic world that director McG was trying to depict with this styling. The director's usual ability to balance pace in a film is well exhibited here as well, and McG does get this right. Ultimately, it's a really tricky thing to try and nail, as there is a danger of getting overly complicated with the film's plot, but I think it comes close to being a good balance between presenting something for Terminator newcomers as well as ardent followers of the saga so far.
Yet things are a bit cloudy, especially at the beginning. You get the feeling that Wright's involvement in the film is somewhat random, and that his importance will have some meaning later on, and there is indeed heavier relevance later on, providing quite a well written twist that is easy to lose in amongst the action and the pace of the latter stages of the film. Worthington's inclusion in this film was a good choice, and I felt his role was very well played. He interacted well with a somewhat below par Christian Bale, who was an interesting choice as John Connor. I still rate Bale as one of the best actors around, and I always know I'm going to get my money's worth from him, but he almost played second fiddle here despite being the integral part of the story, indeed the saga.
Other acting is decent enough, with a few short roles from Helena Bonham Carter, Bryce Dallas Howard and Michael Ironside, and the emergence of an early version of the robot Arnie ends up playing in the first film makes a welcome impact that seems to increase the presence of the film as you're watching it. It shows the power the original film had that this inclusion boosts proceedings; as does the familiar strain of strong females the films all employ, with Moon Bloodgood as Blair providing some female dominance here.
The final scenes of the film are perhaps the best parts, with the intense action that the saga has as its mantle coming to the fore following a film that requires a lot of focus having just unfolded. I think its this deeper and more exploratory intelligence that has made the film not quite so lauded as the first two, and would probably have been better received had it been simpler. You almost wish they had stripped things back and provided a simple combat, as opposed to mixing up complications as plot developments left, right and centre. The last 15 or 20 minutes really do bring about a feeling that makes you want them to do another film, save for one cheesy eye-rolling moment, and there's a bit of salvation (no pun intended) for the film here. However, it is almost a case of 'too little, too late', and really the whole film was too dark and deep to make it easy to get into and enjoy as much as I had hoped.
Overall, then, I would definitely recommend it, but make sure you know it's one that you definitely have to concentrate when watching. Obviously, it makes more sense if you have seen the previous three films in the series, but McG's attempts to make this watchable as a stand alone film only just make it, and those of you without prior knowledge of the films may struggle to 'get' the whole thing. There is an enjoyment level, and it is nice to get some form of explanation and answers to the questions the previous films all posed, but it's overdone and not as enjoyable as I had hoped. Recommended, but don't expect the greatness we had all wished for.
The world has been taken over by machines who are being run by Skynet. John Connor is running a resistance team who are trying but not very successfully to take out the machine. John has to act fast as his and everyone else's life hangs in the balance when he discovers that he must save his father Kyle Reese who went back in time to prevent the machine from taking over years ago.
John sets out on his mission when he meets Marcus Wright, he is a loner who is also trying to bring down the machine, Marcus explains that he knows where Kyle is and now they must work together to save Kyle. Things do not go to plan as John has to disobey orders to complete his mission. Will Marcus and John be able to save Kyle and just what is the mystery surrounding Marcus?
The plot summery which I have given is only brief, there is a little more to the film but I feel that I would be spoiling it for those who are yet to see the film if I give any more of t away. For me this film did not appeal too much as I could not remember what had happened in the previous films but after a quick update from hubby I was able to understand what was and had happened in the past and follow this storyline. I did find the storyline was good but so much more could have been done with it, I just could not get over the feeling that the makers were trying the drag out the whole Terminator franchise with this film as there was not too much to learn from it.
Christian Bale played the role of John Connor and I do think he was a good choice for the role, he gave the character some good grit and showed a good amount of determination. He worked well with the terminator effects and all of the action scenes. The real star of this film for me was Sam Worthington who played Marcus. He gave so much more to his character and I loved the air of mystery which was surrounding him. He showed a good amount of emotions and sensitivity towards the other characters and I enjoyed this part of him as he was not as flat as Bale's role. There were other good actors and actresses in the film, including the likes of Moon Bloodgood, Anton Yelchin and Helena Bonham Carter. They all gave good performance and made for entertaining viewing.
There were a lot of special effects throughout this film and for me they were one of the best bits of the film. They were all well made and extremely detailed. The terminator machines looked good and I loved how they fought with the humans and I did find the interactions between human and effects worked well and looked very real. There is a lot of violence in this film and it all seemed to work and fit well into the storyline and this s another factor which made the film so watch able. The makeup used on Sam Worthington was excellent looked very real. The music was good but not very memorable, it did hep with the drama and tensions for the scenes it was used in but it was nothing to shout about and certainly not worth buying on a soundtrack.
A lot of the film had a futuristic feel to it despite everywhere being destroyed and the lack of humans and I found this worked well and made the storyline move believable. We did get some lovely scenes over the derelict desert in America and I found this to be a lovely addition to the film. The costumes were all good and suited the characters and again this for me had a futuristic feel.
