Terminator Salvation Reviews
With much buzzing, beeping and whirring, the Terminator franchise comes to an absolute creative standstill, or even goes clankingly into reverse, with this fantastically dull fourth episode.
The latest installment in the venerable sci-fi action franchise turns out to be a straight-up war film, grim and muscular and thundering and joyless. It's the color of cement, and it weighs as much, too.
The digital effects are mostly quite dazzling-not just the depictions of towering marauders...but a memorably scary sequence in which a little serpentine robot that's been taken captive thrashes furiously to save its nonlife.
"Terminator Salvation" promised moviegoers a war between the human heart and the cold, cruel efficiency of machines. So why then is it so mechanical itself, so good at repetition, so preprogrammed and clunky?
The movie's only unmitigated pleasure is a too-brief fight scene between Connor and a naked combatant made up to look precisely like Arnold Schwarzenegger, the relentless cyborg of the first three installments.
The Terminator franchise was built on thrills, imagination, narrative, emotion, believability, character development and watchability. Terminator Salvation has plenty of thrills.
It is a fast, gritty-yet-slick, bombastic modern action film filled with tortured souls. It's not exactly a gas -- how much post-apocalypse fun can be had? -- but it is often electrifying and always entertaining.
I cannot completely condemn a movie that has been very competently written, directed and acted, any more than I can blame Mr. Schwarzenegger for all the woes he has encountered while trying to govern California.