So far it’s been the Summer of *Meh*. None of the four “blockbuster” movies released in May have totally rocked my socks. McG’s vision of post Judgment Day out on Thursday (May 21st) may disappoint Terminator purists but I think most audiences will find Terminator Salvation a fairly enjoyable holiday weekend distraction.
You all know John, John Connor yeah? It’s a famous name and character in the world of Sci Fi films. This time the heavy mantle of saving humanity is given to Christian Bale. He’s a little familiar with iconic roles. Bryce Dallas Howard takes over the role of John’s wife Dr. Kate (Claire Danes played her in the 3rd installment) and Anton Yelchin (seen earlier this month as a very enthusiastic Chekov in Star Trek) takes a turn as young Kyle Reese. Aussie actor (and May Man of the Month contestant) Sam Worthington plays the mysterious Marcus Wright, rapper Common enlists as a rebel named Barnes and exotic beauty Moon Bloodgood is resistance pilot and bad-ass Blair Williams. It’s a good looking cast with surprisingly decent hygiene and dental health for a post-apocalyptic world.
There is a lot that works about the film. If you like action in your action movies than this is the one for you. It’s pretty much non-stop from beginning to end. The plot is somewhat intriguing. It was suggested to me that under a different director it could have been a much more watch-able story. The actors all do the best they can with what’s given to them. Sam Worthington in particular is a cool customer, though at one point he just stops trying to use an American accent and slips back into his Aussie one. Why don’t they let these actors use their regular accents? Do they think people will be confused? “Why is this British guy in this movie?” (Yes, all Americans label accents as British.) Because that would be more confusing then trying to figure out, say, how the Resistance can maintain an entire airbase for years without the machines finding them? Oh yeah, a guy talking funny would just be too much for people to take.
One of the dangers of living in Los Angeles is you inevitably end up friends with (or in my case, related to) a hyper-critical film maker. While the points they make about imperfect pictures are valid, there are some things I’m willing to let go that they are not. I know this is not a great movie and I can tell you a couple of reasons based on my limited experience with filmmaking: there are plot-holes the size of Dodger Stadium, things tend to get over-dramatic to the point of farce, and the action sequences are a series of quick-cuts and moving camera shots that make it all murky and difficult to discern what’s happening. As some of you may know, I had the same issue with how Star Trek was shot. It seems to be the norm now and not the exception. It makes my head ache so I doubly don’t appreciate this technique.
So Terminator Salvation is neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for me. The digit is firmly in the center, where it seems to be staying for the time being. I’m keeping my hopes up for Public Enemies. Johnny has yet to let me down!