The DVD which we have does not have any bonus features but this is no great loss for me as I am not a fan of them anyway. The running time of this film is 1 hour and 50 minutes and I think this was more than long enough. The certificate is a 12 as there are moderate violence and action scenes and I do definitely agree with this and would even verge on giving this a 15 certificate. We paid just £5 for this DVD from Tesco which I felt to be a good and fair price.
Overall I can only give this film 3 stars. The acting was excellent especially from Sam Worthington but I would have liked more from Bale and the whole overall storyline. Maybe this film is just one too far in the terminator franchise and there definitely should not be any more. One for fans of the previous films but do not expect too much from it.
Terminator Salvation is the 2009 or latest instalment to the Sci-fi collection. The Original Terminator and its sequel - Judgement day still hold considerable weight in not just the genre but in cinema history, I am part of a generation that has grown up with these films and have a natural but well founded adoration for them. Directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol or better known as "MCG" Terminator Salvation gave audiences hope that the saga could somehow be saved after the travesty of the third film. There are many things we could say about this film but I think at the crux of it what's really important is whether or not it's a sequel or a stand alone film... well it's both.
Starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington the film depicts the war between Skynet and humanity in 2018, the human resistance cells fighting and killing the machines where they can and the humans being harvested by machines in order that Skynet can produce a new cyborg system - Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). I don't like putting too many spoilers into my reviews so unless you're a fan of the genre and previous films you may need to bone up and fill in some gaps - The Terminator plotlines are not as complex as they sound and despite various timelines being crossed and the laws of cause and effect coming into play, anyone can get to grips with it if they watch all four films.
Sam Worthington seems to upstage Christian Bale in this film somewhat and rightly so as a budding young actor just breaking into the business. Christian Bale quite honestly shouldn't have taken this role on, but as the current movie whore he seems to be what could we have expected?!.. That said Bale allegedly had a lot of say on the final production spending up to eight hours a day in the editing room with the director, it's clear his status can now command considerable influence but as a personal opinion I just don't feel he was right as John Connor. Continuing the strong female themes of old there is Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams a battle hardened and romantically inclined pilot that develops a kind of survivor's guilt for the cyborg Marcus.
The film itself seems to rely less on CGI and special FX and is a much more enjoyable watch for it. It is dark and very derelict in line with genre conventions but at the same time it's fairly polished and up to date with it's aesthetics and general Mise-en-scene. The Cyberdyne laboratories are all clinical and threatening with accurate use of light and colour schemes, there's even a production line for the T800 model 101's where a specially moulded Original 1984 face mask of Arnold himself who seemingly steps out of a flesh grafting chamber with the classic steel girder factory sounds of drums ringing out in homage to the first film. Dum Dum Dum!. Dum Dum!.. You know that terrifying metal clashing sound from the original film when the skeletal terminator just wont stop coming and you wake up in a cold sweat with no one there to comfort you because you were only about 5 five and probably shouldn't have watched it but now it is etched into your subconscious and has integrated itself with your sense of fear.....(no..? Well that's what it did to me). Apparently the musical score was intended be Wagnerian - what could be more scary?!..
So is the movie any good?... Well I'm not sure actually, in many ways this a very enjoyable piece of cinema and depends quite heavily on the audience knowing the back story which is good as normally we are spoon fed recaps of past events in a fairly patronising way but with this film what you are seeing is an ending to several generations hopes and expectations. It is good and bad but then it was always going to be a hard one to place, remember it's predecessor's are gigantic by comparison, with the exception of the toilet that was Rise of the Machines ... I am pleased to have watched it and can honestly say it was enjoyable but it was certainly received quite negatively and some valid points are the lack of dramatics which the previous films in the franchise were famed for - interestingly though the main consensus seemed to be that Bale should never have been in the role. I would recommend it if you want to see another film where robots and humans are fighting in what is essentially another factory, foundry or warehouse. However if you had the idea that it has so much potential to take the audience to a new level and find a really seminal close to a franchise that will endure the test of time, I say to you - you probably wont enjoy this in the slightest, I'm even surprised I did but hwy ya never know until you give it a go.....
Machines, They Want It All!
Judgement Day has happened, the machines have taken control and the resistance is struggling in the fight against them. John Connor is what he was always destined to be, a soldier fighting but not yet a leader.
The fight has to be taken to Skynet, the human races survival depends on it.
There was a lot of anticipation for this film, and it became headline news following the infamous on set ranting of Christian Bale, who's toys flew firmly out of the pram.
Who could have predicted that Bale's star would be overshadowed by the new guy on the block, Sam Worthington, who is now ultra famous ironically thanks to James Cameron's Avatar. Sam really does have a lot to thank Jim for.
McG has taken the helm on this one, he has previously directed the Charlie's Angels films, so this is a big step for him. He doesn't make a complete hash of it, but he is no James Cameron unfortunately, and he has set the bar very high. He doesn't give it the same wow factor.
