Terminator: Salvation

Posted on December 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

How can you have a war between humans and machines when the line between them is hard to find?

In the first three Terminator movies, cyborgs from the future were sent back in time to prevent future leader of the resistance John Connor from being born and then from surviving. But in the fourth installment, set in a bleak, apocalyptic landscape of bleached-out rubble and belching fires (but apparently excellent dental care), the time that was foretold has arrived. The Skynet computer network has achieved self-awareness and now sees humans as a threat to its continued existence.

Connor (now played by Christian Bale) is a charismatic rebel who does not work well with the chain of command. He knows that his future will require him to send a man named Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) back in time to protect a young waitress named Sarah Connor, who will become his mother, from the Terminator sent to kill her. He knows that Reese, now a teenager, must not just rescue Sarah; he will fall in love with her and become John’s father. A bit of an ontological paradox, but if we were going to worry about that, we’d never get to the explosions and shoot-outs, so on we go.

The machines’ “awareness” and instinct for independence achieves a kind of humanity as the humans’ ruthlessness and desperation makes them increasingly mechanistic. Life is Hobbsian, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” The people and the machines are more alike than different — they can think of little but self-preservation, and humanity is defined not by how something or someone is created but by the capacity to sacrifice for others.

It does not live up to the first two films, which had astonishing special effects, arresting characters, and some emotional resonance. But it does have some enormously cool machines (what I would like to see is these guys up against the Transformers, now that would be a movie!), and an Australian actor named Sam Worthington, an enormously magnetic performer who will also be featured in the upcoming “Avatar” movie (coincidentally directed by James Cameron, who directed the first two “Terminator” films). Worthington is electrifying. He plays Marcus, a character who raises questions about what it means to be human but provides a definitive answer about what it means to be a star.

Related Tags:

 

Action/Adventure Science-Fiction Series/Sequel

10 Replies to “Terminator: Salvation”

  1. I love me some movie mom. Good thing she didn’t blast it. A movie with machines vs humans.. automatically awesome.

  2. Hi, Nathaniel! The movie is filled with scenes of characters in danger as they are attacked by machines and people. What more do you want to know? I like to give people the information they are looking for but do not want to spoil any of the movie’s surprises.

  3. When you write “brief strong language” I imagine a single scene with a few bad words back-to-back, but what about throughout the movie, how was the pace of the everyday-bad-words? I’m concerned mostly with taking the Lords name in vain and the F-word. Thanks!

  4. As is typical with PG-13s, this movie has several s-words, b-words, and hells, one f-word, (and another possible one), a few damns and a couple of uses of God as an explicative. In almost every case, PG-13 movies use the f-word once or twice, so if that is your concern, you should stick with PGs and Gs.

  5. The Terminator: Salvation reviews are starting to come in, and it looks like Terminator: Salvation is going to be a hit. The reboot film of the Terminator series, starring Christian Bale, is an update on the film series that began in 1984 with the release of the first film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The first film was shot for $6 million, and made over $80 million. Some people will look into a quick cash loan to see the new one. Salvation is a franchise reboot, as both prequel and sequel, and it’s been getting a lot of buzz. It might be worth short term loans to see if the Terminator: Salvation reviews turn out well.

  6. Thanks for the comment, Eric — do you mean in comparison to the earlier ones or just within its own terms? Can you say more about what you did not like? Was there anything you thought worked?

  7. First, let me start off by saying if you go in expecting something as good as T2, you’d be making a mistake. However, this movie is definitely better than T3. It’s a decent action flick that i found fun to watch. However, I didn’t like the fact that Christian Bale used his “batman” voice in this movie, I thought the movie could’ve done without that. Another thing is that this movie has a little bit more of a focus on another character rather than John Connor, but fear not, John Connor does have a decent amount of screen time in the movie.

Leave a Reply to Nell Minow Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2021, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik