So within the space of a few weeks I have gone from never having seen a Terminator movie to watching and owning each installment of the franchise. It is no secret that people are not a fan of Salvation, I was met with several warnings and people were urging me to not waste my time with this effort. Often with films that are surrounded with a lot of negativity I actually quite enjoy so I was still hopeful.
Ultimately I don’t understand the hate that this movie receives, sure it has its problems but it was still really enjoyable. Lets talk about the bad first. Unfortunately for the majority of the film there isn’t really any main villain (other than Skynet) without the threat of a Terminator like the other three films it felt that there was something missing. Yeah there were lots of different machines out to get the characters throughout the movie but it all seemed more Transformers than Terminator. Also when the Arnie style Terminator is revealed it just looked so awful that it quickly detracted a lot from the movie, but I was happy when it quickly lost it outer human coating to reveal the terminator beneath. Another frustration I have, although this is with the whole Terminator franchise, is the lack of continuity with the cast. This was a strength with the first two movies having both Linda Hamilton and Arnie but after this the continuity is patchy. A result of this is that it can be hard to connect with characters, however I understand that the gaps between the movies are too big for this but for me it is something that would have improved the franchise. Christian Bale doesn’t shine in this movie as would be expected and at times it feels that it is more about Sam Worthington’s character Marcus, possibly a decision that effects the overall feel of the film. John Connor should have been the focus.
Anyway what I did like about this movie was that it took a different storyline to the previous three, this time there was no Terminator sent back in time. We properly get to see what life is like after Judgement Day for the first time and it was nice to have a film based completely in this time period of the war. The action throughout was good and made vast improvements from that dodgy CGI in Terminator 3, however if there had been a more dominant villain these sequences could have been vastly improved. It was great to see Kyle Reese back in action, and Salvation brought the whole story full circle which I loved. Helena Bonham Carter also makes a brief appearance here which at first I thought was a bit odd but I enjoyed her scenes later in the movie and she helped create a good atmosphere and almost gave a face to Skynet which was cool. Overall I think that Salvation is another solid movie in the Terminator franchise that leaves the storyline wide open for the future installments. Sure it’s not perfect and it has many issues but it is nowhere near as bad as people make it out, possibly the differentiation from the previous plots throws people off but I liked the change.
BIGGEST FLAW – Lack of a main villain
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Bringing the Terminator story full circle
Rating – 8/10