Sam Worthington is the star here, forget Bale here, he may be John Connor but his Marcus Wright steals the show. He get's a lot more screen time than Bale, and is really the centre of the story. He seems to nail the part very well, and just comes across as cool all the time.
Christian Bale puts everything into his roles, just see The Machinist to see what dedication to your job really is. Bale however just doesn't nail John Connor for me. He's still not bettered his Patrick Bateman I'm afraid, although I've still only seen one bad film with him in, Harsh Times. I think he might be believing his own hype.
Anton Yelchin, who recently played Chekov in the excellent Star Trek, is Kyle Reese who I'm sure we all know died in Terminator and became Connor's Dad, paradox or what? It's a good part but not a great one, he does his best with what he's got to work with.
Moon Bloodgood (what a fantastic name) also has a large part as a resistance pilot, she is beautiful and tough all at once, and she really shows a lot of emotion.
The special effects are excellent, although they do take a lot from the Matrix films, I think they owe a lot to Terminator so all's fair in love and war I'd say. It's not as impressive as Avatar but are more than adequate here.
I found that watching it on DVD was much more satisfying than at the cinema, I think it's probably because I had built up the film too much when I first saw it. It is an enjoyable film, it's not up to the same standard of the first two films and it's a little better than the third which I found to be a little too much of a comedy. This is certainly not a comedy, well except for the odd classic cheesy line. The very end does kind of let it down a bit, by being too unbelievable. Oh, and it's a bit too predictable too.
Unfortunately this film series really does need James Cameron back and perhaps even Arnold, although the Governator does make a brief CGI appearance as the good old Terminator we know and love.
Main Cast List
Christian Bale - John Connor
Sam Worthington - Marcus Wright
Moon Bloodgood - Blair Williams
Helena Bonham Carter - Dr. Serena Kogan
Anton Yelchin - Kyle Reese
Directed By : McG
Running Time : 115 Mins.
Certificate : 12A
A film made for no other reason than the money. James Cameron started this franchise in 1984, and there was the sequal in 1991. It didn't really need to go further than that. But it has, and here we are. This is the fourth film, and though as an action film it has some great moments, it really does nothing for the franchise.
So if you want to watch it, the best thing you can do is think of it as completely separate from the original and superior 2 films.
As an action sci-fi, this is a good film. It has some brilliant special effects, and several very good actions scenes. The script moves along quickly. It doesn't leave much time for characterization, but what it lacks there it makes up for in action.
The plot picks up in the future, after the nuclear war. John Conner and some other soldiers arrive at a hidden bunker, and find hidden Terminator and Skynet experimental models. They destroy all but one of them, who turns out to be part man part machine and in many ways is more pivotal than John Conner himself. John Conner is charged with destroying a large Terminator complex and to rescue the humans within, and all the action scenes lead up to this, where the character who is half man/half machine makes his decision to side with the humans. There is a fight with the machines, including Arnold Schwarzeneggers's original T-800 model (he was computerized into the film), and the comlex is destroyed.
As an action film, this is a goo, solid effort. But it's nothing like the original films at all.
I loved all the first 3 Terminator films so when they announced the fourth was out on DVD I hastily added it to my lovefilm list and eagerly awaited its arrival. It arrived this week and my partner and I settled down to watch it. I'd like to point out this is a film only review, we don't watch extras unless they're on a comedy film and of the blooper variety.
Terminator Salvation takes place in the year 2018 and the theme is the humans versus the machines. Christian Bale plays the adult John Connor and Sam Worthington portrays a cyborg called Marcus Wright. Those are really the main characters with the exception of Anton Yelchin as Connor's father Kyle Reese. Helena Bonham Carter makes a couple of appearances and manages to look quite sane for a change!
The film starts years before with Marcus Wright in prison due to be executed for murder. I was a bit confused by this and for the first half hour I kept asking my partner if he was John Connor because I couldn't figure out how he fit in. All was revealed but I actually think that actor would have made a better job of the part of John Connor than Christian Bale did.
We then skip ahead to the barren machine ridden land that is the year 2018 with groups of humans forming a resistance against Skynet. The humans are hiding out in various places and keep in contact with Connor via his radio announcements. The machines in this installment are alot more advanced than the previous films and we have all sorts of horrors tracking the humans to kill them on the spot or round them up to be killed at Skynet HQ. Some of the Terminators are recognisable though even though they haven't bothered to "pretty them up" with human outers this time.
As the fourth installment in the Terminator series I have to say this one lacked the key element of the first three. It really didn't have that same human quality to it where we are wondering if John Connor will make it. There's also none of the time travel that we are used to seeing and no Terminators appearing naked from nowhere! I think that was actually a bit of a mistake and we should have seen some of this but clearly the director wanted to go a new way with this film. Christian Bale as John Connor was another mistake and he just didn't command respect or portray leadership as you'd expect Connor to after a lifetime of being prepared for it by his mother Sarah Connor and his previous encounters with the machines. Connor was supposed to be the one who saved humanity but this just didn't come across in this film and he ended up not being much of a hero at all!
