Terminator Salvation (2009) Poster

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Best out of the terminator 2 sequels
dayness18 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
This might be hard to believe but I think the best terminator sequel (out of T3 - Dark fate) is the one without Arnold in it. Now it is definitely not as good as the original or judgement day but its still pretty good and way better than 3, genisys and even dark fate. The one problem this movie has in my opinion is even tho technically judgment day has happened, it isn't really the big war shown in the previous films. To be fair it is 2018 and the war shown is much later in 2029. So I feel like its a bit misleading to see this as a big action movie because while there is some action in between (some that are great), it seems more of a survival movie with some action than a full action packed movie with barely any action. Another problem is I don't like Kyle Reese's character too much in this movie, something about him does seem whiney but thankfully it isn't for the whole movie and it's still nice to see John go out of his way to save him since Kyle technically did that in the first movie for John. Christian Bale is definitely better than that last guy who played John Conner in T3 and he did a great performance in this movie even when I could hear a little bit of batman in his voice. The idea of a human who didn't even know he was a terminator is done well and even has a bit of a character arch within the movie. The CGI Arnold actually doesn't look that bad and the fact he isn't in this one movie doesn't bother me too much since when I was younger, I always saw the terminator as the T-800 endoskeleton not Arnold (probably cause I loved that arcade game they made for this movie) but it's still understandable for people to be disappointed to not see him in this film since the film seems more darker and less humorous than the films before it. The stuff skynet built in this movie is really cool as well and I like it more than the thousands of recreations of the T-1000 that are in the other films. The concept of the T-1000 alone should have only been in T2 and T2 only. The last 10 or 20 minutes in skynet is also really entertaining and fun to watch. Overall this isn't the best terminator movie out of the whole saga but it is the best one out of the sequels however it can be entertaining and interesting to watch.
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Stop expecting the greatness of T2......Better then T3 and Genisys
JERICH947827 February 2017
Terminator Salvation gets panned left and right.....but let me first say this is way more better then T3 and Genisys by miles.

Not only is it a serious terminator movie.....its more faithful to the first 2, yes it has plot holes and not die hard terminator violence but what do you expect when companies are trying to make everything PG13 for money.

This is the Terminator movie you get, to throwbacks to Guns n Rose you could be mine to a CGI arnie wreaking havoc, yes it could of been done better but some of it is actually really good, just accept and stop expecting the greatness of T2, that was cameron and this is MCG two different directors.

The acting is good, don't know what everyone is going on about with Bale being a weak connor when he is perfect for the role, yelchin plays a fantastic kyle reese and sam worthington is great as marcus.

Relax, watch and enjoy a good summer action movie with no expectations, the opening helicopter scene is a work of art.

TS - 7/10
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A really good sci fi movie
frequenzangriff8 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen it three times - in the big screen (2009), somewhen in 2012, and now at 2015 (after seeing genesys) I also really don't understand all the negative comments about this film. I am a fan of the Terminator series (t1, t2 and TV show) and i really think this film stays true to the original idea and actually adds quite a bit to it.

I liked the robot models (mostly the little water bastards and the huge robot at petrol station), the HK's look great, and that t-600 is bloody scary and awesome (bulky, limited movement and a gatling gun).

I liked the whole concept of the movie a lot, and it showing the initial research work and human test subject and all, and showing the fight against machines after judgment day (i wish genesys would show more of this) And there is marcus...god, i loved this flawed terminator model! well, as a sci fi freak i enjoyed Terminator Salvation a lot
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Competently made, but also self-defeating.
MovieAddict201619 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Considering that he's part of the dreaded "MTV Generation" of filmmakers, McG is surprisingly old-school when it comes to his framing: no jumpy Michael Bay antics or hypercutting Paul Greengrass mimicries. He is a far more organic director, letting the action sequences play out naturally. It's his execution that's at fault: the action itself. He piles explosions on top of other explosions and machines slamming into other machines, backed by the deafening cues of Danny Elfman's score, and I'm pretty sure Christian Bale had a yelling stipulation written into his contract. Everything's loud, intense, bombastic. You can't accuse McG of copying Jim Cameron's first two flicks — or even Jonathan Mostow's goofy third — but you're left wishing he'd perfected his own style before tackling such an ambitious project and producing, as a result, a frustratingly passable action-thriller.

McG cites Cormac McCarthy's The Road as an influence on his movie, and it shows. The world is bleak and starved and seems to have a post-fallout hue cast over it. Yet somehow the female lead, Moon Bloodgood, always looks like she's just gotten done applying makeup and iron curling her hair. (Not to mention, based on her outfits, she must have found the only mall outlet that hadn't yet been raided by pillagers.)

Bloodgood is a great example of the movie's ill tendencies — sad to say, she personifies them. I've seen her interviewed and she's as likable as could be, but she's an awful actress, and her entire role could have been excluded from Terminator Salvation leaving in its absence a tightened film and less predictable subplot, which is this: the cyborg-who-doesn't-know-he's-a-cyborg, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), falls for her. And she falls for him. And like Sarah Connor at the end of T2, she is forced to confront the spiritual conundrum of what truly separates man from machine.

But here's the thing: isn't that such a cliché? If done well, it could be as touching as T2 was; if done poorly, it can be a disastrous reminder of Short Circuit 2. Unfortunately, McG hasn't a clue how to handle his characters' interactions, and so we get very heavy-handed intermissions featuring Worthington saying some pretty cringe-worthy stuff. One campfire sequence is so unintentionally funny that I truly felt sorry for McG, in the same way you'd feel compassion for a young boy naively attempting to, I don't know, shave or something. At first it's cute, like, Oh, look, he doesn't realize that he's too young to shave. Then it's like, Oh, crap, he just cut his neck.

