Terminator Salvation Review
So, last night I, JungleTrek, saw the new Terminator Salvation movie on its opening weekend. Are you ready for my rip-snortin’, no holdin’ back review of this latest installment of an American classic series?
(SPOILER ALERT) I will be sharing some minor spoilers in this review so don’t read it if you don’t want to know.
To sum up the movie in two words, Terminator Salvation was “rushed” and “cliche”. There was nothing in this movie that we haven’t already seen 500x over in a million other movies or video games. (Fallout 3 comes to mind.) Each scene was extremely predicable and you could almost count down to when something was about to happen.
Let me break it down to a few finer points.
First off, this was a man’s man movie. (Yawn) There was very little plot, very little depth, and the women kept feeling the need to remove clothing as the men kept putting on more armor. The movie was filled with moments of cliche situations that ended with cliche solutions that wouldn’t happen in a million years.
The acting was spotty. Christian Bale is getting quite overused in Hollywood, and to be honest, I’m getting quite sick of seeing him yelling towards the camera, with a giant explosion behind him, as his forehead bleeds. (I swear this shot happens in every movie he is in.) HOWEVER. the character of Marcus, a human-terminator crossbreed, played by Sam Worthington, was the best part of the whole movie. His character was interesting, well-presented, and actually had some emotional depth to it. Honorable mention goes to Anton Yelchin for his role as Kyle Reese. Anton, who also made a memorable appearance in the new Star Trek, is definitely bound for great things in Hollywood. And finally, Helena Bonham Carter proved once and for all that she is just as freaky looking without hair as she is WITH hair.
And speaking of hair, the worst thing in the whole movie was DEFINITELY the little girl named “Star”. Nothing ruins a movie more then a child with an outrageously stupid haircut! Apparently, the costumer designer/hair dresser for Terminator Salvation loved the movie “Waterworld”… (Gag)
Ok, let’s talk technical! The biggest problems with Terminator Salvation was in the technical departments. The main one being that is was poorly, poorly written. Everything in the story has a reason for being there and has a predictable outcome. For instance, the character Marcus has a human heart…. why?! Because its going to be needed in the end, that’s why! There is no other reason that the machines would give him one. Now, a brain I can understand… but a heart?! That’s just bad writing. Also, apparently the writers thought it would be clever to keep repeating the words “second chance” about 3000 times during the movie to make it seem deeper… but, to be honest, it was just annoying.
Another one of the technical problems was the editing. It seemed the editing was rushed and the timing was off on several shots. I noticed that some shots started about three seconds too early, as if the director had just said “action” and the actors hadn’t begun to act yet.
And finally, the special effects were a half and half split for quality. Some of the them were well made and well done. However, MANY others were noticeably terrible. Many of the explosions were badly composited and the edges were very visible and pixelated. The moments where Marcus has a half-human, half-terminator face are obviously green-screened, since when the actor moved, the machine part did not. (Tsk tsk.. sounds like the keyframe editor got lazy.)
In closing thoughts, I will not call this movie a complete waste. If you are a Terminator fan, this movie delivers on everything that the second Terminator promised and you get to see a lot of things that Terminator fans have been wanting to see for years. However, if you enjoy good movies, Star Trek is my pick so far for this year, because without Stan Winton’s brilliant Terminator design, Terminator Salvation or the entire Terminator series wouldn’t be worth jack.
One last thing, the grand Arnold Schwarzenegger special effect was the highlight of the entire movie and was not only done well, it was done believably! Arnold will definitely take his grandchildren to this movie and say: “See, kids? That’s what your flabby ol’ grandpa USED to look like…”
Over all, I give Terminator Salvation a thumbs down, and 1.5 out of 5 stars.