Kyle Reese, who we remember was sent back to protect and impregnate a young Sarah Connor in the first film, is a mere teenager in this one and shows nothing that would make us think John Connor would choose him to send back in time. Another rogue casting in my opinion. I would have expected them to portray Kyle Reese as something a bit special so he stood out enough to be the one sent back.
The whole film is like it's not connected to the first 3 and that was one of the things that kept us hooked with the others. The characters all reappeared or were mentioned and the Terminators had a bit of personality and the whole atmosphere was one of threat, tension and dare I say it tongue in cheek humour. But it worked so well for 3 films that kept us all interested so why did this one fail?
Sarah Connor's voice is heard on a tape, her photo is shown a couple of times but there was no interaction with any of the machines. I may have spoilt this for myself by watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles which showed us John had been reprogramming cyborgs to use against Skynet so I think I was expecting this to happen. The whole thing just seemed completely detached from the series of films before it that it was hard to watch it without feeling disappointment.
I'm finding it hard to think of anything positive to say about this film and really wish they'd left it at the 3 we had and loved. The castings were mostly wrong, the story is hard to follow, the ending is utterly ridiculous and I found that really annoying. The subtitles shown to inform us which year we are in etc are tiny so you may want to sit with your nose near the TV screen for those and read them fast or they're gone! The whole thing was disjointed and vague and doesn't seem to follow on correctly from the first 3. In fact this 4th one actually felt more like an interlude to a 5th one. I don't know if that's planned but this seemed to do nothing more than lay a bit of new groundwork that could be added to.
I'm still trying to think of a postive and I think it has to be Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright. He should have been Connor and his actions throughout the film made him more like the hero so he managed to keep the film moving along somehow mostly by himself.
Overall it was a confusing mish mash of scenes, most of which didn't inspire me to keep watching, disconnected and disjointed and a very disappointng performance from Christian Bale. I hope if they do another they revert back to the format we all know and love somehow and make it a bit more human. One star from me sadly.
Terminator Salvation is available to buy from Amazon for £5.99 but I'd advise renting it. The film is classed as a 12 and run time is 111 minutes.
It is the year 2018 and almost two decades after Judgment Day. The machines have taken over and a global nuclear war has decimated the human population. Skynet now hunts down to capture or destroy the survivors of this holocaust, waging a new war against the small pockets of resistance who choose to fight back. John Connor (Christian Bale) continues his rise to legendary status as the prophesized leader of the resistance, but his position is far from assured with many in higher positions doubting him. After leading an attack on a Skynet base, Connor discovers that plans for the development of the notorious T800s seems to have been brought forward and live human prisoners are being used to create these cyborgs. The base is destroyed with Connor as the only survivor...or so it seems. Unbeknown to Connor a man, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), who was executed and gave his body up for medical research one year before Judgment Day crawls somehow fully resurrected from the rubble. He is about to stumble into destiny and into the life of another key player in the history of the resistance. He is about to meet Kyle Reece (Anton Yelchin) who in years to come will be sent into the past to father John Connor...
If "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" was an experiment to see if the franchise could survive on the big screen without creator James Cameron, then "Terminator Salvation" went even further by not having Arnold Schwarzenegger either (although we do get a cameo of his CGI likeness). Whereas T3's box office returns were not up to the standard of its predecessors, it was still a big financial success and has mainly received positive responses amongst the most influential critics, lay reviewers and fans of the franchise. The same cannot be said for "Terminator Salvation", but is this really fair?
There is something not quite right about the confidence non-canonical comic book and video game merchandise of movie franchises creates in the minds of filmmakers. Think "Alien versus Predator" and "Robocop" to see how although some might survive well when in the hands of comic-book writers who are interested in developing a story, once it gets back to the screens audiences, critics and fans are less understanding. It doesn't help that comic-book and novelization authors are adding depth to the mythology, which helps build anticipation for other projects. As sales for this merchandize remain consistently good film producers see the opportunity to capitalize with a film, but the picture is often destined to fail.
I am with Linda Hamilton, the actress who played Sarah Connor in the first two films, in that the story of "The Terminator" started with the first film and finished off nicely with the second one. T3 certainly had its moments, but it came across as more of an awkward vehicle designed to re-start the franchise with the much older Schwarzenegger going through the motions and a female Terminatrix being an obvious gimmick. In this respect, I didn't expect much for "Terminator Salvation", which seemed destined for trouble from the off. During the production of the film Christian Bale's hissy fit with director Shane Hurlbut was recorded and released to the media. For these actions Bale has publically apologized and eyewitnesses confirmed the matter was resolved within hours of it happening, but it has marked the reputation of this critically acclaimed actor, which the gutter press and their representatives (cough, cough Piers Morgan) now enjoy using it to cast Bale as a type of diva. For me, it says more about those who chose to release the recording to the public than Bale.
