2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sort-of reboot for the franchise
After 2003's mildly diverting but dumb third installment in the Terminator franchise 'Rise of the Machines' failed to match the box office success of its predecessor, it seemed that the franchise that made Arnold Schwarzenneger a household name was dead and buried. However, despite the recent cancellation of spin-off TV series 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' after two...
Published on 25 May 2009 by Captain Pugwash
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excuse for another sequel...
I wanted to like this film and there are aspects of it which I did like, such as the action sequences and various mechanical additions to the Terminator armoury. All look great, and the effects are generally up to usual Hollywood standard. The problem here, is that this looks more like a Mad Max movie, with Terminator elements. Terminator 3 failed to hit the mark, due...
Published on 11 Jun. 2010 by J. Field
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excuse for another sequel...,
I wanted to like this film and there are aspects of it which I did like, such as the action sequences and various mechanical additions to the Terminator armoury. All look great, and the effects are generally up to usual Hollywood standard. The problem here, is that this looks more like a Mad Max movie, with Terminator elements. Terminator 3 failed to hit the mark, due to the loss of Linda Hamilton and the writing and directorship of James Cameron. The lack of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role, on this occasion, was always going to be a further stumbling block. This proves to be the case - the CGI rendering of a mute version of him, which appears on screen for all of three minutes, fails completely - with Sam Worthington's character, an interesting, though highly implausible replacement, which doesn't come close to filling an enormous hole, despite being played with great sensitivity, by said actor. Christian Bale plays John Connor as the tough, brooding character you would expect him to have now become, but we have seen this performance from Bale too many times before and, unfortunately, it's a little too formulaic. On a more positive note, Anton Yelchin makes a great job of playing a young Kyle Reese, capturing the mannerisms and vocal inflections of Michael Beihn's original incarnation, but with the added vulnerability of the teenager that he is, at this point in time. As for the female characters, they are of little consequence in this movie, with Connor's wife being pregnant the only the thing making her of any significance. Finally, the most irritating thing about this film, is that it is such an obvious excuse for another sequel. Loose ends are created, which could have been tied up, but we will certainly be getting at least one more episode in this saga, which I think many of us could live without. 3 Stars, mainly for the acton sequences and effects.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sort-of reboot for the franchise,
After 2003's mildly diverting but dumb third installment in the Terminator franchise 'Rise of the Machines' failed to match the box office success of its predecessor, it seemed that the franchise that made Arnold Schwarzenneger a household name was dead and buried. However, despite the recent cancellation of spin-off TV series 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' after two poorly received series', and in an age where rebooting redundant franchises (Batman Begins, Superman Returns) is de rigeur; part 4 has finally hit cinemas, controversially helmed by the director 'McG', best known for lighthearted fluff such as the Charlie's Angels films.
Set in the year 2018, the film stars Christian Bale as a grown-up John Connor beginning his rise to prominence as iconic leader of the resistance. The movie serves as both a sequel and a prequel to the other films, although it's the first in the series to ditch the time-travelling aspect and instead focuses on the actual war mentioned in previous films between the humans and Skynet, the computer programme that enabled machines to rise up and conquer humanity. The film also follows the fortunes of Marcus, a convicted murderer on death-row, who agrees to donate his organs to the shadowy Cyberdine Industries represented by Helena Bonham-Carter. Little does Marcus know the use his body parts will be put to, or the impact that this will have, both on himself and on the whole of humanity.
The film certainly works for me as an all out action movie; its blistering pace rarely lets up throughout and the almost monochromatic picture lends the film a suitably bleak and washed-out feel. Despite its change in tone the movie has several nods to its predecessors, retaining the character of Connor's school friend Kate from T3, (now married to John and expecting his child), and using the miracles of CGI to resurrect another more iconic face.
Christian Bale was perfect for the rather one-dimensional Batman, however he occasionally seems ill at ease as John Connor; particularly bearing in mind the supposedly charismatic figure he is playing, although he is well-suited to the action sequences and generally plays second fiddle to the character of Marcus, who is really the linchpin in this installment. John's father Kyle Reese is also involved, as a freelance resistance fighter who is this film's primary target for the insidious Skynet.
The design in the film is particularly impressive; especially the sinister T-600 and T-800 Terminators, their iconic death's head features and blazing red eyes are still as chilling as ever. The tone though treads a fine tightrope between gravitas and being too po-faced for its own good, and the complete lack of humour is noticeable at times.
