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Terminator: Salvation - Consider interest in the series terminated!


Terminator: Salvation (2009)

First, we’ll start this “Terminator Salvation” review with saying that this series should have ended at “T-2”. It is with some hesitation that the Bitter Balcony peeps even found “T-3”enjoyable. The series should never have happened beyond the first two – and this film should have remained something that lived on only in our imagination.

“Terminator Salvation” spins around Kyle Reese (Anthony Yelchin), John Connor (Christian Bale), and Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). Connor is more of a peon than we were lead to believe he was in the past films, which is in itself, a letdown. Factor in that Reese is so young and this is how he and John met. This is also a disappointment (it was assumed that Reese and Connor were near the same age). Wright probably sounds like a good idea, but doesn’t work out that way. He is a terminator with organic parts who believes himself to be human which makes for compelling situation that is watered down, misused and ultimately disappointing to see, just like this film.

Oddly, we thought “Terminator Salvation” would suck thanks to director McG, but the problems are in the screenplay. The direction is clean and gets the job done. It is well-shot, but could have used more oomph in certain areas. McG should have fought for some changes.

The screenplay, by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, teeters on breaking the logic of the situations without ever totally accomplishing it. Skynet is given a personality at one point and its reactions are far too human for us to “buy.” Wright is an interesting character, but the movie never really goes into how he came about and/or why it took this long to activate him. It seems like he was floating around for a decade before anyone at dear old Skynet decided to flip the “on” switch. One thing we can at least give credit for is that Wright is more the main character here than John. Sure, we expect John to be the main character, but there is so little left to really explore in the way of character changing events, that it works better to see this situation from someone else’s point of view. One unforgivable aspect of this movie is the Transformer, er, Terminator that is pretty much this universe’s version of Soundwave. For this one they get a big, fat LAME.

Performances are good by the entire cast, but we at B.B. are starting to wonder whether or not Bale can only do one character. The man has the same tone in every film – and it’s getting boring. Worthington does a good job of getting across a man/machine in his situation though the script is not written well enough to allow him to blow us away.

The movie’s twist ending is a little flat and the alternate ending, which was not in the version we are reviewing, sounds a lot more interesting. The problem is that it would change this universe drastically.

I never realized this series had so many one-liners that could come out SO lame when repeated over again as fan service. It was irritating and provoked several sighs and much eye-rolling.

Overall, we know why Warner Bros. is trying to get rid of the rights to the “Terminator” series. They obviously have no idea what to do with it – and they know they are screwing things up beyond repair. If anyone would listen to us Bitter Balconites, they would drop this dead baby in the trash and call it a day.

P.S. We’re glad that John Connor can manage to find himself the one attractive woman left in this post-apocalyptic hell-hole (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) who seems to shower everyday (um, not featured in film) and has a lot of cosmetics in her makeup bag (looks like it, but also not shown).

On a side note: The trailer below is pretty decent. The use of Nine Inch Nails song is great.

Note: The series did eventually point out that Kyle was born later than John, so the movie didn't screw up there, but the rest is still screwed up. Thanks to John Rojas for pointing out my gap in memory!



Official website:

Terminator: Salvation


Directed by: McG
Written by: John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris
Cast: Anthony Yelchin, Sam Worthington, Christian Bale

Source of the Bitter: JAS

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
Que on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 4:06pm

I still remember finishing this movie walking out of the cinema with my head full of nothingness. But after finishing Transformer 2 my GF still told me, seriously, T4 was better.

We should all understand that imagination in our head is always going to be better than the actual movie footage, no matter how well the movie was made. The impact of seeing actual Zeon is still echoing in my head from Matrix 2/3 (though the vomiting has stopped). And no, the post-judgementday is not as good and making sense as I was expected.

The script/plot has certain merits, but over all too lazy to make it ‘making sense’. Things such as the huge John Connor’s base could be so exposed, and he could with such ease to swing into the heart of the skynet base at the end of the movie, makes the movie look and feel a lot more plasticy than real.

T2 left great suspension to the story line and should have been left just as it was. Any attempt beyond that point is purely milking activity and now we have a dead franchise. Well, T4 is not as dead as Alien and Predator yet, so expect to see more of the rubbish coming this way.

JAS on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 9:39pm

It'll be interesting to see what comes of the series now that the WB is trying to get rid of the rights. Hopefully, someone obscenely rich buys it and buries it deep in the dark of the Earth, so that no one will ever be able to take a big dump on set of movies (first two) that we love. Well, at least not in my lifetime.

John Rojas on Fri, 11/20/2009 - 12:35pm

John is born in 1984 and in this movie the year is 2018, making him 33 or 34. Reese says in the first film he is not born until after the events of Judgment Day, so he's about 15 years younger than John, give or take. However, now that Judgment Day took place in 2004 instead of 1997, God knows what timeline is correct.

Que on Sat, 11/21/2009 - 3:33pm


and I always though, the choice of Christian bale for John Connor is a bit odd. He is already Batman. how can he be John Connor as well? it dilute the name loyalty.

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