Monday, December 31, 2012

Terminator Salvation (2009) Review:

Some viewers have bashed director McG for taking on this project. First, for any director that takes on a big franchise, it is a big job. That kind of thing comes with the territory. Being a director is a big job anyway. And because of that, I give a lot of credit to McG who did what he could to make the fourth Terminator installment the best it could be; even without Mr. Schwarzenegger, physically in the picture that is. Believe me, it could have been worse.

John Connor (Bale) & Marcus Wright (Worthington)
Terminator Salvation (2009) takes place after Skynet wiped out more than half of the human population. Christian Bale stars as the prophesized John Connor, leader of the rebel alliance. But before any of this even happens, the story focuses on a less noted individual. Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) is a wrongly convicted felon and has received the death penalty but is soon reborn for strange reasons several years later during the time of John Connor's leadership.

As Wright looks for answers, he runs into Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), John Connor's father, but he doesn't know the significance of that, until later. But when Skynet captures Reese, Wright tags along with Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) who brings him to rebel headquarters. Meanwhile, John Connor struggles to convince head of command General Ashdown (Michael Ironside) not to attack Skynet too quickly. As things start to move quicker, these two stories will collide to create some solid entertainment.

The clunky yet deadly T-600
McG's ability to display realistic aftermath scenery is downright eerie but convincing. A lot of the sets he used were real, as were the explosions. What I liked best about McG's vision of the future is the difference between all the modified terminators from the past three films and the predecessors used here. The T-600 is terrifyingly massive.  What made up for less intelligence, is a big, hulking exoskeleton and a rapid fire minigun. Then there are the moto-terminators with a slick body style, which are carried on the harvester, another gigantic deadly Skynet robot.

The other two Skynet robots that are new to the screen, are the hydrobots and the enlarged H.K.s. What's interesting is to see Skynet's initial ideas come to fruition and to see what their first killing machines looked like and the evolution from the beginning, to the T-X. One the best looking set pieces was the terminator factory. To see the difference between cleansed, sanitized Skynet compared to the grungy, oil-slicked terminator factory shows that Skynet isn't all chrome either.

Danny Elfman's soundtrack to this terminator film is not only better than Beltrami's from 2003 but it's also more involving. Elfman likes to use a lot of strings and brass in his music and that creates a sense of scope of the story. The opening theme is great. The things I didn't enjoy were minimal. I didn't understand why Christian Bale was stuck in Bruce Wayne mode and talked with a scratchy voice. I think he could have come up with some other interpretation for the character. Also the fact that this movie was PG-13 annoyed me. The same went for RoboCop 3 (1993). It should've been kept rated R. the world of John Connor isn't just for teenagers.

Although not many people were fond of McG's look at the latest terminator film, it is still high quality entertainment. The special effects, set pieces and music by Danny Elfman are as fresh as can be.

Points Earned --> 8:10

No comments:

Post a Comment