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Terminator: Salvation – Rating: C

Submitted by on May 28, 2009 – 6:35 AMNo Comment
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Hollywood continues to amaze us. Franchises like Star Wars, Saw and soon Scream have shown once a trilogy is completed and is still considered profitable, it becomes a game of simple mathematics to bank on a hollowed storyline. While T3 was critically acclaimed, diehard fans trashed Schwarzenegger’s final appearance as the T-800. But after being teased with futuristic clips from the previous films, audiences finally get the movie they’ve been awaiting—the apocalyptic Terminator movie. Terminator Salvation lives up to its Summer Blockbuster title. It’s an action-packed sci-fi adventure designed with minor glitches.terminator-salvation-poster-1

Salvation starts off in the present day (2003), where convicted murderer Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) is sentenced to death for killing two officers and his brother. As lethal injection awaits him, Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) persuades Marcus to donate his body for her highly advanced research, which we discover is a secret project under the Cyberdine/Skynet umbrella. Once death has become him, he wakes up in the distant future unaware of his past or present.

Jumping into the year 2018, we are reintroduced to John Connor—a team leader of the resistance whose perception of the war between humans and machines is beyond anyone’s comprehension. Motherly guidance is provided through Sarah Connor’s recordings, which leave John motivationally persistent in his battle against Skynet. The resistance manages to intercept their adversary’s hit list and reveal Connor’s ranking as the machines second biggest threat. So who’s at the top of the echelon? Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin)—Connor’s future father. A manhunt unfolds between Skynet and the resistance to capture Reese, as his fate will decide Connor’s existence. Think pretty much Back to the Future.

As the war progresses, air pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) finds Marcus in the midst of a battle and brings him back to the resistance main base. Upon his arrival, an accident occurs that unfolds Marcus true being—he is half man, half machine—he is an unknown breed of terminator. After Connor discovers this development, he is torn between utilizing or destroying the one tool that could lead him to Reese and save the human species.

Anomalous story elements, cleverly scripted surprises and plot twists help this Terminator film accomplish its mission to lure fans into theaters. While the producers stated the protagonist would be Worthington’s character throughout the entire film, but the screen is equally shared between him and Bale. And it helps balance the storyline. Salvation is a film that becomes complaisant in pleasing action-film seekers, but it loses focus on the smaller attributes that help decipher a film from being great to being decently entertaining.

Newbie to the franchise, director McG, marauds the film with excessive CGI shots that are nowhere near impressive. What’s been preached as the revolutionary visual effects for the T-800 model is uneventful. Sadly enough its also being utilized for the next two Harry Potter films to make the aging cast look younger. Secondly, Bale continues to overdramatize his biggest roles, as he’s done with Batman, leaving his supporting cast to outshine him once again. Finally, no backstory is present for the samuel-adams-triple-bockMarcus Wright character. Its like the producers decided to leave it absent and replace it with action sequences.

Terminator Salvation is amiably better than expected, but can easily be considered the weakest of the series. The next installment should be programmed to fix the bugs of its predecessor. We’ll leave it to the box office to determine the resistance fate.

Beer Pairing: I recommend drinking Samuel Adams Triple Bock when you watch this movie. Here is a beer that will leave you satisfied for the moment, speaking in the same volume as T4.