Directed by McG, Terminator Salvation is a romp through post nuclear America. The stars of the movie are Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter and Anton Yelchin. This movie is the 4th in the Terminator franchise and in this reviewers opinion, the best. The year is 2018 and John Connor is the voice of the resistance. They are planning an attack on Skynet to hopefully finish the war with the machines.
John Connor is living the life he was told he would lead. He is the voice of the resistance and all freedom fighters rally to his call. The resistance finds a device that can signal a kill command to all machines and they devise a plan to use it against Skynet. During the planning of the attack a man by the name of Marcus Wright appears. He is injured and Connor’s team try to save his life. They find out that he is in fact a cyborg with human organs. He has a mechanical endoskeleton, circuitry, and a partial cerebral cortex. He believes himself to be human but realizes that he is not. Connor orders him destroyed but Blair releases him. John is drawn to trust Marcus after he save Connor from hydrobots. The two devise a plan to save Kyle Reese and the other humans at Skynet before the attack is carried out.
This movie has it all! Post nuclear world, dirty and gritty hideouts, gun fights and explosions and oh yeah, lot’s of cyborgs! McG has really hit the mark with this film. It is a balance of bowing to the old and creating the new. There are very many instances where the dialog or action dovetails with the 3 former movies. For example, Kyle Reese can be seen wearing Nike shoes that are very similar to the ones in The Terminator. This is a very specific example that many people probably wouldn’t realize, so for another example Marcus Wright looks and acts human but as we find out he is cyborg. He is something akin to the 1st generation cyborg that would eventually become the basis for the T-800 model we see in all 3 Terminators before. For most instances the new dovetails very nicely with the old and as a fan of the franchise I really appreciate.
In hearing about the possibility of a new movie early on, I had hoped to see Edward Furlong reprise his role as John Connor and was VERY disappointed to hear that Christian Bale had been cast instead. I really enjoyed Furlong’s John Connor from the 2nd movie. Sure Christian Bale is a great Bruce Wayne/Batman but could he be a John Connor. I wasn’t convinced until I saw the film and now I couldn’t see anyone else playing him. Sam Worthington as the “new” cyborg was a very good choice as he actually looks like he could be a prototype for the Arnold Terminator. Moon Bloodgood looked very comfortable in her action role as she should since she has done them before.
When it’s all said and done, we are left with the question, “Does it live up to the other 3 before it?” And the answer is yes! It achieves and exceeds the others. It was a pretty simple feat to beat out Terminator 3 as that movie was completely and utterly useless for the franchise. To match or exceed the other 2 though is a promise of things to come, if they are able to make another one. It was nice to see a terminator film without the use of time travel and to see what happens on the other side of the apocalypse. I give this movie 4.5 stars. It answered a lot of questions for me.