Terminator Salvation, needs one of the first two words. Either one will do with this rather disappointing sequel to the terminator franchise. Not to say that this is a bad film for it is not, it is decent, has a good story, action packed and has passable acting. It just lacks that magic.
Maybe, it is the absence of an identifiable villain, Arnie in T1, Carmen Soo in T2 (yup, lame attempt at a joke and slips that I have seen that movie), the cop in T2, and that crazy hot robot in Rise of the Machines. What we get in Salvation is a smorgasbord of robots, giant ones, motorcycling riding gung hos, the T-800 T-600 (I think I am reciting cellphone models). Mind you, the graphics are msterfully done, but there is no chill factor. The fear of getting crushed or annihilated by a robot is lacking. In fact you get the feeling that the robots are tamer than the autobots.
The absence of Arnie hurts a lot. The terminator franchise is a classic due to effective one liners, jam packed action and comedic timing. This movie is lacking in all departments. What we get is an arc of a guy who dies and donates his body to science, he is resurrected, he saves his friends, fights and dies. The end. Just another cliche action movie.
Other than the giant robot taking out one by one the fleeing vehicles, there is much left to be desired in terms of the action sequences. They have a generic fight of Connor, Wright and the T-800s in the end, even putting in an obviously graphically interfaced Schwarzenegger into a limited screen time but we do not get any drama from that. There was no liquid metal changing, or a villain growing out parts. Can they not be more imaginative than a factory scene fight as the climax? I am utterly disappointed.
To end my rant, I left with the feeling quite like when you near the end of a Hardy Boys book. They capture the bad guy, the bad guy spills out the beans in full color, unaware of the consequences. In this movie, a super computer who plants a mole in the person of Marcus Wright to lure John Connor into coming into Skynet so he can be destroyed. Then that super computer suddenly without any logic, tells Marcus Wright of his real purpose? Dumdum right? What else do you expect but that cyborg (who thinks he is human and is all about second chances) rips out his chip and aids Connor? This is really falling apart by the third chapter.
Well to cap it all, Terminator is not all that bad taking into consideration that it has a budget of 200 million, gets a mailed in performance from Batman, and has a director who obviously doesn't know how to pull it all together. We still have gems in the performances from Sam Worthington (the Avatar movie is suddenly looking more promising) and Anton Yelchin (zee favorite guy from Star Trek). And yes, there are robots lots and lots of them. On second thought, I still have Revenge of the Fallen to look forward to.
7.5 out of 10.