The movie also feels a little too much like it's been made with the Christmas toy market in mind - a host of new Skynet machines that appear during the film include Terminator motorcycles buzzing down wreck-littered highways, Terminator eels swimming in the rivers like mechanical piranha, Terminator robots the size of buildings that pluck humans and drop them in travelling cages, flying Terminator carriers and so on; a whole food chain of robot killers designed to hunt humans and look cool doing it.
Ultimately, Terminator Salvation is an engaging but slightly flat action movie, that despite not having the raw energy and relentless tone of the first Terminator film, nor the wit and character of T2, is very much of its time, and at least acknowledges its heritage without slavishly adhering to it.
84 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but much better than the negative hype.,
This review is from: Terminator Salvation (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The first thing to say about T-4 is that, for good or bad, it breaks the straightforward Terminator mould in which a target is hunted by a Terminator and protected by a guardian from beginning to end. Varied elements of this remain but that absolute pattern which remained unchanged from T-1 to T-3 is gone, and that might disappoint a lot of fans. I found the change refreshing, and the film has plenty of twists and turns from beginning to end, but the old trilogy is gone now, and often it feels much more like an extension into a new incarnation of the franchise rather than a sequel.
On the negative side, the acting is not uniformly great; I am not a big fan of Christian Bale, and would have loved to see Nick Stahl reprise his role from T-3. Most of the minor characters turn in fairly bland performances too. Anton Yelchin on the other hand is not just a good actor but an excellent mimic; it is absolutely obvious that he is Kyle Reese from the first moment he opens his mouth. He has captured Michael Biehn's range of facial and vocal expressions stunningly well.
The film has also attracted criticism for inconsistencies in the plot. Most of these will wash over you if you are watching to enjoy rather than criticise. It irritated me a little that the resistance seem much better equipped and situated than in Kyle Reese's memories from T-1; but perhaps over the course of this new trilogy that gap will close through losses to the machines as he approaches the age he was then.
Technically the film gets the full 5 stars for the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, great effects and pulsating traditional Terminator music (including 'You Could Be Mine'!) and unlike in "Public Enemies" the sound and dialogue are properly balanced. Visually the film clearly can tap great resources of sharpness and depth, but these are dispensed miserly at times given the grim post-apocalyptic look the director has gone for. Perfect reference shots in Full HD are not always aesthetically right for a director. The quality is there, but not always on show, and never flaunted, unless in some of the close-ups on Worthington fairly late on. Colours and contrasts are also usually very good, if one takes into account the generally grimy look cultivated.
On the cover it says "extended version", but this means you have a choice between the theatrical AND extended version; I would have to say I preferred the latter since I couldn't find any material which really seemed deserving of cutting, and the film, if anything, still seems a bit on the short side given the amount of ground covered. Other extras include good, if somewhat short, documentaries on everything from making the Moto-terminators and the Terminator factory to the work done for the "Return of an Icon" - if I say what this means it could be spoiler-ish! My only extras gripe: only one movie trailer and that for T-3! There is a leaflet advert for "District 9" in the box, how about a trailer on the disc?
One final technical note is that some have reported disc problems. I can report that the Sony BDP S 350 will play it based on factory settings having never been updated! And my 5000 ES updated Spring 2009 also plays it and loaded very quickly.
I think the film is a clear recommendation. It is a satisfying new beginning for the Terminator series (wait until you unexpectedly sight an old friend!) But it falls short of five stars due to too much bland acting, too much weak dialogue, and the eventual snowball effect of a few too many liberties and inconsistencies with previous Terminator history. Nevertheless, roll on T-5!
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as terrible as many would make you believe but not great either,
I found Terminator Salvations to be enjoyable for the most part purely from an action stand point. If you don't like mindless action films don't apply - this won't be for you. But at times that is exactly the sort of thing I want to watch and this film did not fail to impress me in that regard. The special effects are impressive for much of the film and whilst the 'plot' lacks everything you would probably expect it to, if you watch this expecting a finely woven thread of a story you probably deserve to be a little let down. The Terminator films are based on science fiction - as a consequence you can't apply standard logic to it and say 'that doesn't make sense' - the story may not be very believable but that is the whole point of science fiction - the impossible can happen. If we are going to be overly critical of this film in this regard then why not any film that defies human capability as we currently know it? The real issue here is the fairly weak story. Had this film been given a plot with more depth I believe many would be patting it on the back.
