The Terminator franchise is one which has long lost its way, the last instalment having been a particularly putrid pile of celluloid poppycock. A lot was resting on this supposed reboot of the series, however Terminator Salvation is unfortunately one of the greatest let-downs since it was revealed that the University library really wasn’t slowly sloping down a hill.
For one, the film is plagued by far-from-stellar performances and characters as believable as Jordon’s mammaries. Sam Worthington – whose character is forced onto us like an irritating Scrappy Doo – may have the muscles but can barely handle an American accent. Christian Bale, meanwhile, has seemingly finally lost his mind and fully embraced his “Batman voice” to the point of basing his entire character around it. Or not, as the case may be, as his John Connor is the most uncharismatic simpleton of a leader imaginable who couldn’t even organise a school field trip, let alone the combined forces of humanity against Skynet.
The plot, meanwhile, is an uninspired yarn replete with supposed plot twists and “stunning” revelations which were ruined unceremoniously in the film’s trailers and an ending which inspires not confidence in the new direction of the series but rather cries of exasperated protest and even a small degree of pity. The film does, however, have a good human heart in Anton Yelchin’s Kyle Reese, whilst Michael Ironside’s gravelly-voiced cameo will do doubt appease fans of the 1980s.
Terminator Salvation screams two telling things at the viewer: the first, “missed opportunity”; the second, “rewrites.” This is a film whose heart is in the right place but unfortunately seems to have been put together by a conspiracy of inadequacy which ensures that the whole experience is but one of frustrating disappointment peppered with lovely special effects and the odd jolt of out-of-place brilliance which inspires a futile degree of short-lived hope in the minds of the audience.