Terminator Salvation

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Review

Genre:  Science-fiction

Director:  McG

Running Time:  115 mins

Budget:  $185 – $200 million

Released:  5 June 2009 (South Africa)

Plot: After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors led by John Connor struggles to keep the machines from finishing the job.

I’ve been a fan of the Terminator franchise since I first laid eyes on it and in my opinion Terminator 2: Judgement Day is still the best in the series.  After the third, half-baked installment I had high hopes for Salvation when I saw that Christian Bale was on-board with the project.  I’ll tell you now, Terminator Salvation didn’t disappoint.

Right from the beginning, the film has intense action and insane visuals that look as if it has gone through some sort of filter that gives off a grainy, darkened look well-suited to the film and the grim subject matter.  Christian Bale was brilliant in the role of the hardened human resistance leader, John Conner and made a worthy protagonist to the film.  A certain somebody makes a cameo appearance in Salvation, even though it’s only his likeness, nonetheless it was my favourite scene in the film so it was quite naturally awesome and awe-inspiring.

Danny Elfman began composing the score in January 2009.  Beforehand, McG had the idea to hire Gustavo Santaolalla, who he got to speak with, to work on the human themes, while having either Thom Yorke or Jonny Greenwood for Skynet’s themes. He also wanted to discuss scoring the film with Hans Zimmer, but he was unable to arrange a meeting. However, he managed to meet with The Terminator and Terminator 2 composer Brad Fiedel.  McG was not interested in repeating the sounds Fiedel achieved in his films but still wanted Elfman to use those themes and ambient sounds, and give them a “Wagnerian quality”.

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Above left, Christian Bale as John Conner and on the right, Anton Yelchin as the young Kyle Reese.

Salvation has great visuals and more than enough robotic-killer action to satiate the most ardent fan.  No expense was spared with the special effects, everything looks great, from the backdrops to the awesome T-800’s.  The Terminators have never looked better.  To say it is all style and no substance would be incorrect in my opinion.  Salvation’s plot is a welcome addition to the franchise further expanding on the sinister Skynet programme as well as introducing a few ‘unique’ Terminator models never seen before but in the end, the T-800 model Terminator is the star of the film.  I would of like to have seen the T-800’s on a grander scale but since the film is set during their infancy (T-600 is the current mass-produced model) I can only hope that there will be all out war between the humans and T-800’s in the fifth installment on a much larger scale.  The  other thing I suggest you do is switch your brain off when watching the film, as ever, plot holes plague the Terminator series so it’s best not to think too hard about time-lines and what not.  I’m also a little curious as to why the title ‘Terminator Salvation’ was shown twice at the beginning and in two different fonts.

Below, the awesome form of the T-800 Terminator.

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Apart from plot holes and wanting to see more T-800’s, I can’t think of anything negative about the film. It rocks and was well worth the wait so if you’re a fan, go and watch it.

Score 4/5

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