But I'm under-selling the movie's positive attributes, which are the action sequences. Too loud, maybe, but a whole lot of fun. The special effects on the Terminators are solid, and McG throws in plenty of nods to the older films without all of them seeing too forced (we even find out how the adult Connor from T2 got his scar — a level of detail proving that McG really is a fanboy himself), and Anton Yelchin, who I despised as a precocious kid shrink in 2007's Charlie Bartlett, is fantastic in the role of Kyle Reese, effectively channeling Michael Biehn from the first movie.

Audiences will connect with Marcus because he represents the viewers. We're thrust into this new world just as suddenly as he is, and in his bewilderment and confusion, we find our parallel. With Avatar's release later this year, Worthington will most likely be the Next Big Thing, and is essentially - in this film, anyway - what Heath Ledger was to Christian Bale in The Dark Knight.

And so we arrive at Bale: he plays John Connor. But here's the thing about John Connor: he's really not that interesting. That's an obvious flaw, perhaps: if you woke up every morning knowing you were the saviour of the human species, would you be a fun guy to hang around with? Probably not. In that regard, Bale nails Connor: intense, passionate and dry without an ounce of self-reference or levity. He never steps back and winks at us, and even his brief dialogue retread ("I'll be back") feels legitimate, spared of Arnie's corny delivery from T3. This guy means business. That's what you're left with, but without a compelling enough story, who really cares? Bale will be massacred by overzealous blog culture critics who've been waiting for months to crack jokes about his leaked on-set rant, but he extracts every ounce of potential from the character and - to that extent - gives a fantastic performance. The bottom line is that John Connor as a religious figure in the Terminator universe has no room for expansion, and unless McG were to fundamentally change the dynamics of the character, a post-Judgment Day Connor is not going to connect with audiences. That's precisely why Cameron never envisioned taking the series this far: the impending doom of Judgment Day in the original series always felt far more intimidating than the reality of it. The brief glimpse of nuclear holocaust in the first two movies was eerie and scary because of its fleeting nature; keeping in tune with his religious allegories, Judgment Day was to the Terminator universe what Revelations is to fundamentalists: that big, frightening end for humanity that we must all live in awareness of. Seeing it unfold kind of takes away the charm, you know? So although Terminator Salvation is somewhat competently made and an entertaining enough action spectacle, giving this much away just feels a bit self-defeating. What if the End of Days occurred tomorrow, Jesus revealed himself unto us all and the remaining human beings left on earth were forced into resistance camps? Would anyone still be reading the Bible?
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Terminator Salvation is a great sequel to T1 and T2
smithjackson-444454 December 2018
Wow, this is a decent film- I was thoroughly entertained and this despite going in with low expectations. McG manages a great color palette and the action sequences are awesome. Sure, this isn't as great as The Terminator or Terminator 2 but it is surely better than T3 and a lot better than the other works in the cannon. Both Bale and Worthington are fantastic. Go watch Terminator salvation now.
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Some nice action but where's the tone? Where's the mood? Where's the atmosphere?
enjoiskaterguy31 May 2009
The atmosphere that James Cameron and Stan Winston had created for the first 2 films in the franchise is what really hit me and still does to this day. I think that was the key component along with consistency and approach that gave the Terminator film it's unique style and attractiveness. It's metallic-blue overlay, infused with creepy whines of music and heart pounding edge of your seat suspense was what really created this secondary reality if not for only an hour long. It made us have a connection to these characters. A sense of believability in what was really going on. But it was those elements that were able to harness the inner workings of this dark dreamland. In essence the first two Terminators were projected nightmares in a sense, as if you were running and running, but no how fast you ran, the shadowy figure on your toes just keeps closing in. THAT is what made those films so captivating.

Now these elements in one way or another were tried in this newest installment of the franchise. I see it as I've heard before as a "hit and miss" movie in which it got some key features to play out in the film, but lacked that essential tone T1 and T2 romantically portrayed.

I have talked in lengths with individuals on why this film didn't quite hit all of it's projected(we hope) targets and I haven't really heard a clear and analyzed answer. Some say it was the amount of sub-plots that were involved, the lack of plot, the empty character development, the slight cheesy factor, and or the overall weak story and unnecessary additions to the Terminator franchise. Although these all valid arguments to say the least and I would agree on them full heartily, I don't see it as the culprit of the problem here of why this film did not life up to it's expectations.

I think, like I said above in the first paragraph, that it was the direction the film was taken in perspective to it's overall tone and mood. God bless his soul, Stan Winston. For if he were alive I think we would have seen a more polished version of what we have now witnessed. I also think it was a bad part on McG for giving the O.K on the revised Terminator theme by veteran composer Danny Elfman. I don't know why in the hell the screened audiences gave the thumbs up on that one. Another issue of course is that most of the scenes were in broad day-light. I understand that McG wanted to get a different take on the war, but I don't think this was pulled off in any respects to what James Cameron had in mind for the war.(Shouldn't the sky be filled with pollution and dark particle manner from the nuclear explosions creating an ever-dark wasteland?) This was CRUCIAL and they blew it. I don't see why they didn't go with more night scenes. It is one of the strongest representative thematic elements portrayed in the Terminator 1 & 2.(I am not even going to mention T3 because of the ridiculous amount of mistakes made)

The Rating: A main point that needs to be addressed for sure is the film's PG-13 rating. Of course they did this to appeal to a larger demographic of movie-goers, but they did it in expense of the true grit and bones that T1 and T2 had. I don't see why a Terminator film should be even considered for a PG-13 rating. Anything lower than an "R" rating does not do the title justice. The series is called Terminator for a reason...They are killing machines. THAT'S IT. I think that this is one of the biggest insults to the die-hard community of Terminator fans everywhere.

