Terminator Salvation is the single most action packed movie I have seen in the past six months. I am talking non-stop-take-a-breath-when-you-can-and-hold-on-to-your-popcorn action because the director takes you for a ride that you won’t soon forget. And you know what? I for one couldn’t get enough of it. The chase scenes are a rarity in action movies. They are “smart” and they are logical and they hold enough surprises to keep you interested. We are not talking about mindless car chases here. Oh no. We are talking about the prodigy child of a marriage between the best of Star Wars and the best of Transformers (if there was such a thing as the best of Transformers). And just as you think you can relax, hold on, popcorn breath, ’cause McG ain’t done with you and you don’t want to be done with either. When you hire McG to direct action movies you will get chase scenes, and compared to the ones in Terminator, Charlie’s Angels seemed like slow motion play dough that got left out in the summer sun. I know he did Coyote Ugly. So what? Are you gonna the be the one to throw the first stone? He is also doing T5 – in development- and I can’t wait because the man can do action movies! Am I saying that the movie is perfect? Far from it. There is some loss of focus and there are some superfluous scenes with Moon Bloodgood’s character Blair Williams but its nothing major what is a bit more troubling is some of the acting.
Oh maaaaaannnn. I’m not gonna win too many friends with this. I might not even speak to myself for a while either, but I have to call ’em like I see ’em. Christian Bale! I am a big fan, or at least I was, but I have to tell you that he is beginning to wear just a little bit thin. Sure he does a good job as John Connor…buuuuttt, what more did he bring to the role? What extra dimension does he bring to the character? Truth be told I couldn’t tell if he was John Connor, or Bruce Wayne or Quinn Abercromby. In this movie, Christian Bale is two dimensional and predictable and quite frankly a bit boring. McG is not known for bringing out command performances from his actors and this is no exception. The good acting in this move, and there was some, was, I suspect, individual efforts on the part of the actors. (I can’t help but wonder what DiCaprio would have done with this role)
The first stand out is Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright. The story goes that casting was looking for someone able to stand up to Christian Bale. Ha! What they found is someone able to upstage him. That is exactly what Sam Worthington does. The guy has to play a role that is supposed to be devoid of emotion and yet manages to steal the movie.
The second acting gem, albeit a very small role, is actually no surprise at all. Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter playing Dr. Serena Kogan manages, in a few seconds, to show us why she is one of the best actresses in Hollywood. I can count on one hand the number of other actresses who I think are in her league. I am not aware of many that can do what she did in just a few seconds of film. I really wish she had been given more time, but then they’d have to call the movie something else.
I won’t give away too much, but skip the blue font if you don’t know and don’t want to know.
The machines are kicking our butts and what’s left of the human armies is desperately trying to find an edge to turn the tide. John Connor, not yet the leader of the resistance, is tasked with implementing a Hail Mary plan to end the war in one fell swoop. In this mix enter Marcus Wright as a half human-half machine contraption that no one knows what to make of or do with. There aren’t many plot twists, but who goes to a see a Terminator movie for the plot?
A high speed low drag celebration of the eternal human spirit. A tighten your seat-belt lesson in tenacity and determination against overwhelming odds. A movie about loyalty and sacrifice. Gotta love it.
Of course, you should go see it, but you probably did!