The life of the Terminator films has sadly become tragic. The original movie is an iconic sci-fi thriller, and its sequel, ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day,’ isn’t just one of the greatest sequels of all time, but it’s a near-perfect movie. . They should have stopped there, it seemed like there was a finality to “T2”, but Hollywood couldn’t help it, so in 2003 we had “Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines”, which is a weird movie. It has no reason to exist and is essentially just a weaker version of its predecessor, but I still liked it. It also has an ending that I love.
After that, nobody knew where to go with the franchise; then came “Terminator Salvation”, a film that would take place in the heart of the war between machines and humans. We were finally going to see John Connor in action as a soldier. Even though the film’s director, McG, had done mostly plush stuff so far, many people were inspired when they saw the great Christian Bale would be playing John Connor. His record in terms of choosing the right projects was remarkable.
Then the trailers came out and the excitement was at its height. The main trailer for “Terminator Salvation” is one of the best trailers of my life. It would have been a billion dollar trilogy if the movie was as good as the trailer. They were finally pushing the franchise in a much-needed different direction. Things were looking up for Terminator…or so we thought.
I don’t think “Terminator Salvation” is a terrible movie. There are points where it is almost good. I loved the different looks of the Terminators. The late Anton Yelchin is so good as young Kyle Reese. The film could have been about him. Thirteen years later, I appreciate that this is the only Terminator movie that tries to deviate from the formula. A lot of people hated that Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t in this movie, and while I love Arnold, it’s not a requirement that every Terminator movie has to have him as the main focus. We already had three movies that featured him in that role. It was time to change; I wish the evolution was more focused.
There are definitely elements of “Salvation” that I enjoy, but overall I can’t recommend it. I will always commend this movie for trying to do something different with this franchise, but the one thing this movie is sorely lacking is a reason for audiences to care. A big reason is that the great Christian Bale, brilliant as he usually is, is devoid of charisma in this film.
John Connor shouldn’t be Tony Stark, but his performance is a note. You never feel like this is the guy who is going to lead the resistance and save the world. The script bogs him down. And this is the most important problem; this movie is badly written.All the dialogue is so standard and cliche. He has no personality; aside from Kyle Reese, all of these characters are flat. It looks like the first draft of a script that could have desperately used a few rewrites. Also, while the movie has awesome action and visuals, the color grading is horrible. The movie has a weird, dark filter on it. Looks like someone rubbed diarrhea on the lens.
The Terminator formula had become stale by the time “Salvation” arrived in 2009, so I was eager to see a new Terminator story. But in a weird twist, there isn’t. There’s a general setup, but outside of “Hey, we gotta fight the Terminators,” there isn’t really a story here. There’s no central antagonist aside from the faceless machines we see throughout the film. This is the prime example of a film where the action sequences were set up and someone attempted to write a script around it. There are so many potentially great ideas that remain unexplored.
Hollywood is a business, and “Terminator Salvation” was a bad business venture. The film did not do well at the box office. He didn’t even win his opening weekend. I believe it was bested by “Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian”. Since then, the Terminator franchise has been desperately trying to find its place.
The 2015 movie “Terminator Genisys” is horrible. It’s one of the worst big-budget films of the last decade. Arnold returns (and is actually pretty good), but other than that, Emilia Clarke is ridiculously miscast as Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney are the equivalent of a bag of rocks. The film also fucks up its own timeline in a million different ways and features lifeless characters and a boring, confusing story. The “salvation” is an aimless mess, but at least the general idea of what they attempted to do was admirable. It was poorly executed, but at least he tried to venture out and do something new with the franchise. The same cannot be said for “Genisys”.
The series tries to find new life again in 2019 with “Terminator: Dark Fate”. how low the bar is Unsurprisingly, the movie didn’t do well and there’s currently no talk of a sequel. It’s a series that overstayed its welcome, but it didn’t have to be. “Terminator Salvation”, despite being a bad movie, was the closest Terminator sequel to understanding the mission. It’s the only Terminator sequel after “Judgment Day” to attempt something different. In different hands, it could have started a great series. But as things stand, it will go down as a giant missed opportunity.
Oh yeah, that was the movie where Christian Bale blew up on this guy. That’s one of the only good things that comes out of this movie.