Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Terminator Salvation”

(Sony Pictures Entertainment/ Warner Bros. Pictures. 1 hour, 54 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and language. Directed by McG.) Christian Bale (John Connor), Sam Worthington (Marcus Wright), Anton Yelchin (Kyle Reese), Moon Bloodgood (Blair Williams), Common (Barnes), Bryce Dallas Howard (Kate Connor), Helena Bonham Carter (Dr. Serena Kogan), Jane Alexander (Virginia), Michael Ironside (General Ashdown). Music by Danny Elfman.

Skynet and those pesky cyborgs are back in this slam-bang fourth entry in the franchise. Herr Schwarzenegger’s got another job now, so Christian Bale’s the big name now, recruited to play John Connor, leading the human resistance against the powerful, mysterious Skynet as it prepares to eradicate what’s left of the human race. Since the Terminator movies have partly been about time travel, Connor must ponder whether stranger Marcus Wright is from the past or future. The problem for Marcus is that his last memory is of being executed; you might guess what happens to him.

Connor also meets a young Kyle Reese (his father, you’ll remember) as well as a babe named Blair, who surprisingly for the “babe” role keeps her clothes on. All team up for the final battle against a literal army of Terminators. Well-staged and exciting action scenes make up for the slight story and one-note acting. Danny Elfman’s score hints at Brad Fiedel’s distinctive metallic, pounding original theme. (Fiedel hasn’t been active in film scoring in a dozen years or so.) Although no followup could overtake James Cameron’s masterful original, director McG gives us an effectively bleak post-apocalyptic vision of the future. Or is it the past? T4 isn’t perfect but delivers the goods as a popcorn movie in a summer full of them; Anton Yelchin (also Chekov in Star Trek) must be thanking his agent right now.