Terminator Salvation quickie

May 23, 2009
One's human and one's a robot, and they both act like shit.

One's human and one's a robot, and they both act like shit.

Because I really don’t want to give the movie more attention than it deserves, or forgo mentioning a summer tent pole, here’s my quick thoughts on McG’s latest masterpiece:

The Good:

  • It has terminators. Lots of them. On bikes, as giants, as planes. Terminating stuff.
  • Kyle Reese. Anton Yelchin has grown on me, especially after Star Trek and now this. Too bad the movie doesn’t give us enough of him.
  • Five minutes of Ahnuld. I have to admit, they did a pretty great job with the special effects when the T-800 does show up. Too bad its over before you know it.

The Bad:

  • John Connor. It was unfortunate that Christian Bale took the Batman route and had Connor either yelling or harshly whispering the entire time. Plus, didn’t the previous two movies establish Connor was a sort of witty every man? Here he’s devoid of all the characteristics that we’ve come to expect from Connor. It’s a wonder how Connor can become so iconic in the future when he has no charm whatsoever.
  • The story. Instead of being about something thought provoking, it’s pretty much about Connor meeting Kyle Reese and cramming as many explosions in between as possible. You don’t give two shits about anybody.
  • The “twist”. Turns out Marcus’ mission was as some kind of Trojan to lure Kyle and John to Skynet, and with that done he’s given a choice of whether or not to continue helping the robots. This presents two idiotic problems. One, couldn’t he have killed Connor the first moment they met? And two, why even give him a fucking choice? Or better yet, why even use Kyle Reese as bait when you can kill Connor’s father right then! Man, for “superior” machine intellect, they are fucking retarded.
  • Makes Terminator 3 look like fucking Picasso. I liked many parts of T3, mainly the kickass ending in the bunker, but I’ll admit it doesn’t hold a candle to the previous two movies. It really wouldn’t take that much to match it, and McG completely fails to even do that.

The Ugly

  • It’s PG-13. This means there’s a lot of bloodless violence and a lack of vernacular I would expect people fighting for their existence against killer fucking robots to say. With frequency.

No critical salvation for Terminator

May 21, 2009
Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

I’ve never liked a McG film. I despise the Charlie’s Angels’ flicks and found We Are Marshall trite and derivative. So you can bet I was one of the vocal dissenters when McG was announced as the helmer of a future wars Terminator, something I never really wanted but didn’t mind happening – if it were in better hands. It’s not like McG’s movies are badly made. In fact, they are shockingly competent. The real problem with McG is that his films have no restraint or soul. They’re either loud spectacles devoid of personality (Angels) or just carbon copies (Marshall).

But then I heard about Bale and Howard being involved and I though maybe, just maybe, they’ll bring some class and gravitas to the production. Maybe convince McG to tone it down. The previous Terminator movies had plenty of action, sure, but it was the characters that were always in the forefront, not the whiz-bang holy fuck special effects. But then it’s still McG behind the camera.

With Salvation coming out on Friday, the reviews deluge has started and the consensus is just like what I expected – loud and stupid. With a Tomatometer of only 37% as of this writing, this will not only be by far the worst rated Terminator of all time, but it’ll make Rise of the Machines‘ 70% look masterful in comparison.

Say what you will about Mostow’s third Terminator, at least it kept in line with what came before. It was extremely well made and I never understood the fan backlash. I thought it had a wonderful ending, with Connor trapped in a bunker while nuclear missiles are launched globally. I thought it was a great transition into a future wars series. It’s just too bad John Connor went from Nick Stahl’s humourous and down to earth take to Christian Bale’s constantly angry and angsty version. Too bad.

The sad part about all of this is that this movie is gonna perform like gangbusters come Friday, all but ensuring McG get’s another crack at the series. Which is unfortunate because, you know, McG kind of sucks.