Terminator Salvation (2009)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 64%
Overall Rating
Ranked #506
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Connections: The Terminator

All grown up in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor must lead the resistance of humans against the increasingly dominating militaristic robots. But when Marcus Wright appears, his existence confuses the mission as Connor tries to determine whether Wright has come from the future or the past -- and whether he's friend or foe. --TMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 22, 2009
Here's my question - the humans and machines have been fighting for quite a while - a constant barrage of gunfire, hand-to-hand combat and explosions that has raged for years and years. From the looks of "Terminator: Salvation", you'd think the human race would have long ago been wiped out by tetanus. These machines are super-smart, super-strong and evidently - judging by the fact that one wears a jaunty bandanna - super-fashionable. Who says you can't herd humans and still express your love of Marc Jacobs? "Terminator: Salvation" has been getting handed some serious negative publicity ever since Christian Bale went on his bizarre profanity-ridden attack against the cinematographer. It didn't help that Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cools News, i.e. the worst film 'blogger' on the planet - basically chastised the filmmakers for even being born. So, I went into the theatre hoping to prove everyone wrong, as I typically do. What resulted was over two-hours of the worst Summer-excrement I can imagine, a film so poorly directed that it propels me to this declaration - McG can not be beaten for the Golden Raspberry for Worst Director. The award has already been given.

Follow this -- the date is 2019 and the war between humans and the machines rages on (and oh God how it rages). John Connor (Christian Bale) doesn't really lead the humans, power wise, but more in an emotionally comforting kind of way, kind of like Miss Cleo did. The humans have stumbled across a hidden signal that will shut down all of the machines. Really? A signal? That's it. If only the characters caught on to the obvious like the audience did. Enter Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a half-man/half-machine who was constructed by some crazy scientist played by Helena Bonham Carter. He's been dormant for a few years and wakes to find his world gone. He meets Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) who will later grow up to inseminate Linda Hamilton. Most of the film involves Marcus and Kyle trying to find John and John trying to find Kyle and Bryce Dallas Howard trying to find her agent to strangle him for one of the worst-written female roles in Summer blockbuster history. Even Meagan Fox gets more to work with and all she gets cast for is her stupendous ass. At the end, the machines win because the machines always win and one of the characters does something for another character that you can see coming a mile and a half away.

Let's talk tech, bitches. McG directs this film like a Lifetime movie. He has no clue how to compose a shot, no clue how to make an audience invest in his characters and no clue that calling himself McG does, without a doubt, make him an incredible douche. The score by Danny Elfman is overbearing, unnecessary and sounds like something by way of GarageBand. The cinematography is tepid and uninspired, so I am glad Christian Bale went on that rant and ripped the D.O.P. a new one - he deserved it. While he was at it - Bale should have shat all over the several screenwriters, Jonathon Nolan included, and the producers and co-producers and executive-producers who don't understand how to let a once successful franchise die. "Terminator: Salvation" is the embarrassment the franchise has been waiting for. Even "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" at least had Arnold going for it. The Arnold we get here is a pitifully tracked digital face that looks more like Josh Brolin at angles than Arnold Schwarzenegger. And one more thing - if the terminators are composed of nuclear material, how come when they got blown up in previous films (or earlier in this film), it didn't wipe out every single thing in the area? That seems to only apply to serve the needs of a script that might be the worst of its kind... ever.

Performance time, or lack thereof. Listening to Christian Bale and Michael Ironside go at it is like listening to Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford share a heated conversation on a kidnapping:

FORD: Give me back my family.
EASTWOOD: Grrrrrrrrrrr.
FORD: I'm the President of the United States.
EASTWOOD: Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Except this one goes a little something like this:

IRONSIDE: I need you to send your men in.
BALE: Grrrr. I won't send my men in.
BALE: Grrrr. No!
IRONSIDE: Then you are relieved of your command!
BALE: Grrrrr. You can't relieve me of my command!

