There’s probably nothing about the new Terminator: Salvation I could write that hasn’t already been said or written. But I nevertheless do it and write about a movie that tries hard to achieve so much but in the end fails miserably.
The post-apocalyptic world of Fallout has finally reached the Terminator universe! Skynet gained world domination more or less by the year 2018 and everything is as it should be: shitty. And in a sense everything would be ready for doomsday if there wasn’t the man of the prophecy called John Connor who not only fights for humanity, but also becomes best friends with a hybrid and seeks advice from the audio tapes of his mother along the way.
Who by now has the feeling that something sounds ridiculous you can rest assured: it’s by far a coincidence because almost the whole story feels just like that.
I have to say I didn’t watch such an incoherent blockbuster movie for a long time. Without doubt, this post apocalyptic world never looked more beautiful or more bizarre and our much beloved Terminators never felt that dangerous. But at the same time the story as well as the whole “logic”-stuff almost completely ruin Terminator Salvation for me.
And even days later I’m wondering what the purpose of the whole story was. Basically we have to enemy forces that are in war (ok, they’re not really in one but let’s pretend). While other movies managed to do something neatly with this material, T4 presents us two parties that play an absurd Hydra-Game, trying to chop off the head of the enemy group although both know it’s futile. So instead of whipping humanity off the planet, Skynet decides to horde the humans like cattle (for reasons beyond me) and moreover has a big, stupid plan to get one single submarine. And this although Skynet knows John Connor is the key to everything. On the other hand we have the resistance that risks literally everything to destroy the Skynet plant in San Francisco (coincidence?). But they, too, knew better as later in the movie it becomes clear that Skynet long ago went P2P. Well, that’s the way to waste ammunition.
While we’re at it…do you remember the Gatling Terminators? Did you notice how much ammunition they have to carry around to be able to fire for minutes? Normally I mostly wouldn’t have cared about such small problems but the actions sequences simply weren’t engaging or thrilling enough to keep me entertained so I started noticing all those hiccups.
And boy, T4 is full of such WTF-moments…In one scene we see John Connor jumping into the roaring see full of 50 feet high waves and just one cut later we see him spick and span and freeze-dried in the submarine of his higher-ups. Later on we see a group of humans literally being surprised by a 120 feet high terminator plus aircraft – which they really didn’t hear coming miles ago. And the child-sidekick of Reeves all the time pulls out anything our heroes need, including clean and still working band-aids. And everywhere there are humans en masse and I wonder if Skynet is still taking its job seriously.
But the best WTF-moment of the whole movie is truly the end when the director McG and his producing fellows with one cut manage to skip a whole heart surgery in the desert. This was the moment my mind had to disengage for some time in order to find out how the frakking hell they did this stunt.
If the story would have been better I more than likely would have overlooked this and other shit. But Terminator 4 simply didn’t let me to. Much of the dialogue was borderline-silly and many characters were more exsanguinous than a dusty vampire. Moreover there were character motivations I couldn’t comprehend at all and the references to Terminator and Terminator 2 were not that great since this movie isn’t.
In the end I think Terminator 4 failed of one single cause: the own franchise.
We know the future, even John Connor knows it. Anything and everything regarding the future has been told. How could the story be thrilling when we simply know that John Connor and Kyle Reese must survive and thus even a mini-nuke can do no harm? The action scenes might be visually mind blowing but when we already know the outcome, no CGI can help anymore.