Terminator Salvation Review

June 20th, 2009
Terminator Salvation
Review of Terminator Salvation – in my opinion, the worst film in the series.


This review is a month late so i’ll skip all the plot details and stuff and just cut to the chase here i think:

Terminator Salvation is the worst film in the series.

Yes, this was my conclusion after watching the film this week. Im left wondering what film the positive reviewers from the previous post watched because it certainly couldn’t have been this mess.

I apologise to all the Terminator fans out there who were looking forward to this film (and may even have enjoyed it). You may feel im being a little over-critical, but really, i think we just have to face the fact that this film just isn’t good enough, and this will be bourne out in the passage of time.

Spoilers ahead obviously………

Post-Apocalytic Bore

It’s quite hard to know where to begin. Firstly, the post apocalyptic world was pretty unconvincingly realised. Mad Max managed a more convincing post-nuke environment (utilising the Aussie outback) 30 years ago, with about a 1000th of the budget of Salvation. Despite the starkness of the environments Mad Max was exciting and vibrant, with a real sense of danger – all qualities Salvation sorely lacked (despite the fact the whole place is being run by evil futuristic machines). On the subject of the machines – yes, there was some fairly impressive CGI, but nothing that the original Transformers movie didn’t do three years ago, and certainly nothing as revolutionary as the T1000 from T2. Also – giants, bikes and water terminators – is this the best that Skynet could come up with? I think the machines could do with a ‘reboot’.

Acting without heart

Next, the acting. Christian Bale – what happened to you here? Somehow you managed to turn John Connor, the saviour of mankind and leader of the resistance, into a monosyllabic meathead. Sam Worthington – tried his heart out but was unconvincing and banal. The Terminator series has always had some lighter moments beneath the doom and gloom, but there was none of that here – the film lacked heart and personality. To be fair though, Anton Yelchin put in a decent performace as Kyle Reese (hamstrung by the poor script obviously).

The female characters were essentially a sideshow – Helen-Bonham Carter and a conveniently pregnant Bryce Dallas Howard had nothing to do. For a series that developed one of the strongest female leads of all time in Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), this was unacceptable.

Plot shoehorning – hybrids, ho hum……

Plotwise, the number of holes and ridiculous ‘shoehorning’ in of events echoing the series past was just irritating. ‘You Could Be Mine’, The Scar, the T-800 prototype (horrendous CGI) – give us a break McG!.

Marcus is a hybrid – who saw that coming? – ONLY EVERYONE THAT’S SEEN ANY OF THE TRAILERS! I literally couldn’t believe what i was watching: this was the big reveal? On the subject of hybrids, why does every sci-fi movie franchise seem to go down the hybrid route? Could it because the writers have ran out of ideas of where to take these movies? (the Aliens Vs Predator series is a classic example of this). It was disappointing to see the Terminator movies take this path.

Also, the entire assault on the Skynet compound was so lame, it made even the worst video games look like works of utter genius.

Conclusion – rudderless

So, there we go. I think it’s safe to say that i didn’t enjoy Terminator Salvation very much. The box office for the film has not exactly been stellar – in it’s third week of release the film has grossed $113m, Star Trek had brought in $191m by this point (it’s now up to $231m) (source: IMDB), proving that an intelligently managed ‘reboot’ of a series can be successful.

Sadly, i was left with the nagging feeling that the Terminator franchise is largely rudderless and irrelevant without its guiding light on board, James Cameron (just as the Alien films without Ridley Scott). I doubt that even Cameron could resurrect this series now.

Will we even see another Terminator movie after this debacle?…let me know what you think. Also, feel free to tell me how wrong i am about Salvation if you wish…………………

Written by: Terminator Film Blog
Terminator Salvation Movie
Date published: 06/20/2009
3 / 10 stars

Terminator Film Opinion, Terminator Media, Terminator reviews , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. Jimbo
    June 22nd, 2009 at 10:41 | #1

    Couldnt agree more sir, all in all a pretty poor effort. And the bit big arnie tosses bale about the room for 5 minutes! Surely a terminator wouldnt have bothered with that stuff and went straight for the kill!

  2. August 2nd, 2009 at 10:48 | #2

    Terminator Salvation is a very good movie. It is obvious that Terminator can be stand-alone movie, without Schwarzenegger. The action scenes are awesome.

  3. August 3rd, 2009 at 03:41 | #3

    hey I understand your poor review. You can read what we have to say here….. http://www.theterminatorfans.com/terminatorsalvationT5.html

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  4. August 3rd, 2009 at 17:44 | #4

    Read your review Tech_Com – looks like we’re singing from the same hymn sheet. Introspective – i never said that the franchise couldn’t survive without Arnie (Cameron is another matter), and if you think the action scenes were good then have a look at District 9 (http://io9.com/5322359/early-impressions-of-district-9) from Neill Blomkamp. The effects look like they knock Salvation into a Cocked Hat for about One-Fifth the budget!

  5. August 27th, 2009 at 02:16 | #5

    Yeh for sure I will link your site soon : ) Check the site out there could possibly be a directors cut R RATED DVD on the way : ) maybe it will rectify the issues.

    Usually films with lower budgets are better as they have something to prove.

  1. June 22nd, 2009 at 14:59 | #1