Terminator Salvation Fails to live up to the hype
Like Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) said, in "Terminator 2: Judgement Day", "There is no future than what we make for ourselves." Sadly, since that famous film came out, the movie franchise of Terminator has been struggling ever since. Set in the apocalyptic future, where machines have already engaged humanity, in what looks to be a never ending war. John Connor (Christian Bale) continueously tries to lead his troops against the machines. Having humanity on the brink of extermination, as even some of John's superiors are starting to doubt the prophecy. According to the prophecy, John Connor is allegedly born to lead humanity to victory against the machines. The film is primarily told through the eyes of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a convicted felon about to be put on death row while in prison, before the war. Before he's sent off to his death, Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) proposes to Marcus about selling his body to scientific research, after he dies. He agrees, only to awaken in an apocalyptic future where the human race is on the brink of extinction. Marcus wanders the wasteland aimlessly as he takes shelter alongside a young man named Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and his friend, Star (Jadagrace). Unfortunately, nothing can prepare Marcus for what lies ahead. Although Sam Worthington does a great job in this movie, I felt the story should have been focused on the John Connor character. Throughout the previous films, it has always been said that John would grow up to become this great military leader so when I heard that Christian Bale, would play him, and Jonathon Nolan, would help write the script, I was all too happy to see this movie. Hoping, that this film would show John Connor's transition from a scared and confused young man as he copes with his impending destiny, like in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" or "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" T.V. series, into finally becoming and embracing his destiny as mankind's sole savior against the machines. Unfortunately, that is not the case here. Instead, Christian Bale is sadly overshadowed by the special effects and Sam Worthington's screen time, that you rarely see John Connor in this movie. Therefore, the viewer is left with very little idea of who John Connor is, unless they've seen the previous films or the short aired T.V. series. That is why I was so drastically disappointed in this movie, as I was hoping this film would be heavily character driven. Instead, it's more special effects driven as each scene is merely used to compensate for lack of a solid story line. Even the brief Arnold Schwarzenneger cameo as the famous T-800, was nothing more than eye candy to make up for poor lack of direction. However, if there is one bright spot to this movie, it's that Sam Worthington and Christian Bale have a strong chemistry on screen that will keep the viewer entertained. Overall, "Terminator Salvation" turns into another disappointing film within the franchise itself.
The special effects are pretty much what you'd expect from a McG film. Loads of CGI galore to offer any viewer the same amount of eye candy, one can find in any other blockbuster movie. Plus, Sam Worthington and Christian Bale are pretty good in their perspective roles.
During the course of the movie, Sam portrays his character that is conflicted with his identity as he soon discovers, Skynet has used him for their own devious intentions to wipe out John Connor, when he find out that he's nothing more than a cyborg. This of course causes severe tension between the two characters, as neither are too sure if they can trust the other. The intensity in Bale's eyes as he interrogates Sam in one scene, will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Feeling the tension grow from that point on as John Connor becomes conflicted about whether or not to trust this new cyborg, whom thinks he's a human being. This of course, raises various moral questions about Marcus' existence. Is he truly human? If a machine had a heart and could feel pain, does that make him human like us? Such trivial and controversial questions are one of the few bright spots about this movie. However, that's where the pros for this film end, sadly.
As I've stated earlier, the story focuses too much on Marcus Wright's character so much that they forget to portray John Connor properly. With little screen time, the viewer is never able to grasp who John Connor is. Although I'll admit Christian Bale did a great job with the little screen time he had, it's just rather disappointing as any true Terminator fan would hope to see his character's final transition into accepting and embracing his destiny. However, what can you expect from a McG film that prior work included such mediocre movies like "Charlie's Angels", that solely relied on sex appeal and action to carry it.
"Terminator Salvation" does little to rejuvenate the franchise, as McG focuses too much on special effects and Marcus Wright, that it disrupts what it should have been. With so much potential, "Terminator Salvation" fails to live up to it.