19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A dark and gritty view of the future,
This review is from: Terminator Salvation [DVD]  (DVD)
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.