There is no room for Mediocrity in trying to follow up after T2: Judgment Day. Lets hope and pray that us as an online community hold the next bunch of crazies accountable for their creative actions for the next installment of the franchise.
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MR_Heraclius6 March 2020
Terminator Salvation is a mess, one that has no real tension or stakes to its storyline. I respect that they wanted to tell a different story, but it just didn't feel like a Terminator film.
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The 80's and the 90's aren't coming back.
xenazues4 June 2018
I have seen a lot of reviews on here, more than I usually read. And it is way too many 1's. This movie is no where near a one rating. I've been watching a lot of movies since I was a little kid. From cheesy 80's flicks, to straight to TV. This is no where near a 1. This movie sits at a 7 for me. Would have got an 8 but I'm super hard on the female acting in these new generation of movies.

This movie by now is 9 years old so nothing would be giving it away. But with that said Linda Hamilton in the first one was 19 years old. And she can act. Which is why 7 or 8 years later in Terminator 2 her acting was polished the movie was even better. It is not a secret if the female character can act you are going to have a good movie. The female acting in this movie was decent which is why it got a 7 from me.

But I can see why people gave this a one. The first Terminators were scary. The machine just kept going. You also had the awesome 80's music, along with the clothes. I mean seriously Sarah O conner was riding an 80's scoter and listening to head phones. And going to the club. Just a lot of vintage stuff in that movie which brought it back to the 80's. The 90's was even better in T2, crazy hair cuts, dirt bikes and the graphics in that at the time were unique.

But they did try to incorporate some of the old ideas. John Conner goes "come with me if you want to live", the motor cycle scene still is exciting as it was almost 30 years ago. The naked terminator. Normally during these remakes I get bored or fall asleep. It was action through the whole movie. I don't know if it was christian bale. Or who it was. But I felt entertained.

If people came here looking at this review thinking they are get a play by play of the movie. I'm not doing that with this one. You have to watch and please don't listen to these negative reviews. They want to live in the past on something that has already been done.

Once again don't try to watch this thinking this is going to be like the fist 2. It is not. Its just going to be great acting and simply a plot that action. Nothing over the top where its mind blowing. Expecting this movie to be like the first 1 where they were on to something new, and the second one where they had some super special effects is asking too much. It was well written movie. And its great to have all the Terminators. Cause I do.
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John Connor, its up to you!
michaelRokeefe31 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Gritty installment four of the Terminator series. It is post-apocalyptic 2018 and John Connor (Christian Bale) is called on to lead the resistance against a dominating militaristic world of robots. Thought provoking elements help overlook some story line weakness. Altogether very entertaining and well directed. Terminator fans and even those who know very little of the series' backstory will enjoy this action-packed film.

Bale is fantastic as usual, but Sam Worthington is almost the scene robber here. Intense science fiction violence and action. Special effects are top notch. Some powerful sounds from Guns N' Roses and Alice In Chains. The cast is versatile and includes: Michael Ironside, Moon Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jadagrace and Victor Ho.
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Enjoyable ride, not quite there but lots of fun...
jora_dyn21 May 2009
I was actually rather surprised that this film was as enjoyable as it was. After reading several scathing reviews I was very worried going into this film. Overall I had a good time watching it.

Now I should preface this with the fact that I am a huge fan of the Terminator films/franchise. I think that overall the look was amazing, the action and CG were great and the acting was mostly good. I think the film suffered from not enough character development and I think that McG was on the right track, but needed a tighter script and story to work with. You can tell in the film that he is a fan of the first films... I definitely got a kick out of all the throw backs to the films. Not just the obvious ones like the music choices or one liners, but also subtle things like single handed shotgun cocking or single handed pipe blows, or the choice of settings and shots.

I have to say that Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese did a fantastic job. He was probably my biggest worry in the film as Michael Biehn's, Kyle Reese is probably my favorite character in anything ever, so basically he had big shoes to fill. Well I didn't think it possible, but he actually made me love that character even more. So mad props to him. Again I think this was a very valiant effort by McG, he needs to work out a couple kinks for the next films, which I really he gets the green light on.

Basically there are a few of loopholes and inconsistencies which could bring you down if you linger too long on them, but if you are able to get past that it is definitely worth watching. But those are in all the films, even the second has some. (I'm not saying it's better than, so don't stone me!) In short I had a lot of fun at Terminator Salvation.
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Not understanding the bad press at all.
roarrestored8921 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I just got back from seeing a midnight screening of the newest installment in The Terminator franchise, going into it with an open mind after witnessing the debacle that was T3 several years ago. Having said this, I honestly felt at though this movie did a fantastic job of translating the visions of the future that were set up in the original Terminator and T2 and fleshing out a feature-length film of them. While there indeed a few "what in the hell were they thinking" moments in the chase scenes, I felt that on the whole, the movie was a wonderful success, gripping me in a way that T3 never came close to. I truly hope prospective viewers give this film the shot that it rightly deserves and go into it with an open mind, and are able to just sit back and enjoy the ride...its a terrific one, trust me. Leaving the theater, I honestly felt as though this one gave the first two a run for their money as a film, as much as it pained me to say it. Truly a magnificent job breathing life into a series that could have very easy been done in once and for all with another terrible installment.
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I liked it better than I expected, and was far less disappointed in comparison than other fans seem to have been.
FiendishDramaturgy27 May 2009
Wow, where do we start with a franchise film so rich in history...and so riddled with continuity errors? The time line problems began with the very first sequel, directed by Cameron himself, and perpetuated with T3. why then, is everyone so freaked by time line errors in T4? Depending on which line to which you subscribe, T4 still deviates vastly from BOTH sequels and begins a new alternative reality spin all its own.