And who can we get that is super intimidating to be the face of Skynet, one of the most evil entities in film history? Why not Helena Bonham Carter? I know it's that whole 'face of a woman' thing but wouldn't someone like Forest Whitaker or John Hurt been a better choice? Helena Bonham Carter is just awful when she tries to be interesting. Why? Because she's not. Bryce Dallas Howard just prances around, pregnant as hell, and serves no purpose in the film. She does nothing, hardly says a word and gets one good Christian Bale kiss to write home about for her efforts. Sam Worthington does an okay job, but he keeps switching accents from American to British to Australian. He's rather inconsistent and he has too many screams in the film. The best performance in the film comes from Anton Yelchin simply because he was the most believable and he does something I have never seen him do before. The second best performance comes from Linda Hamilton who visits us via vocals on a tape player. Everything else is not worth mentioning because everything else sucks.

This is the perfect example of a trailer that is far better than the film. McG is easily one of the worst directors working in Hollywood and he really should stick to the small screen since he obviously wants to try and make the big screen as small as possible. I want to sit down with him and watch "Terminator: Salvation" with him to get an idea of what he was thinking when he made these decisions. You have to think even someone like Renny Harlin might have given us a couple more cool sequences that weren't so digital. When I am saying Renny Harlin would have done a better job with something, it means trouble. "Terminator: Salvation" is the worst film of 2009, the worst for the franchise and an absolute waste given the talent involved. And if Christian Bale doesn't stop with the damned Batman voice, I am going to write him off for good. Take some acting lessons for the love of God. Someone needs to teach him he doesn't have to sound like he has throat cancer to sound emotional. By the time this film was over, I was rooting for the machines to win. Destroy all humans!

steveoutr #1: steveoutr - added May 25, 2009 at 10:47pm
haven't noticed many reviews lately, just taking a break from it?
Gungnir #2: Gungnir - added May 28, 2009 at 11:37pm
Visually, I enjoyed it. And the motorcycle terminators were sick, but that's about where my praise for this film ends. the rest was simply awful. The plot was paper thin and disjointed and there was a severe drought when it came to the logic of the premise. I will NOT be seeing the 5th installment in this stagnant franchise
Tristan #3: Tristan - added May 29, 2009 at 12:05am
You will. Anyone who saw the trailer for this and said "I think I'll see that" will obviously watch the fifth installment. The trailers for this were fucking horrendous, so the fact that you watched it means you have no discretion when it comes to your movie watching choices.
Nirrad #4: Nirrad - added May 29, 2009 at 12:45pm
Oh, the trailers for this were fine, simply fine. You relax the, shits. Although, this trailer is a lot better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P75XeGcbSJo&fea ture=related
Crispy #5: Crispy - added June 3, 2009 at 7:05pm
I'll be the odd one out here. I enjoyed it. I'm not contesting any of your criticisms, because frankly, you're not wrong. It kept me entertained, which is all I wanted from it. While I'm sure I'll get five people jumping down my throat for this, my only real fear was that Anton Yelchin would ruin the Kyle Reese character. I felt he portrayed the younger, inexperienced Reese quite well.
Crispy #6: Crispy - added June 3, 2009 at 7:08pm
Also, this movie gets bonus points for sneaking an Alice in Chains song in there.
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #7: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added June 4, 2009 at 5:35pm
The movie was entertaining though not a great piece of cinema. I really enjoyed the fist fighting between the thieves and Sam Worthington. The punches sounded real. Outside of that everything was a blur. Shitty irony with the giant towtruck being chased by motercycles, recycled lines given at shitty times and the fucking batman voice. 5/10
Edd #8: Edd - added June 6, 2009 at 5:15pm
Loved the shit out of this movie. Better than the first one. 10/10
Nirrad #9: Nirrad - added December 6, 2009 at 7:53pm
I actually really enjoyed this movie. I think I'll give it an 8. It was really entertaining. Kinda stupid, but it held my interest and had some great action sequences and effects. It lost points for adding too many nods to the older movies. It just became corny after a while. That, and the final fight wasn't really that great and out of character for a Terminator (if that even makes sense).
Rest Easy Soul #10: Rest Easy Soul - added July 27, 2010 at 10:42am
It was okay. Didn't have the Terminator score though which was the biggest disappointment.
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