Aside from these personal problems, the film made some other drastic departures from the established on-film "Terminator" formula that I don't feel would sit well with most viewers of the first three films. To start with, time travel is no longer used a key part of the plot. This is the first film where no one has travelled back through time. Secondly the film offers such a twist on the basic story about a single terminator hunting its human prey that, although clever, prevents any sort of chase dynamic. Finally by setting the whole film in the future there is no current feel to the action. We received glimpses of the future in the first three parts and the third film crossed the line at the end, but on the whole audiences engaged with the story because the ridiculous was transplanted into our world. It never really fell into the space opera or high fantasy genres, where suspension of disbelief is requested for the existence of an imagined world. "Terminator Salvation" suddenly demands that we believe in the possible future throughout the story. All of these three points would not be a concern in the world of comic-books and video games, where readers can be won over with a steady pace. However, as a film it comes across as a spin-off at best rather than a sequel, and as a cynical transparent example of trading off the franchise's name and reputation at worst.
Other criticism that seems to be levelled at the film is its simplistic storyline. However -and here I begin to the come to the film's defence - complexity was never a hallmark of the Terminator franchise. Not that this is a bad thing. Complex science fiction films are not always critical or commercial successes. The fact that "Terminator Salvation" didn't choose to start creating diverse aspects to Skynet and the resistance was a wise decision, given the amount of extra mythology the comic-book world has since created. On the time travel side of things, I for one didn't miss the prospect of wondering why another Terminator would need to be sent back at a further stage in the John Connor's life. Despite loving plenty of time travel stories and franchises from "Doctor Who" to "Back to the Future", I often get the proverbial Austin Powers cross-eyes over the inevitable paradoxes. Surely John and his mother must have considered that if they stopped Judgment Day with the actions at the end of T2 it would mean that there would be no reason (or even the technology) to send Kyle Reece back in time in the first place.
Whatever the fans may say about the film's shortcomings it certainly film pays enough fanboy homage to the first two instalments throughout. In addition to showing the various different types of Terminator, including the two models that immediately preceded the iconic T-800, we also have the origin of John Connor's scar. There is a descent supporting cast, the standout being Michael Ironside's narrow-minded resistance general. However, the main weight of the picture rests on the shoulders of Sam Worthington's mysterious Marcus Wright and Christian Bale's John Connor. Worthington does pull off a credible performance, but his character feels like an awkward second-stringer to the Bale's role. Bale is obviously the pulling power of the picture, given his heavyweight star status, and his role is pivotal to the whole series mythology. I have always been an admirer of his work, but his Connor, although better than T3's Nick Stahl is not convincing enough as a resistance leader. Bale seems to operate best as a disturbed loner ("The Machinist", "American Psycho", "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight"). He is far from limited, in fact he is one of the best of his generation and a match for Johnny Depp in "Public Enemy", but this role does not fit him.
In conclusion "Terminator Salvation" is actually a more enjoyable picture than T3, which seemed like a rather tired attempt to get things going again. Despite its many flaws, I feel that if you are going to prolong a franchise you might as well make an attempt at a fresh approach and at least this makes a good effort whilst also making a good effort to tie-up continuity.
Firstly I will say that it seems I am alone in my opinions of this film, after having a quick scan down the other reviews of this film, and seeing that they are all 2 or 3 stars. I however, thoroughly enjoyed this film, and thought it was by far the best Terminator and seemed grittier, more real, and far better without Arnie (I'll come back to that bit later!). I await your comments with differing opinions!!
The film begins in 2003 with Marcus Wright facing execution in Longview State Correctional Facility. He is approached by Dr Kogan who asks Marcus to donate his body to medical research following his death. She urges him to do right after all the wrongs of his past and he agrees.
The film then jumps to 2018 when the world is at war with Skynet (the machines), and few humans have survived. In steps John Connor and his combat team who are determined to take out the machines and all they stand for. Connor discovers soon into his mission that Skynet is developing a new machine which is worse than they could ever have imagined. A human machine. This is when I figured I knew what was going on right from the get go, how wrong was I?! Queue a lot of explosions, shooting, running and Connor and his team are in the midst of an attack. These scenes are when, in my opinion, the film really came into it's own. The effects were fantastic and some scenes were fantastic to see, such as LA completely torn down, with the odd landmark still visible amongst the chaos below.
The next scene see's Marcus appear from one of the recently bombed zones, looking confused and also very naked! He soon finds friendship with Kyle Reese who we find out is the saviour, although I'll leave out why! His survival is paramount if the world will survive the machines.
The film is seemingly split in two halves, on one side we follow Marcus on his search to find out what has happened to him and why he is alive after the lethal injection. On the other side we follow John Connor and his determination to conquer over the machines using the resistance (the few survivors who he communicates with by radio).