And then there was the highly publicized expletive-filled Bale rant broadcast over and over and over ad nauseum. Upon seeing the film, I can better understand why that happened...this is a GRITTY film, full of angst and dancing testosterone. As "worked up" as Bale must have had to have been in order to pull off these angst-filled scenes (one after the other after the next), he exhibited amazing control in not HITTING the guy who blew the scene for him. I'm no longer upset or offended by his diatribe.

That brings us to the movie. Well, yes, there are problems with it, and many state that this film brings little to the franchise history and instead contributes to the growing list of errors and problems with the franchise, but I have to disagree.

This work, for me, demonstrates an intent to give us millions of machines marching en masse on human survivors in the attempt to quell a birthrate upsurge of the pestilence which has somehow managed to take control of its world...Mankind. The promise for something better is not only present due to how little this movie actually contributes, but by the actions and deeds therein.

There are several contrivances, and truthfully they were rewriting the script as it was being filmed due to Bale's demands, but all in all (and all things considered), this is an enjoyable film that not only is better on second viewing, but manages to ingratiate itself into the library of Terminator franchise films (or will when it's out on DVD in an unrated, extended director's cut edition, that is).

I liked it better than I expected, and was far less disappointed in comparison than I was with the Star Trek reboot.

It rates a 7.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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myjerkygameaddy23 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING! I will ruin this movie for you

I've seen all of the Terminator movies (all in their respective days) have read most of the comic book adaptions and have snored my way through the recent T.V series. And yes. Some incarnations were obviously better than others (to me) But, this turd of a film could not be further from the mark. And when I actually bothered to look up "McG"s body of work I can't say that I'm surprised. Gap commercials, music videos, Charlie's Angels... At what point did the financiers of this movie say "wow, we have to get this guy to direct the movie" But, I can't put all of the blame on one person. The entire creative staff has obviously gone to the Michael Bay school of film making...and failed. I only have 1000 word to work with...sooo...I shall list my gripes in point form.

1. Within 10 minutes of the title shot, this movie fired off one of THE BIGGEST Clichés IN WESTERN FILM. "It's too quiet in here (dramatic pause) It's like they're waiting for us" Seriously now! Is this the best writing that Hollywood can come up with? If this was an attempt at humour...it failed...just like the rest of this movie.

2. Giant Robots!!! Loud noises!!! Almost all of the battle sequences in this movie played out like a stylized ripoff of Transformers. There were big walking robots, big robot sound effects, big robot guns and aircraft, big robots riding the robot aircraft, motorcycle robots... They even had little stabby robots that swam around in the water. And they all looked like something out of a cheesy mecha flick. All glossy and pointy looking. These are not the cold, machined gun metal designs that set this series apart from all the others.

3. Chase scenes...chase scenes....followed by more chase scenes. #&#$ off with this already! How much time did these people fill with these blown out, CG'ed chase scenes? Foot chases, car chases and even air chases. "How do we transition from our crappy battle scene to our feeble attempt at character development?" Oh! I know!" Yep...you guessed it...

4. Even more clichés... Yep...Just about all of them. I'll have to make sub-points for this.

  • The irrelevant love interest cliché.

  • The conflicted double agent cliché.

  • The antagonist's fatal flaw cliché. "Let's just leave all of our nuclear power cells laying on a big table. They'll be OK"

  • The incompetent villain cliché. No, a hydraulically powered mechanical assassin would not simply shoot/crush/eviscerate it's victims. But, would merely toss them around, fire it's weapons erratically and then stand underneath precariously placed heavy objects, blast furnaces etc...

  • The (pathetically mangled) hero's sacrifice cliché. "Oh no! John Connor has been impaled through the chest with a ragged piece of metal! And, his heart is just about to fail! Here, take my perfectly good cyborg heart...that has just been crushed repeatedly with a giant metal casting....and then nearly punched out of my chest by another cyborg"

Need I go on?

This movie is big budget Hollywood hackery at it's best. And I still can't believe that it made it off of the script. I hope that the persons responsible for this mockery are ripped apart by wild dogs.

Thank you and good day
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I am completely let down . . .
giftofgodoflove23 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
James Camerson made the Terminator franchise something special. As you were watching, you knew you were watching classics. You just have that feeling . . .

I've forgotten T3. Will TS resurrect the franchise? Nope.

First, who the heck is McG? No one knows. He directs TV series, and one other movie. For God's sake, give this movie to a talented director, someone with experience!!! Why was this given to McG? Why?

Second, the Script was awful. "We may have won the battle, but we still have to win the war." I think I heard that line from Power Rangers or Thunder Cats. Christian Bale must have called himself John Connor 30 times. Okay, he's John Connor. Got it! Bale must have called his army The Resistance 50 times. His inspiring speech over the radio was lackluster. People hover around the radio 'feeling' inspired because of that? I felt like I was watching Independence Day.

