Many of the reviews I read for this film prior to release gave me the impression that the film is a train wreck. Indeed, they were bad enough that, given my work schedule, I didn't make the effort to see the film in the cinema. Finally, a friend lent me the Blu-ray and after leaving it on a shelf for six weeks, I decided to watch it one evening and was surprised to find myself enjoying it.
Sam Worthington's performance is particularly of note and Moon Bloodgood is a very good foil for him. Christian Bale, whom I rate highly as an actor is only so so in the film: his delivery of his first words is enough to induce giggles and gave me the feeling he was doing his 'Batman voice'.
I like the idea that this is a different future from the one Michael Biehn's Kyle Reese came back from in the first Terminator film: a future influenced by the time travelling events of the first trilogy. It also leaves room for the likes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles to exist in a parallel timeline. Anton Yelchin is likeable as Kyle Reese, but not quite the 'great evocation' of Michael Biehn's performance some claim it to be. The hybrid Roland Kickinger/CGI Schwarzenegger Terminator is considerably better than I expected it to be.
The story feels rather unbalanced in trying to deal with both Bale's Connor and Worthington's Marcus and the ending of the movie doesn't work for me at all. I've only watched the extended cut, but an early scene where Michael Ironside's character pulls a gun on John Connor is, to me, a critical relationship moment and thematically relevant to the time travelling background of the original films that is, apparently, lost in the theatrical cut.
All in all, a better-than-expected movie, closer in quality to Terminator 3 than Terminators 1 and 2. Like T3, it feels more like a 'non-canon' tie-in novel interpretation of the mythos, but it's still fun and I would like to see a sequel.
The Blu-ray itself has gorgeous picture quality and strong sound that delivered a real bass kick from the woofer in my system. There are certainly many worse ways to spend an evening than watching Terminator: Salvation!