Home > 2009 Movie Reviews > Terminator Salvation Review

Terminator Salvation Review

Story wise, Terminator Salvation is week, but visually is very strong.

Story wise, Terminator Salvation is weak, but visually is very strong.

I’ve always been a fan of the Terminator saga, not because they are good movies, but because they are fun to watch. There is no thinking involved what’s so ever in these movies. What you see is what you get. So after a hard day or week’s work it’s nice to just check the brain at the concession stand, sit and enjoy the performance.

The terminator saga could’ve been a great movie. It is a really good story, but they decided to go in a different direction even back when James Cameron was still directing and producing these films.

The first Terminator was great. It was Sci-Fi at it’s best. I don’t think that the movie left the audience wondering if there was going to be a second movie. I think the second movie was a bit of a surprise for people. None of the less, the second Terminator was released and everyone loved it.

I did like the second Terminator, however, I was disappointed that they didn’t respect the laws of temporal mechanics. Lets put aside the fact that it is impossible to time travel through time, at least with the technology we have today. I am willing to accept that time travel may be possible for the sake of argument. This isn’t the problem with the Terminator movies. The problem as I see it is that the producers of these movies treat the series as a continual timeline. If they have the power to time travel, why don’t they go back in time to the point where the whole movie began and try again. They could even send a couple of terminators if they saw that the first one didn’t succeed. No, that would not make a good action movie. So they continued in the path of the timeline treating it as if they couldn’t travel through time. It’s like they are able to go back in time however, they are limited to some fictitious continual time line. This is not very realistic, more so than traveling through time. Especially since the ones sending these Terminators back in time are computers/machines. A computer would know better. This would be the mistake of a very unimaginative person.

I am sure that the writers of the saga thought about this, but again, it would not make for an exciting action movie. So they sacrificed reality for the sake of entertainment. I’m fine with that. After all, these movies are entertaining.

For the third movie, they decided to continue on the same continual timeline they’ve been following, again, that’s fine. I didn’t go to see that for the thought provoking writing. I knew what to expect and that is exactly what I got. I did like the third movie, but I didn’t love it. It was basically a long chase scene. Hardly any acting or dialog from anyone. A person with no English background what so ever would be able to follow the film and understand the “plot”. But, it was fun to watch.

The fourth film in the series is a bit different. There is more acting, more dialog, more story, however, it failed to stimulate my brain. Salvation requires no brain power at all. You will not be struck with any epiphanies from watching this film. You will however, might be mildly entertained if enjoyed the last three films. If you loved the last three films you will love this one as well.

The visuals in Salvation are stunning, but more importantly, the audio in this film is out of this world. Although the writing in this film is somewhat lacking and predictable, the audio is very impressive and I would not be surprised if it’s nominated for an academy award. The machines are extremely realistic visually and the sound just make them even more realistic and very scary. But people don’t go to watch movies for just the audio. Sometimes we may watch a movie for it’s graphics, but nobody ever really likes a movie for just that reason. You need more.

The story was just okay, but like I said, very predictable. The dialog even though it is 100 times better than the previous movie, it is still at times very cheesy. They managed to sneak in familiar lines like “I’ll be back!” and “Come with me if you want to live”, but the timing where those lines are inserted seemed off or maybe they should’ve just avoided them all together. Lines like that were mildly amusing in the 80’s. I think we are past that now. Why do they continue to use them in the Terminator movies? I did not go to the theatre to see if they would sneak those lines in.

I did enjoy the action sequences, though. They were very fun to watch and the video was just superb. The camera was right there with the action giving me the right amount of chaos, but at the same time allowing me to see the detail.

Along with the great detail, the producers also threw in a little treat for the audience. In my opinion it is worth watch this movie just for this one scene. What scene is it? Well, even though Arnold could not make himself available to act in this movie. The makers of the movie did have Arnolds likeness in the film and the T-800 managed to make an appearance and it was great to see Arnold back on the silver screen.

So how did they do it? They used Austrian born Roland Kickinger as the body and then using CGI they digitally recreated a very young Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face. The CGI was so well done that if you didn’t know any better you’d think that Arnold himself took time away from his governing of the state of California to act in this movie. Even though his appearance was brief, the 2 minutes he was on screen was one of the coolest things about this movie.

In closing Terminator Salvation is a good action flick. If you go to see this movie for that reason, you will really enjoy it. Where it lacks in intellect, it makes up in visual and sound. So if you need to restart the brain after work or on the weekend, I would recommend this movie. Just don’t expect to have a profound discussion about the film afterwards.

Categories: 2009 Movie Reviews
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