The Terminator franchise jumps to the future with Terminator Salvation. Instead of sending more robots to the past to keep John Connor from becoming the leader of the human resistance, this latest installement in the series takes us to the future in the middle of the human-robot war.

In the year 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) is a leader in -- and to some, the savior of -- the Resistance. He leads ground missions, works with his pregnant wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard), and wants to find Kyle Reese, the man who John will send back in time to save his mother and become his father.

Meanwhile, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), who we saw executed in 2003 after signing his remains to Skynet, wakes up in this future with no idea what's been happening. He meets up with Resistance fighters Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood, fulfilling this movie's sexy tough female role), mute young girl Star (Jadagrace) -- and Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin).

This wouldn't be a Terminator movie without lethal robots. Terminator Salvation offers Terminators fused to motorcycles, snakelike Terminators in the water, a giant Transformer-type Terminator, and the traditional skeletal-metal T-800 Terminator. And the Terminators aren't just killing humans: They're capturing humans for a nefarious purpose.

Terminator Salvation is almost relentlessly bleak -- just about the only humor comes from lines from the original Terminator -- and relentlessly action-filled. There are chases, gunfights, running escapes, and dodged bullets in close to every scene in the movie.

The focal points of this movie are John Connor and Marcus Wright, flip sides of the same coin: Connor is the human out to both destroy the machines and preserve his destiny, while Wright feels guilt over both what he did before and his inhuman state and wants to find redemption. The other actors are all decent -- including Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter as a Skynet scientist, and Michael Ironsides as the ruthless Resistance leader -- but they're all there to support the two stars.
Terminator: Salvation isn't a great movie, but it is exciting. By turning the future into the movie's present, we are given not another variant on time-travelling assassins but rather a chance to see humanity in its own element, fighting not for an abstract future but for their present. This series will continue -- I've heard that this movie is the start of a second trilogy of Terminator movies -- and Terminator Salvation shows that the future should be exciting.

Overall grade: B

Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

Chad Cloman said...

I give it a 5/10. At first I thought they were doing a reboot, ala Star Wars. But toward the end of the movie I realized that wasn’t the case. The events related by Kyle Reese in the original Terminator movie have yet to happen.