The film as I said earlier is a lot grittier and darker than the previous films, which seems to be following after the likes of The Dark Knight and other sequels. I found the story difficult to follow in certain places, with references to the previous films, which I haven't seen in years. In the places where I was confused about whether they were in the past/ present/future, the action was enough to carry the film through these parts without you loosing interest.
The acting was inconsistent, with John Connor being played by Christian Bale who I thought was very average. He seemed the wrong person for this film, it needed someone more manly if that makes sense! On the other hand Marcus was played by Sam Worthington (Jake Scully in Avatar) and he played a fantastic part. Helena Bonham Carter also featured in the film, but everyone else was relatively unknown, which I quite liked. Now, I'm not giving anything away here, but Arnie played a small cameo part in this film (blink and you'd miss him), and this was definitely not needed. I actually laughed out loud, surely he is passed all that now he is Senator of California?! Oh no, this is quite acceptable it would seem! There was also the odd 'I'll be back' kind of moment, although not as in your face as previous movies, it just wasn't needed in this grown up version of Terminator.
Effects wise, this film was spot on for me. There was the potential for it to be too fast to keep up with the action (like in Transformers), however I don't think it went down that road, and the pace was just right to keep up with. The machines could have been improved in my opinion, but they were consistent with the last film especially.
All in all, a film I expected to hat, but I thoroughly enjoyed, and would certainly recommend.
Release Date: 3 June 2009
Runtime: 115 minutes
Terminator Salvation was released in the UK 3 June 2009 and was directed by McG and written by John D Brancato and Michael Ferris. The film stars Christian Bales and Sam Worthington,
In 2003, in the Longview State Correctional Facility, the criminal Marcus Wright is on death row and is persuaded by Dr. Serena Kogan to donate his body to her research. In 2018, after an unsuccessful attack to a Skynet facility, only John Connor survives, but he discovers that Skynet is developing the powerful new model T-800.
Marcus appears naked and with amnesia in the location. Marcus meets the teenager Kyle Reese and the girl called Star but has no knowledge of judgement day. After helping him survive an attack from a lethal machines they decide to travel together. Meanwhile the resistance discovers a signal that might turn-off the machines and John offers to test it. When Kyle is captured by a machine and brought to the Skynet headquarter Marcus decides to help the youngster and heads to Skynet. On they way one of Conner's soldiers is saved by Marcus. She takes him to the base for surgery after he has stepped on a mine only to discover Marcus is part machine and suspected that he was sent by Skynet but Marcus denies this, what will John Conner do with him?
This was an above average Sci Fi action movie. It's style doesn't really fit in with the other terminator movies and is really confusing so it's hard to keep up with what is going on. The acting isn't bad with ok performances by Christian Bale (John Connor) and Sam Worthington ( Marcus Wright). In this movie it is Marcus who is the hero and John Connor takes second place. The action and special effects are quite good but you do miss Arnie and it's not quite the same.
I really enjoyed this film, generally it's the kind of film I'd hate and I have to admit, I saw Terminator and forgot what happened and didn't bother watching Terminator 2 or Terminator 3.
The film is high on visual effects and is also enjoyable for those who have very little knowledge of the series.
The film begins with a prisoner, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), agreeing that his body can go to medical science to help fight Cancer when he dies on Death row. Next shot it is 2015 and we follow John Connor (Christian Bale) as he leads troops into battle against the Terminators and the global computer system Skynet. Connor has to fight the robots as well as dealing with some pretty annoying superiors who don't seem to appreciate that he is the chosen one and the only person who can save humanity.
As Connor fights the robots from one angle Wright wakes up in the 2015 seeing giant robots and struggling to take in his surroundings. He meets Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) a young man determined to fight for the rebel cause (And even I can remember he is the guy sent back to the past to watch over Sarah Connor and protect her as the mother of humanities saviour). Wright and Reese endeavour to find Connor and fight the robots, Wright meets Blair Williams and they have a strong friendship bordering on something more as she is the only person who believes in him.
When they find Connor it is exposed that Wright is more than just a man and has unwittingly brought Connor to Skynet. We then follow the action as Wright and Connor fight to save the world, is Wright really trustworthy or an amazingly believable clone and will Connor trust or allow his doubt to consume him?
Christian Bale ... John Connor
Sam Worthington ... Marcus Wright
Moon Bloodgood ... Blair Williams
Helena Bonham Carter ... Dr. Serena Kogan
Anton Yelchin ... Kyle Reese
Jadagrace ... Star
Bryce Dallas Howard ... Kate Connor
Common ... Barnes
Jane Alexander ... Virginia
Michael Ironside ... General Ashdown
Ivan G'Vera ... General Losenko
Chris Browning ... Morrison
Dorian Nkono ... David
Beth Bailey ... Lisa
Victor J. Ho ... Mark
I really don't like this kind of film normally, but have to admit I really enjoyed it, I'd read the reviews and expected the worst, but from the off I was comforted as Worthington is an excellent young actor who can carry a film with his strength and sensitivity, his friendship with Kyle Reese is strong and Anton Yelchin shows exactly the right level of fear and determination in playing the young hero. Worthington is excellent as the confused Wright he shows the strength of a monster and the sensitivity of a person and his moral anguish is clear throughout the film.
