aturday, May 23, 2009
Movie Reviews: TERMINATOR SALVATION
In the fourth installment of the Terminator series, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the eventual leader of mankind's fight againts the machines. The setting is 2018, focusing on the war between the humans and the computer network Skynet. Anton Yelchin co-stars as soldier Kyle Reese, and Sam Worthington appears as new terminator Marcus Wright.
Cast: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common
Opened May 21, 2009
Runtime: 2 hr. 10 min.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action and language
Genres: Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction
Terminator Salvation is a loud Sci-Fi film that feels like it might have had something worthwhile to say if the director had given its character a chance to breathe and come to life. As it is, McG’s Terminator entry is more concerned about big showy action sequences, which are done effectively, than with creating any connection with the characters. As mentioned, the action is handled well and there are plenty huge set pieces that provide the spectacle that one would expect from a huge summer tent pole blockbuster. McG’s got a good eye for directing action, a helicopter crash shot via POV early is on in the film is quite impressive, but the problem is that it becomes quite repetitive and tedious very quickly. Very little time is given to the characters that inhabit this wonderfully realized post apocalyptic that had only been hinted at in the previous films. It’s a real shame as the collected talent is quite impressive. Christian Bale turns in a surprisingly forgettable performance as Connor, never really breaking from a general sense of controlled rage and intensity. Sadly, it’s the only thing the script allows and for a character so central to the mythos it’s a massive mistake. Sam Worthington is given a little more meat to work with and he does mildly better when there aren’t explosions and artillery fire to deal with. Anton Yelchin delivers a solid turn as a teenage Kyle Reese, making him a believable precursor to Michael Biehn’s older version in the original. Moon Bloodgood has a small but effective role as a resistance member. Bryce Dallas Howard is merely window dressing as she’s given nothing to do and even less to say. By the time we reach the final showdown and are given all the spectacle and action expected but the pivotal emotional moments really show the massive disconnect between the audience and the characters. In the end, McG delivers an unfocused showy and sometime stylish Sci-Fi action piece but if this franchise is looking to continue post Arnold it’ll need a massive infusion of character and heart.