If I were to be critical of one area in particular it would be the performance of Christian Bale. At times I felt it was embarrassing. Shouting 'Connor' into his radio when only he manages to survive an attack (which in itself was difficult to believe). I am a Bale fan but this was probably the worst I have seen him in any film in my own opinion.
If there is to be another Terminator film, and I imagine there is, I truly hope it is given the story it needs to allow those watching to become immersed. CGI alone can never replace a well thought out and executed story. Without the narrative the film is a load of action scenes cobbled together with some hackney-eyed words. It could have been fantastic. It isn't.
4.0 out of 5 stars Terminator is back!,
This review is from: Terminator Salvation Skull Box [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Having read a couple of the negative reviews here, i am a bit confused. the arguement seems to be - its an action film therfore there are lots of wicked explosions and futuristic fight scenes - bad. there is no arnie (ok il agree a bit with this)- bad. there are lots of robots - bad. there arnt enough robots bad.
Im sorry but with the 4th film in this series i feel tehre are certain things that you can expect, those bieng lots of robots and technology, lots of big explosions and , yes, arnie.
Ok so the big guy shows up in a cgi form (which is by the way superbly done and looks just like the 1980's version, so good in fact i had to pause it to determine it wasnt actually him!). i dont want to spoil it too much for the reader but its a great scene.
the plot this time centres around a moral question can a man be saved? And what does it mean to be human? to me it reminds me of the cartesian idea "i think therfore i am" with the main charecter thinking one thing does that mean he is what he thinks?
Christian bale has done for this series what he did for batman and has brought a gritty john connor to a clever plot twist. some superb acting about the resistance leader who knows the ending but needs to follow all the right steps toget there, and of course doesnt trust anyone. far better than the wimp in the last film.
special effects well at the cinema terrific , on my new surround sound system , well it sounded like ww3 had literally occoured in my living room. truly spectacular.
the rest of the story. not too many time traveling headaches this time, but now we are looking back in time rather than what WILL happen, and its how to fit in the events told for the last 2 films into a new reality. it does this brilliantly.
For me the biggest relief of this film was a return to a machine way of thinking. the machines in this film think like machines. cold calculating efficient. the sound effects for the movements of the machine are great as well. no more feminatrixes boosting thier boosems or prefering one thing or another. they are now cunning and efficient, just like the t1000 in t2 or the origional terminator in t1+2
If you thought that t:3 killed this series off think again it has returned and is fantastic. its not as good as terminator 2 but it is about as good as the origional. and twice as good as t3 - which was rubbish.
shame about arnie though....
4.0 out of 5 stars Exiting entry to the series from McG with a winning performance from Sam Worthington.,
I will admit, upon hearing the news that McG (Charlies Angels 1 & 2) was going to be directing this I wasn't sure it was a good choice but I decided to give him a chance (after all look how many people doubted the choice of Heath Ledger as the Joker) and after seeing Terminator Salvation in the cinema I thought it was decent enough but nothing great. I decided to give it another chance on DVD and I enjoyed it a lot more, maybe its one of those that needs another viewing to appreciate it.
As soon as the film starts you know it is going to be nothing like the previous films and it has a totally different feel. We are introduced to Sam Worthington's Marcus Wright in a 2003 prologue which is very intriguing and before we know it we are in 2018 with Christian Bale as John Connor with the resistance trying to infiltrate a Skynet base.
These openings perfectly set up the films two leading men but it's Worthington's Marcus who emerges as the main character, he has most of the screen time and a much fuller story arc. It is well known that more story was added to Connor when Bale expressed an interest so maybe its not entirely surprising. Anyway, the opening battle sequence at Skynet is fantastic and McG creates a gritty war atmosphere that James Cameron hinted to in the previous films. Overall the production design of the destroyed landscapes are fantastic.
Other great action sequences include Marcus being ambushed by a T-600 in post-apocalyptic L.A., Connor's team wrestling with some Hydrobots (think mechanical anacondas) but the stand-out has to be an extended chase scene with Marcus, Kyle Reese and the young Star (Jadagrace Berry) facing back-to-back encounters with a spinning disc-like tracker, a massive Harvester, awesome Moto-Terminators and a Hunter Killer (seriously!). The whole sequence brims with exitement and kudos to McG for producing such a great scene.
