Terminator Salvation, 2009. Three Stars.
This review is a long time coming. And it's why I haven't been updating; I really wanted to get this one done before I wrote anything else. But it was so difficult to write. I have so many mixed, strong feelings. And my suckage with words was making it frustratingly hard to get out what I wanted to say.
Here we go:
I love The Terminator, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day is my all-time favorite ever. I don't remember much about T3, which I'm pretty thankful for... but my point is, I grew up with Terminator, and I am crazy about it.
So when I found out about T4, I made sure I got my Opening Night/Midnight ticket. I was very excited!
Because, LOOK AT THIS TRAILER!! It THRILLS me! It's scary, and exciting, and makes me feel like, "YES! Finally, we get to see the aftermath of Judgment Day, and John Connor kicking butt!!"
Well, this is why I try not to get too excited about movies before I see them, because when I get excited, I always get let down. And poor little me was nearly devastated.
The movie is NOT BAD. Really. But it's also NOT FANTASTIC. It felt like a long movie. There was way too much attention paid to some parts, like when Marcus is trying to figure out where the heck he is, whereas other parts were glossed over, like John Connor's relationship to his wifey (WHO IS PREGNANT, and yeah it's cool to see a pregnant lady in a movie and not have it be a big deal, but when John Connor is spawning? BIG DARN DEAL. Yeah, also there were no sparks between them. It was just blah.)
Also, the other movies oozed such a strong sense of doom, which was surprisingly missing in this flick. And Skynet just wasn't very scary.
I'd heard that originally, the focus of this movie was going to be Marcus, and that John Connor was just going to be running around in the background. I would have been cool with that. I think it would've been interesting. But what ended up happening is that both Marcus and John Connor were the main stars of the show, and it just didn't work out very well. It was pretty confusing and disjointed.
I'm still unsure how I feel about Christian Bale as John Connor. I love Christian Bale. And I love that he has done a lot of cool weird cult-y sci-fi action-y flicks (American Psycho, Equilibrium, Reign of Fire, Batman Begins / The Dark Knight, Rescue Dawn). I would have preferred that John Connor be someone a little less "known" so the audience can have an easier time seeing John Connor as John Connor rather than John Connor as Famous Hunky Guy. But clearly Christian Bale's impressive CV shows that he's more than capable of being a fabulous John Connor.
Yet, John Connor didn't really feel very John Connor-y. We know that eventually he becomes this kick-butt hero of humanity, but... what happened to his smart-ass-ness?? One of my friends mentioned that he thought John Connor was just expectant of everything to happen, hence he was on edge and paranoid. I agree, this could explain his blank-ness. But I don't think the movie did that much to tell us that he is actually going through that. So it just felt awkward. It makes more sense that, at this point in his life, he should be at a transition stage where he's still his smart-ass-y self, but is beginning to show his strengths as a leader.
It was awesome when he was listening to that same Guns N' Roses song ("You Could Be Mine," which is in fact my most favorite GNR song!) from T2 while he was on his bike and catching the Moto-Terminator. But since they were pulling so much from that scene, I wish they just had him say "Easy money"!
I was totally fine with the actor that played Kyle Reese, and it didn't bother me that he played a big role in another summer blockbuster. And I think it's cool how young he is; it's like we're witnessing the genesis of John Connor's influence on him and future soldiers.
I thought I would hate Fake Arnold, but, I didn't!
I would like to see this movie again...
Hey, does anyone else think that McG's a douche?
You know what was pretty great, actually? "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". And that got canceled. I call shenanigans!