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Terminator Salvation (2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted?

  • In 2003, in the Longview State Correctional Facility, the criminal Marcus Wright is on death row, and is convinced by the cancerous Dr. Serena Kogan to donate his body to her research and he accepts. In 2018, after an unsuccessful attack to a Skynet facility, only John Connor survives, but he discovers that Skynet is developing the powerful new model T-800. Out of the blue, Marcus appears naked and with amnesia in the location. Marcus befriends the teenager Kyle Reese and the girl Star who help him to survive the lethal machines and they travel together in a Jeep. Meanwhile the resistance discovers a signal that might turn-off the machines and John offers to test it. When Kyle is captured by a machine and brought to the Skynet headquarters, Marcus decides to help the youngster and heads to Skynet; on the way, he saves Blair Williams who suggests to him that he should meet John Connor first. But Marcus steps on a mine and is submitted to surgery, when a secret about his origins is disclosed.

  • In 2018, Skynet has destroyed most of humanity and survivors have been hiding underground from an army of machines, known as "Terminators". After a failed attack on a Skynet base, John Connor, the man fated to lead the Resistance is the sole survivor. On the other hand, Marcus Wright, who only remembers being on death row, meets Kyle Reese and it is believed by Connor that he was sent from the future to kill him. Now Marcus and John must unlikely join forces in order to save Kyle Reese and the humans captured by the machines.

  • In the not too distant future, John Connor is a key member of the resistance against the machines that have taken over the Earth. From the recordings his mother has left him, he knows he has to find Kyle Reese and send him back to Earth if the future is to occur as it should. Reese is just a teenager now, on the run like many other humans. While in the company of another survivor, Marcus Wright, Kyle is taken prisoner by the machines and transported to Skynet's headquarters in San Francisco. Connor sets out to rescue him but is shocked by Wright's true nature. Not all is at it seems to be and success is far from guaranteed.

  • The war between man and machine is waging and humanity's savior, John Connor is doing his best. He learns that his nemesis, Skynet is searching for the one who will father him, Kyle Reese so he tries to find him. And at the same time he thinks he found a way to stop Skynet. One of Connor's people gets in trouble and meets a man named Marcus who has not knowledge of Judgement Day and the War. It seems like he was a man who was about to be executed just before Judgement Day and before his execution, a doctor approached him asking if he would allow her to use his body for a project she's working on and he agreed. Which was his last memory. When he and the rebel return to camp something happens and when Marcus awakens he is chained up and Connor shows him that he is not completely human. Connor thinks he's one of Skynet's Terminators who was sent to kill him and Kyle Reese. Marcus denies what he is talking about and tells Connor that he was with Kyle Reese and that he was captured and is being brought to Skynet. Connor sets out to rescue Kyle. The woman Marcus left helps him escape and when Connor confronts him, Marcus says he will do what he can to save Kyle. Connor lets him go.

  • Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor is the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright, a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet's operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • In 2003, Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) of Cyberdyne Systems convinces death row inmate Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) to sign his body over for medical research following his execution by lethal injection. One year later, the Skynet system is activated, perceives humans as a threat to its own existence, and eradicates much of humanity in the event known as Judgment Day (see Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). In 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) leads an attack by the Resistance on a Skynet base. John discovers human prisoners and the plans for the development of a new type of Terminator incorporating living tissue, but is the only apparent survivor of the attack after the base is destroyed in a small nuclear explosion. However, Marcus emerges from the wreckage of the base and proceeds on foot to Los Angeles.

    John returns to Resistance headquarters located aboard a nuclear submarine and tells General Ashdown (Michael Ironside), the current leader, of his discovery. Meanwhile, the Resistance has discovered a radio frequency capable of shutting down Skynet machines. They plan to launch an offensive against the Skynet base in San Francisco in four days, in response to an intercepted "kill list" indicating that Skynet plans to kill the Resistance's command staff in four days' time. John learns that his own name is second on the list, following Kyle Reese. The Resistance leaders are unaware of Kyle's importance to Skynet, but John knows that it is because Kyle will later become his father (see The Terminator). John meets with his officer Barnes (Common) and wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard) and sends radio broadcasts to Resistance members and surviving civilians around the world.

    Arriving in the ruins of Los Angeles, Marcus is saved from a T-600 Terminator by Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and his mute companion Star (Jadagrace Berry). Kyle relates to Marcus the events of Judgment Day and the ensuing war between humans and machines. Hearing John's radio broadcast, the three leave Los Angeles in search of the Resistance. On the way, they are spotted by a Skynet spy drone that identifies Kyle. They manage to destroy it and escape into the desert.

    In the desert, Kyle spots a Resistance symbol at a seemingly abandoned 7-11. The man who meets them is hostile and refuses to lend them food or gasoline, but the compound's leader, Virginia, refuses to let the trio leave until Star gets some food. The compound is suddenly attacked by a Harvester which grabs Virginia and a few others. Marcus and Kyle try to escape but are followed by Moto-terminators and an aerial HK. The Moto-terminators are destroyed in the chase but Kyle and Star are captured by the Harvester. The Resistance sends a couple of A-10 Warthogs which are shot down by an HK.

    Marcus locates downed pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) and they make their way to John's base, but Marcus is wounded by a magnetic land mine. Attempting to save his life, the Resistance fighters discover that he is in fact a cyborg with human organs, a mechanical endoskeleton, circuitry, and a partially artificial cerebral cortex. Marcus believes himself to be human, demanding to be released so that he can save Kyle from Skynet, but John orders his destruction. However, Blair releases him and helps him to escape from the base. During the resulting pursuit Marcus saves John's life from Skynet hydrobots, and the two form an alliance. Marcus will enter Skynet's headquarters and attempt to disable its defenses so that John can rescue Kyle.

    John demands that Ashdown delay the attack so that he can rescue Kyle and the other prisoners, but Ashdown refuses and relieves John of his command. However, John's soldiers remain loyal to him and he sends a radio broadcast asking the other Resistance fighters not to attack Skynet. Meanwhile, Marcus enters the Skynet base and interfaces with the computer, disabling the perimeter defenses and allowing John to infiltrate the cell block and release the human prisoners. The Resistance's disabling signal is revealed to be a ruse, and the command submarine with the Resistance leaders aboard is destroyed by a Hunter-Killer.

    Marcus discovers that he was created by Skynet and has unwittingly fulfilled his programmed mission to lure John into the base to be killed. He tears out the hardware linking him to Skynet and leaves to assist John in battling a T-800 model 101 Terminator. John is mortally wounded during the fight, but succeeds in destroying the Skynet base by rigging several Terminator nuclear power cells to an explosive, detonating them as he, Marcus, Kyle, and Star are airlifted out. Kate attempts to save John's life, but his heart is too damaged. Marcus offers his heart for transplant, sacrificing himself to save John. Recovering, John radios to the other Resistance fighters that though this battle has been won, the war is far from over. [D-Man2010]

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