Third, I don't blame Bale for his performance. He did the best with what he had. His voice was annoying again. He had brief passion during some 'yelling parts'. That's it. But his whole personality had zero charisma.

Fourth, the NUMBER 1 rule for sequels is that they have to stand on their own: T2, Godfather 2, Empire Strikes Back, Aliens. You can't put a part in the sequel that 'hints' at the 1st movie - at least, overtly. Exp: In T3, after Arnold gets the clothes from the gay guy, he puts on 'star sunglasses', which 'hints' at T2, when he put on regular classes. No! No! No! Dumb! Stupid! Examples in TS: In T2, girl slaps Arnold in face, face cocks to the right, glasses break, and he looks back at her slowly. That scene was re-played 3 or 4 times in TS. Why!?!?! Further, Bale says, "I'll be back." Why?!!?! It's so self-conscious! It screams, "Remember how Arnold is famous for saying this. Okay, let's make Bale say it too!". Yuck! Kyle Reece says, "Come with me if you want to live." Why? Let's move on! It's 2009. Let's evolve. Stop with the T1/2 allusions already!

Fifth, Cameron's brief vision of 2029 in T2 was on to something. T-800's w/ guns on battlefield fighting soldiers on ground, gun battles, your occasional flying craft, etc . . . TS had 2 T-600's that I could count, flying crafts, and 1 huge T-1,000,000. Where's the freaking battles!?!? Something along the lines of the gun battles of "Heat", or the beach landings in "Saving Private Ryan". Something! Where's a There Will be Blood-like self-brooding or introspection by John Connor? It's like I was watching a video-game-turned-movie kind of movie, like Doom or Resident Evil. Awful!!!!!

Sixth, zero character development. I don't care about any characters. The movie doesn't develop them. They're wooden, cardboard cut-outs. In T1/2, we cared; that was part of why they're classics. TS is an action movie; that's it, with some name-dropping. What a shame. When you add 'no-character-development' w/ 'bad-script', you get 'lame-movie'. I felt like I was watching a movie made for TV on Spike or TnT.

Seventh, the movie was self-consciously PC, the independent-self-sufficient female character, not needing help from white male, pearlly white teeth, beautiful-clean-fluffy hair, breasts partially exposed, blah blah blah. It's like McG thought, "What can I put in the movie that young mindless idiots will like, so it can make more money?" It had a couple good action sequences. That's it. And that does not a good movie make. The set-design was also horrible. We had a couple cool 'waste-land' scenes, a couple cool 'abandoned city' shots that reminded me of 'I Am Legend', but some scenes looked like they were put together in my back yard with spray-painted card-board boxes, and a fake background.

Eighth, this movie should be R, not PG-13, period. It's a dark, in-your-face, gritty, bloody, graphic, adult-oriented, movie. Imagine Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, and other classics if they were toned down to PG-13. Exactly. Unbelievable, that Hollywood is filled with such dunces or greed, just wanting to make a cash-cow.

The only character I was drawn to was Marcus. The CGI Arnold is gratuitous, and poorly executed. It just looks like a laughable cartoon. McG made this for 10-17 year olds.

Bottom line: I'm furious. The franchise has been gutted by amateur directing, producing, and writing.

It's a shame.
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Definitely nothing worth yelling at Shane Hurlbut over.
Critomaton25 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Alternate titles for this review:

1) A great sequel... to some other movie franchise.

2) The new terminator has a heart. The movie doesn't.

3) Go in expecting to be disappointed. You'll still be disappointed.

Wow, was this bad.

I stopped caring about anything that happened in this movie about 1 hour and 10 minutes in. I guess it was the second Huey helicopter crash with John Connor as both pilot and sole passenger that did it for me (it seems the U.S. army hasn't surplused any twin-engined Hueys yet, because Hollywood is still flying leftovers from "Apocalypse Now", even in the future).

I also zoned out during the drawn-out battle with the Schwarzenator near the end, because I really didn't care about John Connor (or his cute, perky wife, though she was never in danger the entire movie - another dramatic mistake).

This movie fails miserably in both aspects where the new Star Trek film shines: staying true to the original while making the new characterizations and situations compelling on their own merit.

Even Sarah Connor's recorded voice didn't sound right. I'm pretty sure it was neither Linda Hamilton nor Lena Headey - either one would have been better. And while this movie needed to have a big-name celebrity like Christian Bale to have a chance at success without Ah-nold in the main role, it couldn't have been any worse if Nick Stahl and Claire Danes had been brought back. In fact, Thomas Dekker would have been more interesting to watch.

I cared more about the people who got snatched up by the Martians in Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" than I did about anybody in this flick. There was zero character development. The girl who's a combination of Newt from "Aliens" and the Feral Kid from "The Road Warrior" managed to be annoying without saying a word but, like Jaden Smith in "The Day the Earth Stood Still", you can't blame her for it, only the script non-writers.

This film is practically shot in monochrome, except for the flames. We get it. To quote George Costanza: "When you're bleak, you're bleak".

This movie reminded me of lots of other movies: "The Road Warrior", "Aliens", "Transformers", and even "Resident Evil: Extinction". Just not "The Terminator".

