Saturday, 13 June 2009

Terminator Salvation - first thoughts

Here's my first thoughts on Terminator Salvation a plot rehash or major spoilers.which I saw earlier this week. I'll try to avoid a plot rehash or major spoilers. I had been looking forward to this movie and also hoped it wouldn't be a misstep like Terminator 3.

Thanks to the time-travel plots in the previous instalments Salvation manages to be both a sequel and a prequel at the same time.

The movie is pretty much a non-stop action adventure from start to finish. There are not too many quieter moments or introspection. Normally this can get a bit tiresome but in this movie it works. I was sold on how dangerous this future world could be with numerous models of machines ready to attack at any moment. Some action moments play out without music which also increases the tension. The gritty post-apocalyptic landscape is almost a character in its own right.

Christian Bale plays the adult John Connor with his trademark intensity. It actually becomes a fairly repetitive performance. Glower, shout, glower, shout, yell, glower, etc.

However to my surprise he's not the star of the show. The main character turns out to be Marcus Wright, a man about to be executed in the opening scene of the movie. His journey is really the central one of the movie and Sam Worthington turns in an excellent performance as Marcus. If the movie works at all its because of that character and actor.

I liked Moon Bloodgood as resistance pilot Blair Williams. She turned out to have a lot more to do than I had originally expected.

Anton Yelchin did a great job following (or should that be preceding?) Michael Biehn as the young Kyle Reese.

Helena Bonham Carter turns up for two small scenes bookending the movie and does a lot with very little.

Bryce Dallas Howard frankly doesn't get to do very much expect do a concerned wife. Michael Ironside has a small role as a typical growley resistance leader.

And yes, we get to see a 1984 era Arnold head on a T-800. The CGI on that sequence was seamless and outstanding.

The opening credits are certainly inspired by that of the first movie and Danny Elfman's score does nod in the direction of Brad Fidel's famous themes.

All in all I enjoyed the movie. It's different from the originals but I would argue it has to be given the 2018 setting.

And more importantly it's better than Terminator 3.

Now, how about a third season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles?