Friday 6 November 2009

Film: Terminator Salvation (2009)

When will I learn my lesson?  When will I learn to ignore the reviews and to go see the films I want to see and make up my own mind?  I was so scared of being disappointed by Terminator Salvation, afraid that it would be as bad as Terminator 3, that I listened to the terrible reviews and waited months to actually watch the film.  Now, the only thing I am disappointed in is the fact that I didn’t go to see it on the big screen.

I know I usually wait until the end but I’ll start off by saying that I give Terminator Salvation four and a half stars; it loses half a star simply because it is not Terminator 2: Judgement Day.  It is possible that it is a film that only die hard Terminator fans will love but then that label would apply to me.


Perhaps it would be best to take a step back and speak of my absolute love for Terminator 2

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (how do I love thee…)

Terminator 2 is officially my Favourite Movie Ever©. It was the first film that I went to see multiple times in the cinema and back in my days as a penniless university student, that was a huge accomplishment.  I don’t think I had even seen the original Terminator film but something about this film just touched me.

Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger: Terminator 2

I absolutely loved Edward Furlong in his role as John Connor and I was duly petrified by Robert Patrick’s performance as the T-1000.  To this day, the score is one of my favourites and I loved the soundtrack too (especially Guns n’ Roses – You Could Be Mine). 

This is one of those films that haunted me for months and I would even say that it is partly responsible for my heightened awareness from that time about the damage we are doing to our earth and the environment.  I never would have thought it would be so hard for me to put my love of this film into words!!!

The special effects were amazing, for the time.  My favourite scenes are when Sarah Connor is hurtling through the hospital corridors and begins backtracking when she sees The Terminator and he says “come with me if you want to live”.  I love it when the T-1000 pours himself into the helicopter seat and when he extends his arms into a sword and kills John’s foster mother.  I loved when they were flying through the drains on the motor bike and the scene above was one of my favourites too.

I try not to think too hard about Terminator 3; it was abominable and I am surprised they carried on with the franchise after that.  But I am so glad they did.  I enjoyed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and I loved Terminator Salvation.

Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation takes us back to the very beginning of the story which, in typical mind-bending Terminator style, occurs 34 years after the first Terminator film.  Set in 2018, John Connor is a simple unit leader in the resistance, certainly not one of the main power players.  What makes him different is his seeming ability to predict future events but this does not exactly endear him with his superiors.

What surprised me most about this film was not The Supreme Hotness that is Christian Bale (I am definite Team Christian by the way and loved his expletive-rich rant on set).  Don’t get me wrong, young Master Bale was gorgeous in this film [insert gratuitous hot photo here]:

Christian Bale is drop dead gorgeous as John Connor

Having heard so many bad things about the film, I didn’t expect to find myself so deeply submerged again in the race to prevent the rise of the machines.  That post-apocalyptic air, the resistance fighters, the end of humanity and the absolute loss is what attracted me to Terminator 2 in the first place.  Of course, in that film it was implied but in Terminator Salvation it was very real. 

I am quite a sucker for these types of stories anyway.  I loved the book Shade's Children by Garth Nix where body snatching machines use humans as pawns in their life-sized, chess-like games of strategy and I’m currently enjoying The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

Naturally, being a shameless fangirl with the full blessing of my partner to go forth and fall in love with celebrities, the best part of Terminator Salvation has to be [insert drum roll here] Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright.

Sam Worthington is even hotter as Marcus Wright

How is it possible that I didn’t notice this actor before?  He’s gorgeous!

My favourite scene in the film is where John Connor has to show Marcus Wright that he is a cyborg.

Hottest scene ever: John Connor and Marcus Wright

Anton Yelchin (from Huff and Alpha Dog) is brilliant as ever as a young Kyle Rees and Helena Bonham Carter is fantastic as the psychotic Dr Serena Kogan.

So where to from here?  As I’ve said, the only flaw in this film in my not-so-humble opinion is that it isn’t Terminator 2 and I have threatened family and friends with dire consequences if i don’t have a brand new Terminator Salvation DVD in my Christmas stocking this year.  As a massive fan, I loved this film and I can’t wait to watch it again. 



  1. Great review, very in-depth and intensive, in fact, for me personally perhaps slightly better than the movie itself. I have to admit, with the combination of waiting for the release and the furore regarding Bale's outbursts on set, I was expecting far more. The problem is, and this for me is a big problem, is that however awful Arnie's acting, however comic book the earlier movies, which normally I can't abide, a mixture of childhood memories, as well as a plethora of repeat viewings throughout my life, I've come to rely on Terminator movies as something I needn't think to too hard about. Ironically I'd say the absolute opposite in the new Batman movies which have utterly rewritten the whole and previously awful franchise. Still, a great review nevertheless!

  2. Thanks for this. I was intrigued by the storyline and really considered going because I figured Bale would only attach himself it was a decent story--but the reviews were so scathing! You're right that when it comes to something like this, we should just follow our gut and go and see it anyway. That's what I did with The Ugly Truth and The Proposal--sure they were kind of stupid films, but we really enjoyed them! Sometimes you just have to know what you like and ignore the critics. :P

  3. @ Paul: Thanks for the great comment, Paul (and sorry for the late reply while I've been galavanting around the UK). You made me smile - if my review was better than the film then I was right about it being a fan-only film after all!!!

    @ Valerie: You've made me even more determined now! I'll no longer let reviews chase me away!! Then I'll have no one to blame but my husband, um, I mean myself when I see a bad film!


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