Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Movie Review: "Terminator Salvation" (2009)

Terminator Salvation 2009 movie poster
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Movie"Terminator Salvation"
Director: McG
Year: 2009
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

The year is 2018, and John Connor (Christian Bale) is a member of the resistance, fighting the machines. A plan is being hatched to infiltrate and destroy Skynet. Meanwhile, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) wakes up and has no knowledge of the year or of judgment day happening. He meets a young Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), who tells him of the resistance as Marcus teaches Kyle a few combat tips. What none of them know, what not even Marcus himself knows, is that he is actually half machine, and they all must figure out why was he built and what his mission is before its too late.

Boy is this movie one hell of a mess. "Terminator Salvation" is by far the worst Terminator film in the series, unless "Terminator Genisys" somehow manages the difficult task of being worse. This movie makes "Terminator 3" look like "Schindler's List." There is a lot wrong with it, starting with the plot. Besides the fact that it is poorly paced and incredibly bland, the story of "Terminator Salvation" is ridiculous and terribly, awfully written. The Terminator series has always had these time travel paradoxes and plot holes, but what this movie does somehow manages to make those holes look fine in comparison. There is no time travel in this installment, yet the Skynet of 2018 still seems to have knowledge that John Connor, played this time by Christian Bale, will destroy them in the future, making him and a young Kyle Reese, played by Anton Yelchin, targets for the machines. Skynet shouldn't have, or ever really had knowledge of the future unless they somehow saw the first three "Terminator" films. WHAT??? Our next problem is Sam Worthington as Marcus, the half human, half terminator, that doesn't know he's a terminator. He is such a useless character on top of already being an atrocious actor who has no concept of speaking without any inflection of his Australian accent. I know people who never knew Christian Bale was a Brit, that's how good his American accent it, but Worthington might as well have stayed in his Aussie tonality he went back and forth so much. His story is the most contrived plot device, possibly the most trite ever written, and his whole existence makes zero sense, beyond to drive said bad plot. Not all of the blame falls on Marcus. Every character is written poorly, even the future leader of the resistance John Connor himself. And speaking of Christian Bale, normally, we are pretty big fans of his because he's quite a fine actor. Sure, he might be a bit method, but hey, it's part of his process. This, however, is easily the worst performance of his career, and barring any horrible, ill-advised buddy cop movies, it will likely stay that way for a looong time.

It's not like this plot is driven without anything else going on. There are lots of things going on on screen. There are robots, trucks, buildings and things are almost always blowing up, but we just don't care. Honestly, do you know how it feels not to care for almost 2 hours?? It feels awful! The CGI is awful, too, so bad, in fact, the crappy CGI from T3 looks like "Avatar" by comparison! We don't care about the characters, especially Marcus. Making him half man, half terminator? This has set the precedent for other crappy Terminator films in the future, which is a damn shame because they are tainting what used to be a powerful, rich brand filled with cutting edge effects, impactful prose and iconic performances. We already know John and Kyle are important, but none of the other characters are even remotely developed. They are just placeholders for more disappointment. Without the time travel element, John and Kyle should just be playing out their timeline to fulfill their fate, nothing more, nothing less. Director McG should be ashamed of himself for pissing on the good name of the Terminator franchise. Also, this set in motion a series of pointless PG-13 action remakes and continuances and sequels for which we have no response other than GO AWAY. Remember when Terminator was rated R and still marketed to kids?? BRING BACK THOSE TIMES. We should all collectively agree that "Terminator Salvation" should be eradicated from existence and move on from this unpleasant experience.
At least it gave us this little gem of internet history, which serves as an extra added point towards our review (NSFW, language). We wish you had just shut the fuck up, Christian Bale, and had taken Sam Worthington with you in the process.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 33%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!

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