TS also thankfully has a winning cast, Christian Bale brings his usual growl and intensity to John Connor and adds something totally different from the previous two films to the role. Anton Yelchin is perfect as a young Kyle Reese and is perhaps the most anticipated character to see in the next one, Moon Bloodgood deserves a mention as pilot Blair Williams as she makes a big impact for the amount of screen time shes given, her and Worthington also build a good chemistry. On that note, Sam Worthington as the mysterious Marcus Wright is my favourite character in the film, the Avatar man brings charisma and vulnerability to a role thats quite difficult to play because he isn't allowed to give too much away but he never comes across bland, there are also a few interesting twists along the way with him. Michael Ironside is good as always as the Resistance commander and has some fun exchanges with Bale. Unfortunately Bryce Dallas Howard and rapper Common don't really add anything, although they should get more screen time in future installments.
There are also tributes to the earlier entries which are good, there are many but to name a few are the use of "You Could Be Mine" by Guns 'N' Roses at a very apt time, the usual "Come with me if you want to live" delivered well by Yelchin and Bale utters the line "I'll be back" which is pure genius and totally unexpected (I remember the reaction at the cinema).
OK the film has a couple of minor hiccups such as the final sequence, don't get me wrong it's not bad but nowhere near as good as the big chase scene. Sorry if this is a spoiler but I wasn't that impressed with Arnie's CGI cameo, it seemed a bit of place and not really necessary. Just a thought but how much better and creepier would it have been if Bale stumbled into a production room and there were hundreds of Arnie's Terminator on a big production line not yet activated and ready to launch... would've been cheaper to do as well because they would just be still figures and in my view a much more effective way in introducing us back to the iconic original Terminator.
These are minor gripes however and huge credit must go to McG for bringing the Terminator franchise back to life and I can't wait for him to explore it even more (who were those figures behind the glass panel in the human camp? Is there human involvement in Skynet!?). I can't understand why this film got such a negative reaction in America and under the circumstances I think it is realistically the best film we could've asked for, if not very close. For the record it is way better than T3.
I wondered what was next for Terminator when Halycon went bust but Lionsgate are apparently close to obtaining the rights and if they do I hope they let McG and his team continue their trilogy and not do a pointless reboot of this one or the original. The future is in their hands now.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark and gritty view of the future,
I had doubts about this film when it was released but despite all the negative feedback that it has recieved, I really liked it.
John Connor, for once, is portrayed as a strong albeit reluctant hero and leader instead of a whiny kid afraid of his future and Christian Bale portrays him very well, capturing the desperation and tortured emotions of a man who has to fulfil a destiny that he is starting to doubt. However, the main focus of this film is given to Marcus Wright, a mystery man portrayed by Sam Worthington who awakens in a post apocalyptic future and tries to figure out how he ended up there. The emotions that the character goes through as he discovers startling revelations about himself are all shown convincingly by Worthington, who brings a tough but also remorseful and vulnerable appeal to Marcus's plight.
The third important character in the movie is Kyle Reese, the paradoxical father of John Connor who at this point is only a teenager and portrayed by Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the recent Star Trek movie. Reese is shown to be a hero worshipper of the resistance, especially Connor and is compelled to join him, showing traits that would be associated with the character when played by Michael Biehn back in 1984.
The story of the film mostly revolves around Connor trying to find Reese but also about Marcus figuring out how he arrived in the wartorn future, and the story works pretty well. The camera style is mostly hand held, which adds a more natural and first hand look to the film and makes it feel more like the audience is in a warzone. Instead of the shiny Terminators from James Cameron's movies, the machines in Salvation are dark, sinister and have a more industrial look to them and there aren't any laser rifles, the only energy weapons in existence are employed by the huge Skynet machines so generally, bullets and missiles are still the favoured artillery of the resistance.
Salvation does have its flaws, but for the first Terminator movie to be set entirely in the future, it does a good job of continuuing the franchise and making it distinct from the Schwarzenegger-dominated past. While 'Ar-Nulhd' made this franchise a household name, it is refreshing to see new blood taking it in a different direction and the one thing I didn't like about the earlier films was how there was always an epic fight at the beginning of the film before they turned into a long and drawn out chase before another fight at the end. Salvation isn't a chase movie, it's a war movie and it's not ashamed to be different from its predecessors.
