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More Blunder than Blockbuster
Terminator Salvation (DVD)
Member Name: Drewster_Rooster
Terminator Salvation (DVD)
Advantages: set pieces, action scenes, surprise CG appearance
Disadvantages: didn't add anything to the franchise...
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.
Summary: overall, an unnecessary sequel