Terminator Salvation (Terminator 4) review

Posted in Movie Reviews on July 5th, 2009 by samuraisam

Overall I thought Terminator 4 was a pretty good movie–obviously there is some difference if you’re considering it a part of the rest of the Terminator series, I’ve heard many people claim that it doesn’t match up to the other terminator movies, but I felt differently, I think it does match up in some ways.

Obviously it doesn’t have Arnold or Edward Furlong as in Terminator 1 and 2, but it definitely added to the story quite a bit for me. It did take the Terminator series in a new direction, perhaps Furlong had been made too nice in Terminator 2 and it would’ve been a bit weird to see him suddenly bust out like John fucking Rambo and start shooting the shit out of everyone when we’re all aware as an audience that he has been a ‘nice guy’ in the previous movies (or rather, the previous movie he was in as he didn’t play in Terminator 3 or Terminator 1). The absence of James Cameron as director is felt clearly in the movie just from the different tone it has. However I’m not sure the same tone would’ve been possible without a complete change of actors and directors, I wonder what Terminator 3 + 4 would’ve been like with Furlong, Schwarzenneger and James Cameron but I’m not sure what I would’ve expected–undoubtedly something entirely different though.

(SPOILER warning from now on)

The visual effects were really nice, not too over the top, the camera angles were really what made it nice as they didn’t do your typical change-camera-angle bullshit like in other movies all the time (like when the heli is upside down and the camera remains on a stationary angle throughout. Some stuff in the movie I found a bit weird, like the skynet facility had impeccable interior decor, yet why would any robot give a shit? I don’t even understand why anything was accessible by humans as wouldn’t the robots just use wifi? The part where the sound sequence brings down robots in their tracks was kind of cool but totally under used, they discover it then just don’t give a shit once they’re in skynet.

The little kid with the afro (Star, whatever the fk kind of name that’s supposed to be) did absolutely nothing to add to the story and was pretty much a complete waste of space (probably a setup for Terminator 8), the wikipedia page states that she has the “unnatural ability to sense when a Skynet machine is approaching”; I was pretty sure Terminator wasn’t Heroes but someone decided to start giving characters ‘special abilities’.

Christian Bale probably wasn’t as bad as I expected he would be, in fact we was somewhere between good and very good; however the part where the A10 jet is being chased by missiles and he shouts into the microphone “PERFORM EVASIVE MANEUVERS NOW” is completely fucking stupid, I’m pretty sure someone in an aircraft who is very aware they are about to be blown to shit by some missiles is going to be performing all the evasive maneuver in the book.

The sequences with the chick (Blair Williams) are absolutely cringe-worthy, and unworthy of any merit whatsoever, she plays pretty much the cheesiest love story possible.

There is a cameo of sorts of Arnold Schwarzenegger which is pretty cool yet at the same time probably unnecessary, it’s nice that there were as many references as there were in the movie however they probably needn’t have been so damn blatant.

The sound design was really spectacular, especially the giant robot that hits the petrol station–the sounds from that thing were absolutely insane, I sat at the front of the cinema and you could feel the seat shaking with every motion and explosion during that particular sequence.

The ending was cheesy as fuck, really spectacularly cheesy. I felt they could have avoided making it so cheesy and the movie would’ve been better overall just from that.

Overall, I rate this movie twice
8.5/10 as a standalone movie
7.9/10 as a part of the Terminator series

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