Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Terminator: Salvation movie review
So I viewed Terminator: Salvation the other day and thought this movie could use a review (because everyone is doing it)...so here it is. *WARNING* There will be spoilers, because I know no mercy.
The opening scene of the movie starts off with a guy in jail, who's NOT John Conner. In fact, Judgment Day hasn't even happened. The guy is named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) and he's on death row. After stealing the kiss of death from his doctor, he signs over his body for experimentation in cybernetics...Gee, what could this lead to?
Then the scene jumps to year 2018, Skynet has taken over and the humans who call themselves "the resistance" wage war against the machine. Finally, after 15 minutes of nothing, we see our famed hero John Conner (Christian Bale). We also get our first taste of action, as Conner climbs of an underground machine research facility while the rest of his team investigates the facility. The facility is basically nuked by the machines and Conner crashes his helicopter...I'm not quite sure why he was in the helicopter, but he was. He then has a run in with a terminator and blasts the things fucking head off. Cool. And that was about the coolest thing John Conner does throughout the entire movie.
But wait! I thought this movie was about John Conner. I thought that too, but once again, Christian Bale is out done by his co-actor. There's two storylines: Conner with his static frequency wave that could potentially disable the machines – equivalent to sticking a CD into a microwave oven, but not as sparkly AND Wright heading toward Skynet as shit blows up around him. It becomes pretty obvious within the first 25 minutes whose storyline is cooler. Not to mention Wright kicks some major ass, blowing up a giant robot mech and beating up three horny guys who were about to rape his love interest Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood). He's coolness incarnated. All you saw John Conner do was listen to tapes of his dead mother and talk on a radio. Honestly, that's not character development, that's boring!
Eventually these storylines converge, with both men trying to save a captured teen Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), even though I have no idea why Wright wants to save Reese. So what they hung out for a bit? I don't normally want to save someone's life only after eating lunch with them.
I have to say this movie was VERY predictable. I knew Wright was a cyborg from the get go, so it was no surprise when they open up his shirt give the "O-face." It was also no surprise that Conner would be saved by Wright – actually EVERYONE was saved by Wright in one way or another, because he's cool like that.
The characters (even the robots) seemed to be impervious to damage. That big mech that got blown up – didn't phase it a bit. Wright gets blown up, tossed off a speeding aircraft and slams into the water, is dissected, burned, and shot. A Terminator gets molten steel poured all over and is quickly frozen over, yet manages to defy the physical constraints of metal and be perfectly fine.
If you kids want to try a science experiment at home, just take a metal pan, heat it up in the over and then stick it into the freezer right after. You won't be ever using that pot again as the metal warps and becomes brittle. Movie magic lies to you!!
Conner gets tossed around like a ragdoll; actually, one of my favorite parts is when a super-imposed Arnold Schwarzenegger's head on somebody else's naked body plays toss with wimpy Christian Bale. Conner also gets stabbed right through the chest and SURVIVES!! Damn, I guess he is the chosen one...oh wait that's Matrix.
Speaking of Matrix, a few of the machines looked like leftovers the last Matrix movie. C'mon guys, you can do better than that!
I think the most disappointing thing for me was that it wasn't a genuine human verse machine fight, we just had to throw a cyborg into the mix – a fucking awesome cyborg.
I wanted to see the Terminator saga go back to the original premise that T1 set up, where humans in all their weak flesh overcome the nasty metallic menace from hell. It just gave some optimism to know that humans could actually fend for themselves, because we too can be badass...well, some of us.
But noooooo, humans can't do anything on our own, we MUST have the aid of machines, specifically our enemy's reprogrammed machines. It's like kidnapping some aliens who are invading our planet and brainwashing them so they fight for the human cause. Weak! But maybe that's the point: humans are pathetic and machines will fucking own us.
Some positives (just to seem balanced):
• It was nice a gritty, just how post-apoc stories should be. With the exception of the female cast looking all pretty or hot (including that kid who played young Kyle Reese), everyone looked like they'd been through hell. I like that, it adds much needed realism.
• The action was pretty damn cool, so long as you ignore John Conner's storyline (a good opportunity to use the toilet or get a snack), you'll never be bored.
• Christian Bale uses Batman voice! Okay, so it's not exactly positive, but it's funny to hear Batman coming from John Conner.
Overall, I'd give this movie 3 out of 5 stars. It wasn't horrifically bad, but it wasn't great either. However, it makes me want to see more of Sam Worthington.
For more entertainment, check out 5 Reasons Terminator Franchise Makes No Goddamn Sense