Yeah, maybe it doesn't seem fair to give Star Trek's time-travel pretzel plot a pass and nitpick "Terminator Salvation" but I mean, there were two huge plot holes in this one that just plain insulted the whole series storyline:

1) SkyNet went through this complicated plot to lure John Connor in with its infiltrator, instead of just killing him with the infiltrator. Ditto with Kyle Reese. It made absolutely no sense, and that's even *without* any time travel.

2) For some reason, John Connor was (a) unable to trust a terminator even though he found out in part 2 that they can be trusted if programmed correctly and (b) totally stunned to find out that a terminator had flesh and blood and organs, even though that's the first type he ever encountered. What's that all about? Oh, was it supposed to be a big deal that the terminator didn't know it was a terminator? Like that's really hard to program... (and can you say "Total Recall"?).

Then there's the whole confusion/inconsistency about exactly what type of damage will or won't stop a terminator.

The movie tries really hard to create a sense of urgency with the rescue of the prisoners from SkyNet headquarters. It just doesn't work.

OK, so Sam Worthington's and Anton Yelchin's performances aren't as wooden (or metallic) as those of the other actors. This minor fact alone does not a summer blockbuster (or a worthy sequel) make.

I kept looking for some big, intense, dramatic scene that could have possibly made Christian Bale go ballistic on the director of photography. I must have missed it, and I won't be watching this turkey again to try and find it.

"Terminator Salvation" fails miserably as a Terminator sequel. As a standalone, post-apocalyptic sci-fi vision it doesn't really fare much better.
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Very well done....
malibu-710 December 2009
I was somewhat hesitant to watch this movie. I didn't want it to be too dark and bleak and depressing. I mean, it was somewhat dark, but there was hope at the end. It's not a mindless action movie. It's definitely an action movie - but a good story I thought. Very entertaining! The story was well done. The characters were great - especially Marcus. You felt what he felt. I think this movie deserves higher than a 6.9 - it's current rating (as of 12-9-09). If you're a fan of Terminator and T-2 - then see this. I did see T3 but was not impressed w/ it and cannot remember much about it (when something doesn't leave an impression, it's usually not that good) - in my humble opinion. I dunno - maybe I need to see it again. I really like Marcus in this movie. I won't give anything away - no spoiler here. Just watch this - you should like it. :-)
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This was actually a decent film!
siderite17 July 2009
Enough with the copycat comments! Everybody is so keen to criticize this film, while completely ignoring its good parts. Was there some plot weirdness? Well, yeah, we are talking humans winning versus machines here. But most of it was decent.

In this film you get to see more machine types, more character ambivalence (do you even remember the first Terminator? it was machine fascism!), more hints to the previous movies and, most of all, hints of the direction of the Terminator concept. I don't want to spoil it for you, but you must be blind not to see it is a good thing.

Other good things in this movie: Moon Bloodgood, the Oh-girl; Michael Ironside, just as fun as ever, even if having some scenes. And there is Sam Worthington, who is actually the main character and more like Help from BSG, but twice as cool, NOT Christian Bale aka John Connor.

I am surprised to see that both Terminator the series and the new Terminator are bringing some modernism to the old age concept of machine war. They are obviously not without flaw, but considering the alternatives and, even more, my expectations, I would say that saying this film was bad must be just some fashionable thing to say right now.

Bottom line: I liked it!
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greendanton27 June 2009
First of all, ignore the negative reviews for this movie because if an action movie receives negative reviews by critics its almost sure to be good. This is a very worthy and excellent addition to the Terminator series. Christian Bale is perfect for the role of John Connor , Sam Worthington does a hell of a good job as Marcus Wright and Anton Yelchin is great as Kyle Reese. The action in this movie is mind blowing and will keep viewers entertained as this movie is full of them. The cast is great , the action is awesome and the story rocks .What else do you need? This is one of the better summer blockbusters of 2009 and director McG's best film yet.
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markfunston22 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I really have a hard time believing that ANYONE enjoyed this movie. This movie could have been so great. It could have been amazing. It could have been the best Terminator yet. But it wasn't. It wasn't even close. The story was terrible. There wasn't enough action. This was supposed to be a war, but there were no full scale war scenes. Christian Bale was just as stiff as John Conner as he was as Batman (cheesy voice, no personality).

The movie did start okay. I thought it might go in a good direction, but then stupid things started happening. First of all they spent the first hour of the movie acting like Marcus is a person just to have the major revelation that he is actually a machine - but wait, we already knew that from all of the trailers out there, so we just spend the first hour of the movie saying to ourselves "why are they still acting like he's human"???? Then we do actually have a good action scene with the large terminators and the motorcycle terminators, but then another stupid thing happens. When Marcus is captured and Blair breaks him out, the entire resistance can't even catch him or kill him in their own home base!!! How could they possibly win a war against the machines when they can't even kill one in their own home???? It keeps going down from there. John conner sneaks in to the Skynet home base (very easily). Then there is a terribly boring fight scene that I swear they copied directly from the first two films. Then John plants a detonator on the pile of nuclear power cells that just happened to be sitting around and on his way out he blows the whole place up. If it were really that easy to walk in to Skynet and blow up a pile of power cells, why didn't they do that years ago. TERRIBLE.

And just when I thought the movie couldn't possibly get any worse... it does. John injured his heart reenacting the fight scene from the first Terminator movie, so Marcus (the machine with a heart) gives John his heart. Awwww, what a sacrifice. I guess Marcus really was human. TERRIBLE.

And then they had the nerve to end the stupid movie with John giving one of his terrible speeches leading right into the next movie. I really really really hope that if they do make another movie that someone else writes it, stars in it, produces it, and directs it.

