Saturday, May 23, 2009
One Saving Grace
Review by Christopher Coleman
One of the longest running franchises in Hollywood has been that of TERMINATOR. Who would have guessed that 25 years after the small-budgeted, 1984-film, that there would be such a thriving franchise; one that has (like any good, modern-day, franchise must) moved into the parallel realms of the comics, novels, television and video games. As the storyline starts to catch up with itself (ah the perils of time-travel plots), we now, under the unlikely guidance of director McG, move into the full-on, post-apocalyptic part of the Terminator-saga. Now played by box-office-mega-star, Christian Bale, John Connor is starting to move into his role as leader of the human-resistance against the dreaded machines. As we learned at the conclusion of TERMINATOR: RISE OF THE MACHINES, our heroes were not able to avoid "Judgment Day" afterall.
TERMINATOR SALVATION drops us into the future with Connor, a handful of resistance fighters, and some pretty-cool terminators we've never seen the likes of before. The dominant machines and scrappy humans are now at full-scale war, doing battle in the wasteland that once was our fair, semi-green world. TERMINATOR SALVATION not only focuses on the emerging-leader, John Connor, but moreso, tells the story of Marcus Wright, a unique machine/man, hybrid-terminator with his own compelling journey. Marcus' journey eventually leads him to the Resistance, Kyle Reese, and John Connor.
The critical response has been fairly hard on the film, but I had little trouble enjoying this ironically, redemptive tale along with a screening audience, just a few days prior to the official release date. TERMINATOR SALVATION is not without it's flaws (some of them major), but from one who would not likely be counted among the "hard core" fans, McG and company actually made this an enjoyable couple of hours. In between the few moments of exposition or character development director, McG, does deliver a handful of solid action sequences all set in the appropriate dingy, bleakness of a post-nuclear-holocaust California. The film certainly succeeds as an action-flick, but lost is some of the weight of the first two Terminator films. Watching the film, I had little time or resource left to dwell on the plot and time-line issues that have since come to plague my appreciation of the film. Oddly enough, one of the bigger difficulties I suffered during the screening was my attempt to tune into what composer DANNY ELFMAN was doing with his score.
Read the full review here