It was only a matter of time. Six years after Rise of the Machines, we got another Terminator movie. And I’m sure that in a couple of years, we will get another one. Terminator Salvation is an example of what happens when a movie decides to take itself too seriously. I mean, if you look at the three previous installments in the franchise, they all had not just a humorous but also a casual, even cheesy at times, side. This one’s all doom and gloom but I guess that’s just how things are now. We can look at it as a refreshing twist on a familiar tale and leave it at that.
One of the main reasons why I think Terminator Salvation is a movie worth watching is the post-apocalyptic setting. Featuring a budget of over $200 million, it offers stunning special effects, imposing sets, and locations. If you’re a fan of these types of movies, I’m sure you’re going to like this one. In fact, I don’t even know why they had to involve the Terminator franchise as this could’ve been a great stand-alone feature. I think it would also enable them to get a little bit more creative. Although I have to commend the SFX team as the vehicles and the killer robots in this movie are absolutely phenomenal.
We’ve got not only your standard-issue terminators but drones, fighter jets that look like spaceships, and huge transport ships. I don’t want to talk about all of them because I don’t want to spoil anything. Just know that there will be a lot more of them. They could’ve focused on these robots alone and this would be a great movie to watch. Like one man trying to survive in this harsh environment. This brings us to the main story. It mostly takes place in the future after Skynet tries to kill all the humans. Small pockets of resistance fighters are trying to fight back but with little success.
The rebels are led by none other than John Connor, now a veteran soldier. He’s looking for Skynet’s Achilles heel, a single flaw that might take down the entire system. And he might just fight it yet. So, the story is awfully similar to the Matrix sequels Reloaded and especially Revolutions. Hell, even the rebel base is aboard a submarine, mimicking the Nebuchadnezzar. After one hell of an opening scene we follow two different subplots you simply know are going to come together in the final third. I very much preferred the one with Marcus Wright, played by Sam Worthington, to the main one featuring rebels and John Connor.
He’s played by Christian Bale, fresh off the set of Batman. And you can feel that. Back to the stories, Wright roams the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is Earth, making friends and enemies. And fighting those damn machines that now come in several different robotic forms. Both of them were quite good but Moon Bloodgod stole the show for me as Blair. First of all, what a cool fucking name. Secondly, let’s be honest, she’s smoking hot. Thirdly, this movie needed a kick-ass female character as we already have two brooding males.
Finally, there’s something really odd about these big movie franchises that I’ve noticed recently. You either binge the entire series or you watch the original movies. In this case that would be the iconic The Terminator  and perhaps even more influential Terminator 2: Judgement Day . You don’t straight for the Rise of the Machines or the movie we’re talking about today, Terminator Salvation. And yet both of these movies can be watched as stand-alone features. You don’t need to know anything about the previous movies to enjoy these ones.
Director: Joseph McGinty
Writers: John Brancato, Michael Ferris
Cast: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin
Fun Facts: Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t appear in Terminator Salvation because he was too busy with his work as he was the Governor of California at the time of the shooting.