If this weren't a Terminator movie, I would have given it 3 stars for being so bad, but since it destroyed so much potential I couldn't give it any more that 1 star. TERRIBLE. I'm totally disappointed.
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Fantastic action and effects, but check your disbelief at the door...
phalanx25626 May 2009
TS is a film that will wow your eyes and ears. It will be a standard for demonstrating the latest high-end home theater systems for several years. Do not, however, go to this film to stimulate the imagination. The plot has many holes patched with barely-there plot devices. I'm reminded of the film Thank You For Smoking when the character Jeff Mengall spoke of Hollywood plot holes getting filled with lines like "Thank God we invented the... you know, whatever device." In previous Terminator films, you could always assume that sending anything back in time took a lot of energy and resources - that's why you could accept that there was only one Terminator instead of 2+ working together. In this film, we are made to believe that fighting Skynet is like out-maneuvering a herd of angry elephants with laser beams on their heads.

In all, I gave this film a 7 because it does what a good futuristic action film should do: wows the eyes and ears. Just don't forget to check your disbelief at the door.
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Effin' Fun
blindredemption19 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start this off by saying that TS is very but not entirely different from the previous installments. T1 was thrilling and fun, T2 elaborated and twisted the original's plot and themes, and the unnecessary T3 is almost entirely ignored (aside from the Kate Connor character).

Now TS takes to the beginnings of the battles and war between Skynet and humanity. If you know anything at all of Fallout series of games, the atmosphere and landscape of those games is almost identical to that of TS'.

I'm sick of reading the same review (ie. Plot sum up etc.) we are all familiar, so let me say this simply with Pros and COns

Pros ----

-Solidly continues the legacy without repeating the same idea (send a terminator back in time to kill one of the Connors) - Characters are likable (although kinda wooden here and there) - Action is fantastic - Score is actually engaging (i love the old school synth soundtrack, but i prefer Danny Elfman's live strings more) - Visually fantastic (direction, cinematography)

Cons ----

  • Stated above, while the characters are likable they are wooden-ish - Script is a little rushed (a few moments of cheese :P)

There you have it.

Not THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!!!! but a damn fine film and WORTHY film to be included with T1 and T2.
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Terminator Salvation...barely salvageable
quikbdr72021 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Hmm...Hmm...Hmm...ho hum dee. Terminator- 1984, we see a ground-breaking film with never before seen special effects and a story that was 10 years ahead of its time, Judgement Day- 1992, We see more groundbreaking film-making, a stellar cast, and one of the most iconic performances ever (GO ARNIE!!!), Rise of the Machines- 2003, not bad, especially considering that after T-2, that was it for Cameron, he was done, moving on to new things, new writers, new director, great rewritten history of Skynet reemerging after we all thought it was TERMINATED. And the return of Arnie. So...after about a year of hype (for myself especially, I am as the equivalent of a Trekkie in the Terminator universe), 2009, Terminator Salvation...Not groundbreaking, but with Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, McG, Seems like a damn good collection of actors and up and coming director right?? Well...here we go...

First off, the film kicks off in the right gear, I seriously felt like I was watching a live action version of Fallout 3, post apocalyptic world depicted with great detail, some very good action scenes (and acting) early on, All seems to go well, Marcus Wright (Worthington) is introduced very well, so is Kyle Reese (Yelchin, Star Trek), and the Terminator world we saw so little of in T1 & T2 was all there.

Buuuuut then what happens I can't even begin to try to figure it out. I swear there were 3 or 4 great ideas put into play by McG, but, when you start an idea, develop it, that just didn't happen, the whole film felt like it was jumping from one thing to another with very little explanation.

Character development: where was it??? John Connor was the focal point in T2 & T3, staying alive, fighting...Well, even Christian Bale (amazing actor, by far one of today's best) couldn't deliver, but it wasn't his fault, He has what barely constituted as a supporting role, the whole film was revolved around who Marcus Wright was, but even that wasn't covered very well. Honestly, it got old hearing Bale scream and Worthington howl toward the sky. And even Bloodgood and Bryce Dallas Howard who played Kate Connor had little screen time and no development what so ever.

Action: chock full of it, any thought or creativity put in it? NO, N-O. There were a totally of maybe 3 exciting moments in the whole film, I will not spoil them, because honestly, if this was just a post apocalypse action yarn, it was awesome, but its TERMINATOR, not at one point was there any new ideas put in any of the scenes, it felt like McG cheaply ripped off the previous 3 films (but with way more NOTICEABLE CGI), the major problem with Hollywood today, TOO MUCH CGI, NO PLOT DEVELOPMENT, and this film is no different.

I and the theater cheered with one scene...the entrance of...well, no need to guess here. Was also about the only other homage to the originals (the truck chase from the trailer is excellent as well).


TERMINATOR FILM 3/10, If there is going to be another one, Cameron needs to intervene and tell HIS look on the future war, and bring that someone back into the franchise (he won't be Governor forever!)

This may be a discouraging review, but remember, its all in what you like. i love action movies, but with Terminator, you need plot too. Go see it and make your own assumptions, this is just mine, I'm sure some will love it, but it took Terminator in the direction Attack of the Clones took Star Wars
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The destruction of a great franchise
rnilsen25 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the worst movies of all time. Not bad in a Plan Nine from Outerspace kind of way. No much worse. I have only once before ever felt so cheated and that was watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last year. Cheated because of all the talent that could have made a GREAT movies and instead just cashed in big paychecks.

