Thursday, July 9, 2009

Terminator 4 - Salvation (2009)

Perhaps, the Worst Terminator Movie!

Caution - Spoliers ahead! I really don’t go the movies these days, it’s mostly the "downloaded avi file to DVD to the DVD player" route and if the format is not supported, on the PC or the laptop. The only exceptions being compulsory family matinee outings, big budget blockbusters or those that I really wish to see in the theatre – ‘Terminator 4’ being on my "to see in theatre" watch list from the time it was officially announced.

What a sheer disappointment. After the farce that was ‘Indiana Jones 4’, I had not belittled my expectations, hoping T4 would at least be an entertaining special-effect laden actioner, as it was guaranteed to be at its minimum. When the last few reels of the comparatively better ‘Terminator 3’ roll on, you are promised a grim & dark set-up for the future with numerous scenarios on how the series would continue - how the machines would take over the planet, how the world would end, how humans would fight back and so on. The ending was indeed ripe with ideas for creating the perfect script for the perfect Terminator series revival.

Instead, McG takes an entirely unnecessary road - forcing us to swallow a wafer-thin illogical story, a Madmax style post-nuclear war wasteland setting, dreadfully minimal action except one good sequence, bad special effects and worst of all, NO real Terminator for company. Besides, the weak screenplay offers no character development and no atmosphere, even the music is so lousy. Christian Bale as John Connor seems lost as the prophetic leader while Sam Worthington gets more attention and surprisingly more screen time than Bale. Michael Ironside and Helena Bonham Carter play useless cameos just like the many other cardboard characters that just come and go without an effective role or purpose.

The main action pieces were at its best kinetic but not memorable, unworthy of a Terminator label. The rest seemed so fake and ridiculous, especially the long drawn escape of Worthington from the resistance, the final man vs. machine fight and the smooth as silk rescue from the Skynet base which looks no more than an unguarded iron smelting factory; the worst highlight being the fight with a cartoonish CGI Arnold that completely insults our intelligence and love for the Terminator movies. When the movie ends with the “the battle is won but the war rages on” cliché, you are not only disillusioned and distressed, you are angry.

Maybe, the series will live on but I hope and pray, the next time, they bring James Cameron and Schwarzenegger back and let McG stick to chasing Charlie’s Angels.

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  2. Agreed on the last Indiana Jones film. Not altogether awful but the weakest of the four films and barely enjoyable aside from glimpses of fun sprinkled throughout. T4, however I did like because, despite it being a McG film, I appreciated the fact they went a different direction from the previous films. They had some clever things in this film, most notably the final fight sequence with a young CG Ahanold. Great movie? No. But, for me enjoyable enough.

  3. John, it was hugely disappointing for me..I did watch it again on BluRay and seriously wanted to like it..alas, there is nothin' should have been helmed differently!! but then, its different tastes for different folks. glad you enjoyed it at least!


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