Terminator Salvation (Blu-Ray)
November 18, 2009
Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin, Jadagrace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Jane Alexander, Michael Ironside, Ivan G'Vera, Chris Browning, Dorian Nkono, Beth Bailey, Victor J. Ho,
This review refers to the Blu-Ray version of Terminator Salvation.
When the idea of a fourth Terminator movie was first floated around, it met with much scepticism. The third Terminator, Rise of the Machines, was so bad that any thought of another movie left the blood cold. Cameron’s first two movies were so good, whereas the third was so bad, that surely the franchise had been terminated?
Despite this, the TV series ‘The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ breathed new life into the franchise, and wisely ignored the presence of T3 altogether. The fourth Terminator movie, Terminator Salvation, is along the same lines as the series, only bigger, darker and better.
Terminator Salvation takes place after judgment day, so you don’t get any of this time travel gimmickry that the first three movies had. It’s a cold, dark world, and there’s no escape from it. This helps with the intensity of T4, as the Terminators are everywhere, they can attack at any time and they have secret weapons.
John Connor is back, this time played by the now legendary Christian Bale, who clearly wanted to be the centre of two franchises at the same time. He is outstanding in the role, bringing the depth, intensity (there’s that word again) and credibility needed for the saviour of mankind.
Connor isn’t the leader of the resistance. Instead he is challenged in everything he tries to do as the actual leaders don’t believe in his mother’s foretelling of events. This isn’t so much of a problem, as those under him do believe.
Sam Worthington plays Marcus Wright, a murderer who was sentenced to death by lethal injection, yet wakes up in the future feeling much better than he should. His dark past is nothing compared to his even darker future.
The film revolves around Connor having to trust his instincts in the face of what he has been fighting his whole life, if he is to save his father, Kyle Reese, before the Terminators get to him.
The film is dark, expertly shot and yes, intense. The scene towards the beginning of the film features a huge single shot sequence where Connor pursues a HK (Hunter Killer) on a helicopter, only to crash land and crawl out before being attacked by a Terminator. This scene being shot in a single, unbroken shot, forces you into the film like the previous three films never did.
Salvation could possibly be the best Terminator movie yet.
The Blu-Ray also features the extended version, which has the odd extra scene and sequence. One of the extra sequences shows Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) removing her clothes to shower in the rain while staring at Marcus Wright. Probably not needed for the plot, but we’re all glad it’s in there!
There are one or two flaws with the film, flaws that were probably added in post production. For example, as Connor and his team attack the Terminator base at the beginning of the film, a line of dialogue was dubbed over the top telling the viewer that the information in the computers is top priority… did we need to know that? We could probably have worked out that they were going in for information, without the info dump.
This is only a minor niggle, as the film is outstanding. The final sequence with the T800 in the Terminator production factory will send shivers down any Terminator fan’s spine.