Coverage by Nobuhiro Hosoki
"Terminator Salvation" is the fourth installment in a saga that started 25 years ago. The film takes place in the distant past. A condemned killer, Marcus Wright(Sam Worthington), gets a visit from Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) who wants to turn him into a human cyborg without telling him. He agrees to sign the release form in exchange for a kiss, which becomes his lethal injection.
Forward to 14 years after Judgment Day, where the Terminator army roams the dark and grim landscape of the post-apocalyptic world, eradicating humanity in its wake. Controlling the Terminator is the artificial intelligence network, Skynet, which has become the nemesis of human resistance. But pockets of rebellion are hiding in underground bunkers and continue to rage against the machine. One of their leaders, John Connor (Christian Bale) listens to a recording left by his mother Sarah(Linda Hamilton) that foretells his future, and John must find and protect his future father, now the teenaged Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin).
Meanwhile, Marcus Wright the humanoid, has a quasi-romance with Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) one of Connor's lieutenants, who at first betrays Connor to support Marcus. Wright's sacrifice to this human was the only memorable thing in this film.
Though humanity plays a key element in this film. Director McG, famed for music videos and commercial works, engages us only with a few high-tech aerial battles, totally forgetting to sustain dramatic momentum or narrative flow. Throughout, the film is crammed with exposition and populated with semi-important characters that you couldn't root for till the end. Another weak element of the film was the lack of a central villain: Marcus Wright could been a great one except that the film revealed to the audience too soon why he showed up. He wasn't the villain, and that's the problem!
The screenwriters were the same ones from previous films in the Terminator series: John Brancato and Michael Ferris. I just don't understand the logic of reassigning the same writers, when we all know that the last film was such a messy one! In the end, we are confused with how the metaphysics of time travel works, where it's treated just as a mindless plot. You won't be experiencing a new visual look or feel-good of a popcorn summer flick. The franchise should ask itself why they couldn't they kill Kyle when they first captured him.
Directed by McG
Written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris
Director of photography: Shane Hurlbut
Edited by Conrad Buff
Music by Danny Elfman
Production designer: Martin Laing
Produced by Moritz Borman:Jeffrey Silver
Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson
Released by Warner Brothers Pictures.
Running time: 1 hour 47 minutes.
Cast: Christian Bale (John Connor)
Sam Worthington (Marcus Wright)
Anton Yelchin (Kyle Reese)
Moon Bloodgood (Blair Williams)
Bryce Dallas Howard (Kate Connor)
Helena Bonham Carter (Dr. Serena Kogan)
Jane Alexander (Virginia),
and Jadagrace Berry (Star).