Sunday, May 31, 2009

Terminator: Salvation

I was really on the fence about seeing this movie. The trailers looked great and you can't deny that it elevated the status of the film once Christian Bale stepped into John Connors boots. But my concerns really begin and end with McG. I absolutely have hated every movie he has touched from Charlie's Angels to We Are Marshall. I had been hearing mixed things for weeks but my friend Speck seemed to think it was really fun (and I know how tough he is to please) so I thought what the hell. Let me just say right off the bat I wasn't disappointed, it was a fun flick. No where near to the greatness of the first two but it completely buries the third flick in the dust.The future is now as John Connor (Christian Bale) tries to set things right in the war against the machines and Skynet. He is also looking for his father, who is just a teenager, Kyle Reece, (Anton Yelchin) before the machines get their metal claws on him. The drifter Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) complicates the mission as he holds a secret that could endanger Connor and everyone around him.The pacing isn't bad, the action was pretty close to what I thought this future would look like. The characters however are not particularly interesting. The rapper Common looks tough, but his character is pretty basic. Moon Bloodgood is there to fill the hotness quota and she succeeds but her character isn't given much to do either. Oh, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Connor's pregnant/Doctor/wife fills a handy purpose but again not much going on with her personality. Christian Bale does his best as an action hero but he isn't really allowed much acting. He grumbles and growls and yells pretty much like Batman. Frankly I think the screenwriters dropped the ball. John Connor should be an interesting character. He is supposed to be a resiliant leader of the resistance against the machines. He is touched by destiny as the "chosen one" and he, by a strange twist, has to live with the fact that if he doesn't protect his younger father in the future he will cease to exist. That's a pretty heavy thing to have to deal with I think. The new character Marcus Wright is interesting too and he is played well by Sam Worthington but it still rings a bit hollow when his character is confronted with his true nature. I actually was really impressed with Anton Yelchin's Kyle Reece--I was really against this casting when I originally heard about it but Yelchin is really great at replicating Michael Biehn's character from the first film. He isn't just a silly kid he's tough and he's smart and I wish we could have seen more of him. There were also some great touches with Linda Hamilton reprising the voice of Sarah Connor on tape that made it feel in line with the first and second films. I really enjoyed the climax of the film though and the Connor fight with the T-800 was awesome. They did some great CGI work, I had forgotten how young Schwarzenegger was when he first starred in the film. But it was just a really great scene and it didn't feel forced--it made sense the T-800 had to show up sometime.Is this the best Terminator ever?--No not even close. But it was a fun ride and much better than that shitty third installment, Rise of the Machines. If you want a solid flick with fun action and some great CGI go and check this one out, honestly it's much more enjoyable than Wolverine or Angels & Demons.Grade: 3 Buckets

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