I’ll be back….unfortunately

I was of two minds  about seeing the latest Terminator film, Terminator Salvation. The week leading up to the release I had heard nothing but awful reviews so I really wasn’t expecting much.  Part of me didn’t want to go see a crap film, and be a contributing factor to them making a sequel, which I’m sure will happen unfortunately. The other part of me said i should see if it was crap for my self, and that I shouldn’t let negative reviews stop me from going to see a movie. I decided to go with a group of friends on this past Saturday night. I went with what I thought was a good strategy, by setting the bar extremely low. Plus if it did end being totally crap, I had planned to go get a healthy dose of Start Trek directly after wards.


My strategy failed. I guess I just shouldn’t have set a bar at all, because it was absolutely horrible. I spent most of the time taking notes on things to blog about because I was so disinterested. They totally just destroyed the mythos of the Terminator Franchise. Now let me be clear, I wanted this movie to be good, I really did. I was really hoping for a fresh look at the Terminator franchise, but oi,  the whole movie was just so unexciting. You never felt a sense of impending danger or doom. The stakes were never high, or they never felt like they were high.  I felt like the performers were capable of giving a lot more than they did, so I’m gonna go ahead and chalk this one up to bad directing.

What was with all of the weird cuts? It was like anytime they came upon something technically difficulty to shoot or explain, story wise, they just cut. The perfect example is John Connor in the helicopter towards the beginning of the film. So Johny is riding along in a helicopter over a RAGING ocean. He then orders the pilot to lower the ramp in the back and proceeds to jump out of the helicopter into the RAGING ocean, CUT TO, interior submarine. WAIT WHAT?!?!?! How the hell did he get into a submarine? What just happened. The filmmakers did that constantly. So little explanation. Another prime example is when John Connor is on one side of the decimated Golden Gate bridge on his newly high jacked terminator bike, (by the way all you need to high jack a terminator bike is an iphone apparently) and then suddenly he’s on the other side. How did he get there?

The camera work was also extremely disorienting. There were so many instances where two characters or objects, or a character and an object, (be it a helicopter, vehicle whatever) would appears so close, and then in the very next shot they would be much further apart, and vice versa. Really, all the fancy fluid shots, just amounted to major disorientation.

Oh and another thing, why are there always so many small fires around cars? I mean it’s post apocalyptic LA. Judgement day has come and gone, and yet cars are still burning, even if it’s pouring down rain, cars are still on fire. They try to pay homage to the original Terminator films, by borrowing lines and shooting similar scenes and scenarios, but it just ends being more insulting than anything else. Oh, the CG Arnold is awful. At least they blew his face off pretty quickly.

But aside from all the technical flaws the biggest problem is that there is just no story to tell here. The movie doesn’t fit anywhere into the Terminator franchise. It doesn’t serve as a Sequel, or Prequel, or reboot. It simply doesn’t add anything. We don’t really learn anything new, no big reveals, nothing. You know pretty much everything going into it. That makes for a very unexciting movie. They don’t draw you into the characters and the world they are inhabiting, so just end not caring. John Connor is supposed to be the modern messiah of mankind, and he ends being extremely unimportant. You never get the sense that this man amounts to much of anything at all. Apart from the two scenes where speaks to his followers via am radio, you never are given any reason to believe this man is important to the survival of mankind or why.  There are quite a few characters in Salvation, that actually serve no purpose at all. They don’t drive the story forward, or effect in any way at all. It just leaves you wondering why the hell they were there to begin with. The mute girl is a great. Cute little kid, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t go anything, kind of just tags along, but servers no purpose in any character or story arch. In fact none of the characters have much of an arc or motivation for their actions.

We spent a good 45 minutes bashing the film in the lobby after it was over. I mean I really tried to go and just enjoy a mindless action flick, but the movie just wouldn’t let me do it! If you’re a fan of Terminator, you really don’t need to see this at all. It really makes the Terminator Rise of the Machines, look like an Academy Award winner.

The only terminator with blue hair

The only terminator with blue hair

~ by glennikin on May 26, 2009.

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