New movie review from The Movie Snob
Terminator Salvation (C-). I was no huge Terminator fan to begin with, but I thought they were at least above-average action fare–even T3: Rise of the Machines. This one, however, didn’t work for me. There’s an opening flashback in which a condemned murderer named Marcus Wright agrees to donate his body to science after his execution. Then we flash forward to 2018, when the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland and the war rages on between Skynet (the machines) and the Resistance (the humans). John Connor (Christian Bale, Laurel Canyon) is a charismatic leader within the Resistance, although he is not part of the high command. Wright suddenly turns up, looking none the worse for having been executed a couple of decades earlier, so he sets out to try to discover who has brought him back to life and why. Lots of stuff gets blown up as killer robots pop up every so often. The attractive Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village), plays Connor’s very pregnant wife and is given nothing in particular to do. Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club) surprisingly pops up in a small role.
For me this movie had some problems rather like Christian Bale’s early bomb Reign of Fire, in which dragons(!) are roused from hibernation and lay waste the Earth. One big problem is how the humans are able to keep a decently functioning military intact, despite the robots’ awesome power and firepower. How do the humans manufacture all their jets, helicopters, weapons, and other technological wonders? And pump and refine all the oil necessary to make them go? For that matter, what do these people eat? There’s not a crop or herd animal in sight, and if there were the machines would presumably terminate them. Finally, how do these people (John Connor in particular) survive getting pummeled and tossed by the Terminators? Seems like one punch from these metallic behemoths ought to crush your organs to jelly. I can suspend disbelief as to a military computer system becoming self-aware and attacking humanity. But when a virtually unstoppable robot throws a human being across a room and into a metal girder, I can’t believe that person is getting right back up to continue the fight.