It could have been better but it is still a good movie, ideal for sci-fi and action fans and on a personal note, it's also fun to guess which scene Christian Bale was doing when he exploded in the now infamous rant against the lighting technician.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars could have been a lot worse,
let's face it, this was never going to be as good as james cameron's original terminator or terminator 2, but it could have been a lot worse. good cast, christian bale is good as john connor though he does still seem to be channelling batman, and one name to watch in the future is sam worthington who is by far the best thing in the whole film.
the action is terrific, with great special effects, though it does have bizzarely a look like mad max meets transformers and not as good as either, but the script is a bit of a let down and is very average. there is a cameo from a certain governor of california that had me cheering even though you could tell it wasn't really him and just cgi effects. it's enjoyable enough and sets up the possibility of more and hopefully better films to come and also ties into the original films as well.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like the other Terminator movies, but actually very good.,
Terminator Salvation is a very different movie compared to the first three, however this doess not mean it ruins the saga as many people have claimed. Besides, most fans feel that Terminator 3 already did that job. You would be best off thinking of this as the first in a new line of Terminator movies, a bit like the new Star Trek picture. Salvation is a basically a post-apocalyptic action movie based on the Terminator film, and a very good one.
The movie starts by introducing an interesting new character called Marcus, played by Avatar's Sam Worthington in fine broody form. Marcus is about to be executed for murder charges when he agrees to donate his body to medical research, not knowing of course that the research company "Cyberdyne" end up using his body and hundreds more to develop living machines we know as Terminators. The story then cuts to the future and an explosive assault on one of the Machines' bases led by a team of soldiers including John Connor, Christian Bale. Connnor discovers a location underground where some of Cyberdyne's genetic modifications have been carried out (including Marcus'). His team are attacked and he narrowly escapes after a hard fought and intense battle with a couple of machines. In the wake of this battle, Marcus emerges from the underground site and sets off to find out what the hell is happening.
The film then follows two very different plots which end up coming together towards the end. Connor and his team work to develop a new technology that the army can use to shut down the machines and win the war while Marcus struggles to survive along with his new allies Star (a 9 year old girl) and Kyle Reese (well played by Anton Yelchin). The film rages on with massive explosive action sequences, some well acted but perhaps poorly scripted scenes, some touching character development and lots of new technologies unseen in other movies. Some of the machines like the moto-terminators with 360 degree turning capabilities in the blink of an eye seem a little far fetched, but some of the others such as the enormous machine that attacks Marcus' band are just an incredible sight. There is however one cringe-worthy bit late in the film where a CGI version of the Schwarzenegger model appears for a fight, but don't be too put off by that.
The film received a lot of bad publicity, mainly due to the imbalanced story line, the director (for some reason that I can't really see) and the heavy reliance on special effects. However, how on earth were they going to make a futuristic, world controlled by living machines without such huge effects. Besides, in my eyes this is one of the film's main virtues. Terminator Salvation may not be perfect, but if you can show me a more exciting, entertaining action thriller set in a futuristic war zone then I'd be surprised. And as for the director McG, apart from the stupid name, the fact that he made the Charlies Angels films and the fact that he's not James Cameron, I felt that the direction was fine. The story is interesting, engaging, entertaining and enjoyable. Nowhere near as good as Terminator 2, but then it wasn't going to be.
In short, if you've not watched this yet and enjoy yourself a good futuristic action film then I think you'll really love Terminator Salvation.
3.0 out of 5 stars A kind of hybrid Terminator meets Transformers.........,
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This review is from: Terminator Salvation (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Thanks to Skynet, machines have now taken over the planet and only a few pockets of human resistance fighters are left including John Connor.
This is certainly an action packed film with brilliant special effects but somewhat lacking in the storyline department and human interest. The first two films had these attributes in bundles and were all the more enjoyable for it.
Christian Bale as John Connor, grunts and groans his way throughout the film and is somewhat upstaged by Sam Worthington who gives a stupendous performance. There is also a cameo appearance from a very well known person!
I don't know if you could call this a stand alone film because you would really need to see at least one of the older films to get some idea of what is going on now. I didn't buy Terminator Judgement Day and I believe watching that may have made me appreciate this a little more. You really need to follow it closely to keep track of what is going on because the film jumps from the past to the present quite frequently.
Will there be salvation from Skynet and the relentless machines? You'll have to wait until the next film is made to see.........the ending was left open so it is possible.
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