His relationship with Blair Williams is stronger than that of John Connor and his wife, in many ways Christian Bale as John Connor is a disappointment, I rate Bale as an actor but he has recently shown a tendancy to act with a silly voice and this takes away rather than adds to his role. Dallas Bryce Howard could really have phoned in her part as Connor's wife as she has so little to do, while Helena Bonham Carter also has a bit part by comparison to most films she is in.
It is good to see Michael Ironside in the film although even on the side of good he has a menacing air which makes him instantly dislikeable.
The film overall is good but flawed, I don't know the old films enough to question whether the evolution of characters and plot is correct, but as a one off film its enjoyable but the story doesn't always stick. The CGI is decent enough, at times its amazing at others it looks wrong.
I would give this film a 3 out of 5, the actors but a lot in, the story is involving although on reflection it is a pretty basic story of adversity and trying to overcome some baddies, while the action is exciting and involving in parts.
There is a decent cameo from a CGI version of Arnie and some great thumping music and a mesmerising Danny Elfman score but the end doesn't match up to other parts of the film, overall the highlight of the film for me is the excellent Worthington who has proved in this and Avatar that he is box office and a great leading man, had the finale lived up to the rest of this film it would definitely have been a 4 maybe even a 5 out of 5.
The DVD is available for rental from Blockbuster or Lovefilm and can be bought from Amazon for £6.99 or Play.com for the same price. You can get a 2dvd special edition with a Directors cut and 30 minutes of extras.
Released on DVD and BluRay in November 2009; "Terminator Salvation" is the fourth film in the franchise that began way back in 1984. Christian Bale takes on the lead role as John Connor this time and, if you have seen any of the previous three films then this offering from director MCG won't offer you anything new and innovative to the Terminator experience, but, saying that it is still an action packed, effects laden film that you can easily get immersed into.
Set in 2018 on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Skynet and the machines presence is everywhere following the events of Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines. Cities are reduced to ruins and people are either prisoners of Skynet or hiding in groups. The character of John Connor is still the focus of the story and this time as well as having to deal with dodging the machines and staying alive he also discovers that the Machines have captured someone who would go on to play a vital part in his existence; Kyle Rees
Followers of the other three films will know the significance of Rees and rather than reveal anything here I would just say that to really understand the back story that this franchise created then you do need to have seen the other three films. Rees's role in the future (well, past really) is imperative so Connor has to make sure he is saved, and with the help of Marcus Wright a former death row prisoner who has been given a 'second chance' they have to infiltrate Skynet's prisoner facility and rescue him. Throw in plenty of action scenes and a faceoff between Connor and the new-and-improved T-800 who is somewhat recognisable and you have an all out action film that tries very hard.
"tries very hard" sums the film up for me, I thought it was good, but ultimately it didn't really go anywhere and certainly didn't add anything new to the concept or history that had been established in the first two films. The first "Terminator" and its sequel "Judgement Day" were both outstanding films which were let down by "Rise of the Machines" in film 3 and "Salvation" continued on this downward spiral.
There were parts that I did enjoy; the set pieces were impressive as were the effects. The acting was solid if nothing else and Christian Bale seemed to get into his role of John Connor albeit giving a 'shouty' performance in spite of the well reported strops that Bale threw whilst filming.
The appearance of a CG Arnie towards the end did provide a little frisson of excitement as did Bale when he muttered the immortal lines "I'll be back" but these touches weren't enough to lift the film from being a run-of-the-mill big, blustering blockbuster that it ultimately was. 2009 saw a number of big budget sequels with this and Transformers 2 being released and both films for me were a letdown that promised so much but delivered fairly little.
As I said in my opening paragraph I found the film easy to get immersed in, the action scenes and set pieces blur into one and the dialogue and acting wont test you or make you think, it simply is what it is and that is a forgettable all action romp.
I can't see die-hard fans of the franchise being overly enamoured by the film I have to say and the more cynical part of me thinks that the film was made simply as a cash-in to make money. The tie-in to the Terminator pretty much guarantees a decent revenue and even with the big name signing of Christian Bale in the lead role it still ends up being more 'miss' than 'hit' for me overall.
This came to me as part of my Lovefilm rental subscription so there were no extras on the disc, I would imagine that there would be plenty on a retail version given the budget of the film and the part it plays in the Terminator franchise. It can be purchased for £10.58 from Amazon as is still a relatively new release, personally I would say it was worth a rent rather than a purchase at that price and would certainly recommend that you wait until the price drops before buying.
For me Terminator Salvation rates a 'good' 3 star rating, nothing special but still a decent film to pass on a couple of hours, just don't expect another 'Judgement Day'
Thanks for reading.
