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Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like the other Terminator movies, but actually very good., 22 May 2010
This review is from: Terminator Salvation [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Oct 2010 23:16:59 BDT
PIM says:

I review films myself on Amazon. I didn't review this one simply because 200 people beat me to it. But I like the review you have written; far easier to read than some of the others. I also agree with your point about McG. There was nothing wrong with his work as a director at all, and I as well have not seen a better futuristic war movie outside of the future war segments from the other Terminator movies. And yes, the enormous Collector robot was very impressive. The bile thrown at McG seems to result from the realisation (as you quite rightly put it) that he is not James Cameron.

The only issue I do have is with the material which has been quite noticeably cut from the film. There are certain scenes in the final film which abruptly jump from one scene to the next without the filler scenes that you normally get to balance the pacing. This was obviously to ensure a shorter running time enabling the picture to be screened more times a day so as to make back on the huge $200 million investment. One example of a cut scene was the capturing of the hydrobot. One moment Kate Connor is discussing the idea - and the next they have one in their hands already back inside their camp! There are other examples that McG has also drawn attention to, informing us there was roughly 30 minutes taken out of his original cut. The Blu Ray has 2 more minutes or so added but I would very much like to see the longer cut. Just how likely this is with the rights to the Terminator franchise resting in the hands of something known as 'The Pacificor Hedgefund' I cannot say. They part-financed the operations of the Halcyon company who produced the film, then promptly bought the rights when Halcyon went bankrupt after the movie didn't deliver the stratospheric box-office they hoped for.

Just one tip about your reviews. Try not to give away plot-spoilers. After I received negative comments from other reviewers and 'Reported Abuse' to Amazon, Amazon promptly deleted my reviews (without sanctioning the critics) for giving too much away. It doesn't matter now as Salvation has been and gone, but in future you might want to hold back some clues so as not to spoil things for those who have not seen a movie when you have reviewed it.

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