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Deep Dive - Terminator: Salvation


Overview


Film: Terminator: Salvation

Release Date: May 21, 2009


Reception

  • IMDB: 6.6/10

  • Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 33%

  • Rotten Tomato - Audience: 53%

Box Office

  • Budget: $200,000,000

  • Opening Weekend: $51,943,726

  • Gross US: $125,322,469

  • Gross Worldwide: $371,353,001

Trailer:



Plot



Synopsis: In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted?


Analysis: The Terminator films are built primarily around a giant chase sequence. This film switches the theme and focuses more on the military side of the war. I'm onboard with switching up the subgenre, especially since the chase theme started to feel played out coming off of Rise of the Machines. The film doesn't offer a ton outside of continuous action sequences, but fans finally got to have more insight into the war that has been alluded to in cut scenes over the past three films.

Grade: 7.2/10


Character Development



Analysis: This film tells the story of Connor's arc from becoming more of a folklore legend to the commander of the Resistance. HE'S JOHN CONNOR and he likes to yell. This character seems like it's more of a caricature of Bale's action roles than one of his typical groundbreaking performances. That being said, Bale is much better casting coming off of Edward Furlong's portrayal than what we saw in Rise of the Machines.


Grade: 6.3/10


Antagonist



Name: Skynet


Bio: Skynet, is a highly advanced artificial intelligence.

Evil Plan: Once it became self-aware, it saw humanity as a threat to its existence, and decided to trigger the nuclear holocaust Judgment Day. Later, it would develop and deploy an army of Terminators against humanity, whose survivors had formed a resistance group.


Analysis: This franchise typically leverages a single terminator as the focal point of the antagonist. This film focuses more on Skynet itself and challenges our characters with different iterations of machines under their arsenal. This approach completely works if you focus on the true threat of the franchise. Skynet is a faceless enemy that could be everywhere. This works to continuously up the stakes of the Skynet threat, climaxing with the final face-off against the first T-800 model.


Grade: 7.8/10


Supporting Cast


T-Avatar


Future Baby Daddy


Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn


Old Claire Danes


Moon Bloodgood


Analysis: I'm a fan of this film's casting across the board. Bale and Yelchin were natural choices to take on the older/younger versions of Connor and Reese. Marcus Wright was a nice additional as the anti-hero fo the film and Barnes and Blair added nice complimentary pieces to the overall ensemble.


Grade: 7.8/10


Intangibles


Analysis: John Connor, Kyle Reese, Kate Connor, Skynet, etc. At this point in the franchise, they've developed a few very important reoccurring characters that fans can relate to. Unfortunately, this film doesn't take any time to build on these characters. They took everything that we already knew about the characters and just put them in different action sequences. This sticks out as a huge missed opportunity given the limited runway we've had at this point in the timeline.


Grade: 4.2/10

Best Moments


Marcus: 1

Goons: 0


We still can't believe they got young Arnold for this movie...



Final Score


Analysis: This film received pretty bad reviews coming off of its release. Overall, I don't think its that bad. I think your reaction to this film will be solely based on what you expect seeing from a Terminator film. Are you going to see Arnold build upon his classic character, drop some awesome one-liners, and ultimately take down a big bad thats more enhanced in every single way? If so, then this isn't the movie for you.


If you're intrigued by the overall timeline and story of the franchise, then there are elements in this film that you could pull from. I was able to appreciate the fresh take on the storyline, and there were a few cool sequences between Marcus, Connor, and the T-800 that fans can get behind.


Grade: 6.9/10