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Terminator Salvation (*)
directed by McG
by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, based on a character James Cameron swiped from Harlan Ellison
Terminator Salvation
Principal Cast
Christian Bale -- John Connor
Sam Worthington -- Marcus Wright
Moon Bloodgood -- Blair Williams
Helena Bonham Carter -- Dr. Serena Kogan
Anton Yelchin -- Kyle Reese
Jadagrace Berry -- Star
Bryce Dallas Howard -- Kate Connor
Common -- Barnes
Jane Alexander -- Virginia
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

This is a stupid movie.

It is stupid in its overall plot. I insert SPOILER WARNING but the previews give away the "surprise." Skynet, for no good reason, creates a human/terminator hybrid and releases it at just the time and place that will cause them the most trouble. John Connor, our hero, trusts the hybrid, for no good reason. The hybrid then, for no good reason, sacrifices itself to save John Connor, thus leaving us at the end of the movie exactly at the same place where we started.

It is stupid in scene by scene. Rarely do five minutes go by without something stupid happening on screen.

a. At what must have been a labor of months, humans construct a deadfall designed to squash terminators. They then drop the deadfall without looking to see if the terminator is standing underneath. By sheer coincidence, it is.
b. In this version of the future, the human resistance has an air force. This implies that they have the infrastructure -- airfields, highways, oil wells, trucks -- necessary to maintain an air force. But Skynet, which can locate a few scattered humans hiding in rubble and spend the resources to capture or kill them, can't seem to find or disable the resistance air force.
c. The human/terminator hybrid has a metal fist strong enough to stagger a terminator, yet when he hits a human being, it does no more damage than a human fist.
d. Terminators can swim!
e. In five minutes, John Connor builds a nuclear bomb out of a bunch of radium batteries the size of hearing aid batteries, and then flies in a helicopter in front of the mushroom cloud without so much as turbulence, never mind an EMP.
f. At the end of the movie, the human/terminator hybrid gives his beating heart to save John Connor. There just happens to be a heart transplant surgeon with no medical ethics standing by.

I would forgive the stupidity if the movie was entertaining, but for long stretches of time, I was bored. The big action set pieces seem to have borrowed the storyboards from better action films, notably The Fast and the Furious.

Comparing this movie with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I choose to believe that the TV version is the real future of the Terminator universe, and that this movie does not exist.

I didn't bother to stay to see if there were any credit cookies. If somebody will let me know, I'll pass the information on.

Copyright © 2009 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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