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Friday, June 05, 2009

Terminator Stagnation

I always knew it was going to be an uphill struggle. We'd watched the original Terminator, then the excellent T2, we gave Rise Of The Machines a wide berth, but I was convinced that The Demon would understand the mechanics of time travel, she loved Quantum Leap after all, but as soon as we left the cinema after watching Terminator Salvation it started:

"So . . . . how could that be his own dad?"

Now as someone who has grown up on a diet of pure science fiction, the mechanics of time travel are meat and drink to me, and easily as believeable (and far more entertaining) than Hugo and Martha's torrid love afair in last weeks Home And Away that she found so gripping.

"He becomes his dad later, except it's actually before and he doesn't know that John Connor is his son, but John Connor knows he's his dad and if he doesn't send him back then he can't exist and none of this could be happening and Skynet would already have won the war before the war had started, but what he doesn't know is that if he doesn't send him back then Skynet would never have existed in the first place. Simple"

Time passes.

Anyway, on to the film itself. I enjoyed it. Christian Bale plays a predictable 2 dimensional John Connor, but that's ok, the film's not really about him anyway. The delicious Bryce Dallas Howard could be any actress really, her character gets zero development throughout the fim and is simply there to show Mr Connor's human side, but the real star of the film is Sam Worthington, a little known Australian actor who gives a fine performance as the mysterious and troubled Marcus Wright, despite him having at least three different accents throughout the film.

As you'd expect there is CGI aplenty, there's explosions, aircraft, motorbikes and guns, guns and more guns. There's strangely made-up women, there's stereotypical rapists, and there are bizarre little fires everywhere, and I mean everywhere.
I know what a desolate landscape looks like, I don't need every second bush to be burning to point it out to me. The same goes for destroyed cities and enemy strongholds, enough with the pyrotechnics already!

But . . . there's a but, and it's a pretty big one, in fact it wouldn't look out of place on Beyonce.
Terminator Salvation makes the biggest mistake that a film of it's kind can make. It fails to move the story on, to take it somewhere new, to boldly go exactly where Star Trek buggered off to.
At the end of the film your knowledge of the Terminator timeline is no different to that which you started with.
Having said all that, you have to give McG, the director, some credit. Given that his best work to date seems to be 'Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious', you'd have to consider TS a success, if for no other reason than the well done and rather convincing Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo.

He'll be back . . . probably.



Steve said...

Hmm. Your review confirms what I'd more or less suspected. If I find some spare cash I might give it a gander on the big screen but if not... *shrugs*

Löst Jimmy said...

McG eh?
Anyone who calls him McG is either a failed CB radio fanatic from the 80s or a pop video director, or perhaps a porn vid director...

Inchy said...

Jim - If I had a name like Joseph McGinty, I'd probably change it too!

Löst Jimmy said...

McGinty eh?
But McG though honestly?
He could've called himself McGIN' or perhaps just 'Mac'