Terminator Salvation is the latest installment in the phenomenally successful Terminator series, Terminator has long been one of my favourite franchises and I'm glad that the films have been renewed after the poor Terminator 3.
Terminator Salvation takes the story on from the third in the original trilogy, now John Connor has become the reistance leader prophesised by his mother (and the terminators sent to kill him). John Connor (Christian Bale), here in Terminator Salvation is viewed as a prophet against the machines but his views are only partially accepted.
So we are given the view of the not too distant future, the film is set in 2018 and machines have the humans on the run, but there is resistance from Command. Skynet who controls the machines is looking for the Command headquaters as well as the termination of John Connor and Kyle Reese. Kyle Reese is John Connors future father, John will send Kyle back to counter the first terminator in the classic Terminator.
There is however, an enigma at the start of the film set in 2005, a serial killer is killed by Marcus Wright played by Sam Worthington. Marcus has given his body to science and he awakes disjointed and confused by the world he encounters. His role in the film is of course deliberately vague at the start.
Marcus encounters a T-600, but is saved by the teenage Kyle Reese, the pair along with a mute young boy start travelling together. Marcus seems to need to travel towards the local SkyNet hub at San Fransisco, he comes across as dependable, skilled with mechanics and has a natural ability to lead. Marcus is played by Sam Worthington, he gives a performance almost identicle to the one he gives in playing the injured marine in Avatar. Its very much stoic and with a lack of any facial movement.
There are others in the film but the central characters are John Connor, Kyle and Marcus, John Connor is played as with all his characters in a stern rather severe way by Christain Bale, you'd be hard pushed to spot the difference between John Connor and Bruce Wayne. However, Bale seems to be the man whi can be relied upon to revive a slightly tired franchise, he's all stern glances, pursed lips and granite jaws. The dialog doesn't give him a huge amount to work with but he handles the physical side of the role well.
Kyle is a more human character, he clearly impressionable and takes on board the teachings of Marcus and John Connor, Anton Yelchin gives a nice performances showing the changes in a man from follower to leader.
The roles are set and now the film can move towards a climax, this is a film which rarely stops to take a breathe, it drives itself along at a breakneck pace. The viewer has to take the film with a huge pinch of salt, man against the machine is a fight you suspect only one side would or could win but we are routing for the humans so there reliance on the mechanical is rather overlooked. The film brings all our combatants to Skynet central, we of course discover the reason for Marcus's revival and why Skynet adapted, you know its to do with John Conner but not why. You do wonder if SkyNet had never sent the original back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor whether any of their problems would have happened, after all that act led to Kyle going back and therefore the birth of John Connor (better not think too hard or else your brain might fry).
This is the most expensive film ever made, rolling in at about 200 million dollars, therefore the special effects are superb, the machines are depicted in gorgeous detail and all the terminators are scary and have the characteristic glowing eyes. Perhaps as with Avatar too much was spent on the visual and not on the script, the actors do their best but there isn't the material for them too work on. Yes, its stunning but the events are rather predictable and as with the majority of current films, a central tenet is taken to the n'th degree without consideration for later events or side issues.
This film is less about the paradox of time travel and the concept of changes for effect in the future rather this is a war film, it has echoes of Mad Max with destroyed machines and a desperate humanity.
The weakness of the film is perhaps the absence of a "bad guy" there's no chase, no evil human/cyborg combo always chasing the main character, here the enemy is the more corporate SkyNet. Only towards the end do we get a decent Terminator pursuit, and thats handled well with a huge nod to the earlier films with much delight from this viewer.
The only other issue is for fans of the trilogy is that this film only acknowledges the previous, we don't know if John Connor will be killed by a T-600 as stated in T3 or when time travel will be invented. The only other quibble is the sidelining of Kate Connor who does little more in this film than walk around with a swollen belly. The physical female role is played by a pilot called Blair Williams, who has an attraction to Marcus and there interactions are a little predictable.
I enjoyed the film, but I'm a huge fan of the Terminator films after watching the second at the cinema way too many years ago and being totally creeped out by Robert Patrick as the T-1000. This film doesn't get anywhere near that film but its far better than the third and at least refreshes the franchise, this film like Star Trek gives the franchise a new lease of life and a licence to go where they please form here.
The films just keep getting worse and worse so how do they get funding for it?
The film just about scrapes an 'ok' as an action film but I'm pretty convinced this would have been a straight to DVD if they had not managed to get Christian Bale to star it which is such a pity considering how well his other remade Batman franchise is doing.
Through 3 films we have been told over and over about John Connors destiny for him to not only take a backseat in this film but now we are told someone else has a 'destiny'. We just about accepted about the explanation of John Connors future in the previous films but this was pushing it too far.
The plot was extremely predictable and the supposed twists everyone knew was coming 30 mins ago besides maybe one thing at the end which I will no go into too much detail incase some have not yet seen the film.
In conclusion not only is this film trying to live of the success of the earlier series but it is also ripping of most the plot ideas from it as well.