This is my review of Terminator Salvation:

Scene missing! A video in this post has disappeared. If you know of an accessible version of this video, please mail me so that I can update this post.
Tags: , , , , ,

39 Responses:

  1. Lets all just pretend that The Terminator was the only terminator movie.

    • ekesobriquet says:

      You mean Terminator 2, but yes.

      • No. T2 was a big budget action block buster sellout piece of crap.

        • What? It was a quintessential 90's action film! They don't make these anymore and this was one of the best!

        • edouardp says:

          You mean the early drafts of the T1 script, and not the pile of dross final couple. Oh James "Piranha II: Flying Killers" Cameron, why did you forsake us, and sell out to the system?

          Oh, no. Wait. I'm taking the piss.

        • captain18 says:

          I disagree, although you need to watch the Director's Cut to get the extended scene that makes it so. Up to the point where they spend the night in the abandoned gas station, the reprogrammed Terminator is pretty static and enigmatic. Afterward he begins to mimic John's behavior and adapt. The part you don't see in the theatrical cut is where John finds and activates a switch in the Terminator's head that allows him to learn and self-program.

          This is what causes him to ultimately self-sacrifice at the end of the movie, and what makes T2 awesome. Sarah describes how she has been trying to find someone who would make a good father for John in the role model sense. And there, at the very end, she has found him, and he is an android. With this added piece about learning, the line "I know now why you cry" suddenly becomes poignant, because it is now in the context of the Terminator learning and rewriting his own programming.

          That, to me, is what makes T2 awesome.

          • blech says:

            Footnote 14 in the aforementioned DFW piece:

            "A complex and interesting scene where John and Sarah actually open up the Terminator's head and remove Ahnode's CPU and do some further reprogramming [...] was cut from the movie's final version. Cameron's professed [rationale] for cutting the scene was that the middle of the movie "dragged" and that the scene was too complex [...] I submit that the Cameron of "T1" and "Aliens" wouldn't have talked this way. But another big-budget formula for ensuring ROI is that things must be made as simple for the audiences as possible; plot and character implausibilities are to be handled through distraction rather than resolved through explanation."

            Or, to put it in other words: the scene that makes T2 awesome for you is a scene that the director decided - or was persuaded - was entirely superfluous to the version most people have seen. This is meant to convince me that T2 is awesome how?

            (I sort of wish I wasn't leaning so hard on the words of someone else, but they do seem to sum up the way I feel in a somewhat more cogent way, so why not?)

            • lionsphil says:

              Odd. I've seen that scene, and not as a special feature---it must have been reinstated for TV showings in the UK. Maybe even on the cheapo big-bundle-of-films-with-your-new-player DVD.

              I'd consider T2 a good film regardless, because it still has a sense of pacing and nigh-unstoppable terror; those who accuse it of being action dross really need to go recalibrate their scale against T3.

    • rodgerd says:

      Along with Highlander: There Should Only Have Been One.

  2. dr_memory says:

    For the love of god, don't give McG your money. It only encourages him.

    (As bad as "Superman Returns" was, let us all just breathe a small sigh of relief that McG didn't end up directing that, as he was apparently in contract to do before Singer jumped in.)

  3. At least they respected your theory of time travel in SF, neh?

  4. edouardp says:

    Ouch. That bad huh?

    I still liked the balls of T3. "How are they going to pull it out of the hat and stop the world from being destroyed?" you were asking yourself in the final 20 minutes. And then they didn't. Nice.

  5. maramala says:

    Aw, c'mon, it wasn't that bad.

    Could've been a lot worse...

  6. tjic says: it's clear to me that we're in totally orthogonal brain-spaces on the whole franchise (not unlike the central conceit in China Meiville's new "The City and The City"...).

    I'm looking forward to T4.

  7. Dennis says:

    Skynet will find that humans are mostly a bunch of compliant bovines.

    And what's with all the heavy firepower and the taking forever? A giant can of Raid Crawling Human Spray would get the job done post haste.

    Anyway, the Singularity is going to be a big dry thud. I mean have you seen what government and industry have been up to lately?

  8. packetslave says:

    I wish they'd gone with the original Terminator: Salvation ending. John Connor dies. They take his face/appearance and graft it onto Marcus somehow. Once he's up and about, they bring Kate, Kyle Reese, etc. in to seem him. His eyes flash red, he pulls out a gun and kills everybody in the room.