What makes this so bad is the destruction of a franchise through lazy writing and directing. Does anyone put effort into a script anymore or care about logic???? If the studio had enlisted any movie fan and given them a chance to read the script before this turkey was made, plot holes as large as a Mack truck could have been closed. Instead the Studio and Director relied totally on special effects to move this dog along.

Wher can I start? Well, here are a couple of the biggest problems:

1) Why does Skynet not just kill Kyle Reese????? He is their number one target, they capture him and instead of killing him, they just imprison him???? If they kill him then John Connor dies. Spock would throw up from this lack of logic. 2)What is Helena Bonham Carter's motivation in the beginning of the movie? She does not know at this time in history that Skynet will become self aware. How can she be involved in creating an infiltration machine without pre-knowledge of what will happen in the future? 3) The movie barely advances in the Terminator story. It is just a long television episode, the plot does not move along whatsoever. Perhaps they can just re-start the franchise and call this whole movie a bad dream like the ending of Dallas? 4) The acting is terrible, especially Christian Bale. He has one emotion and it is the same as he exhibited in that leaked internet tape earlier this year. Arnold's CGI performance is Oscar worthy in comparison. 5) Yes this is just a movie but in Sci-fi, it is important to follow the continuity and rules created in each films particular universe. A movie cannot take the lazy route and just makes things up when boxed into a corner. Here, there is a huge exposition scene near the end on a giant video screen with Helena Bonham Carter. Why does Skynet have a big video room to begin with? Ugh.

Studio's exist to make money, and I suppose this movie will turn a profit. However, from a long term perspective this movie has diminished the value of the overall franchise and potential of any future films.
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What is with all the hate?
wayne-54627 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
My background: Loved Terminator 1 & 2, didn't like 3 for the joke-fest.

Wow, what a mismatch between the IMDb rating (7 out of 10) and all these 1-star comments.

Saw Terminator Salvation and came away feeling that I liked it, but no, was not up to the standards of the first two. Plot was thin, and cheesy in spots (heart transplant comes to mind).

But, really, was it deserving of all this hate from fans blinded by sentimentality to the holes in the first two films? No.

Some misconceptions I've seen again and again in comments here:

* The war scenes in the earlier films were in the dark because of the primitive cinematic FX of the time. Fans seem to think that Terminator Salvation should have been in the dark the whole time, which is silly. The sun does come up in the morning.

* Skulls? Skulls? No there shouldn't be skulls everywhere on the ground. There were way too many on the ground in the earlier movies, very unrealistic.

* Kyle Reese. Skynet seemed to realize he was important (why I don't know). Skynet didn't know that he was Connor's father, so there was no reason to kill him once in custody.

* Lots of confusion about Terminator and various robot models. This movie takes place about a decade before the future war events. Many reviewers seem to miss this detail.

I'd actually rate TS about a 6 or 7 out of 10, but I need to cancel out some low votes by hysterical fans. Good, but not great.
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A sad casualty of what's mistakenly deemed bankable today.
Flagrant-Baronessa12 June 2009
Yikes. This is definitely not the future my mother warned me about. This future is populated by cute kids, blood-free deaths, supermodels with perfect teeth and goofball terminators that shoot themselves in the foot. It is set in a sun-kissed Michael Bay desert landscape with high-tech military equipment and not the dirty sewers we saw in T1. Either Kyle Reese was laying it on real thick to get in Sarah Connor's pants, or McG et al were simply incapable of delivering the dark, post-apocalyptic future setting that they kept harping on about honoring before release.

This is no doubt a casualty of the scarlet letter that is the PG-13 rating, oft denied by the production while they dropped subtle hints along the way such as toy deals, Pizza Hut endorsements and McG noting how the PG-13 The Dark Knight was "made without compromise". In reality the rating was a fait accompli the moment they green-lit a $200M production. The implications of the rating are not just sacrifices to language, blood & gore or in the inclusion of a sidekick kid to instill the family friend image. It's worse. Now the Transformers audience is a major demographic for TS, and it translates in the light-hearted, gadgety nature of the movie, and obviously in its Harvester design (who deploys mototerminators from its kneecaps).

But quite honestly, massive mythology discrepancies aside, there is simply far too many wrist-slashingly bad/expository lines and heavy-handed metaphors in the script for this to even work as a standalone movie (thanks, Haggis). To its credit, much of the action is kinetically captured in a timely shaky-cam fashion. Lord knows I'm no McG fan (he's a snake-oil salesman) but I feel the major culprit truly is the script which spells everything out for the viewer with voiceovers and facepalm exposition. I'm sorry the writers were not able to give McG, at the very least, the kind of mindless action flick he was surely able to direct in a competent if forgettable manner.

Whereas acting is concerned Christian Bale shows up for 35-40 minutes looking real angry at the world and at being involved in this project, it is in fact Sam Worthington who is a breakout star, and such an effortless tough guy that you can feel the bass reverberate in your body when he throws a punch. Think of how hardass he could be in the right R-rated setting. I'm getting chills just thinking about it. Everything else reeks of an empty cash-in sequel with neither knowledge nor respect for the source material, vaguely "justified" by tagging on "this isn't the future my mother warned me about". No, McG, it most certainly is not.

Whatever. Pages could be spent arriving at the conclusion that this movie is, quite simply, abysmal. I'm giving it a 3 out of 10 based on Yelchin, Worthington and effort on the action side of things.
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