    Skynet wins. Credits.

  9. dossy says:

    OMG, no joke. Saw Terminator: EPIC FAIL at the Warwick Drive-In - I knew from the get-go that without Summer Glau it was doomed, but nothing could have prepared me for the absolute train wreck of a movie that it was.

    Continuity? Bah, who needs it! Acting? Who cares, it's got faux futuristic robots! Plot? We'll trick people into thinking this is a "Terminator"-based story line movie, then fool them with a plotless robot noisefest.

    This movie has effectively destroyed any hope of salvation for the Terminator story franchise. Nicely done, dipshits.

    • pezking124 says:

      Continuity? In a time travel movie?

      The Sarah Connor Chronicles retconned the third movie entirely.

      Not that this was a bad move.

    • Dennis says:

      Speeking of doomed, when I went to see Terminator:S, I saw the trailer for Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr.

      It's an abomination. (Think Wild Wild West, the Movie).

      • lionsphil says:


        Well, it could be worse...

      • ultranurd says:

        I find it interesting that Downey is apparently getting typecast as characters with serious addiction problems.

        I'd say most of us are used to the post-WWII staid portrayals of Holmes (the style that Data emulates extensively in the various TNG holodeck episodes), when the literary character was a bit more rough-and-tumble.

  10. revglenn says:

    i liked it. i thought it had the dark, bleak mood of the first one. i think john connor needed to be what he was because his story arc crosses multiple movies and he's still not the resistance leader. he's still being protected by someone else. i thought marcus wright was a really good character played very well. i thought most of the acting, except for one particularly bad delivery by common, was good. i liked the contrast between the loss of humanity that the humans have suffered through all their years of war versus the inner struggle marcus goes through for redemption. i liked the references, the lack of humor, the visuals, the music. i thought it was a damn good movie.
    i don't really get why everyone is bashing on it. there were a couple cheesy lines and a very very few acting fumbles, but mostly i thought it was a worthy terminator movie. i'll still always consider t1 and t2 to be the truly canon movies, but i'm certainly not going to pretend this one was never made.... like a certain other abysmal terminator movie.

    • jwz says:
      1. "Borg queen."
      2. "Now, Mr. Bond, here comes the exposition." That was worse than The Explainer in Matrix 3.
      3. Giant mecha. Giant humanoid mecha. For what possible reason would that thing have legs?
      4. Skinless humanoid terminators all over the place. HELLO, the reason they were humanoid was for infiltration. Using those as random soldiers/workers makes no sense at all.
      5. We were supposed to believe that all the HKs were remotely controlled and non-autonomous, when we know the 800s and later are fully independent. Come on. That turned out to be a fake, but how was anyone supposed to believe that, especially John?
      6. They have only just developed the 800, but somehow this Marcus technology came first, with human-machine hybridization and digital mind-control.
      7. Digital mind control that he can unplug by hand!
      8. "Oh, the tin man has a heart." You did not just reference Wizard of Fucking Oz. Give me a break.
      9. I'm supposed to believe a successful heart transplant, in a dusty half-tent outside? From which the patient wakes up a few hours later? With no evidence of Skynet-adapted biotechnology involved, and certainly no futuristic equipment. But we were well into "insult to injury" land by then.
      10. Precocious moppet. At least this one was mute. But still.

      In short: "This is some serious bullshit."

      • Dennis says:

        11. Molten metal that hardens from a small spray of water.

        12. No mention of blood type or other factors or organ rejection regarding the heart transplant.

        13. The motorcycle has a USB port?

        14. No one questions Marcus as to why he's so clueless (due to his being in storage), but it serves the exposition.

        15. Why use Marcus when they've got cattle cars full of fresh meat?

        16. Cassette tapes? I can transfer them for him if he wants.

        • themoniker says:

          17. Discussing your attack plans over open radio.
          18. John Connor going off solo. If he doesn't believe he can get hurt, why should we? He does open the film by surviving massive attacks through pure random luck. No future but what we make? Phah.
          19. Giant mecha robots that SNEAK UP on you silently, with only the mute moppet's worried expression as a warning.