Terminator Salvation  is directed by the infamous McG of Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle fame. Salvation is set in the year 2018, in the middle of the war between man & machines. We follow a man named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) who joins forces with the leader of the human resistance, John Connor (Christian Bale), as they attempt to end the war and shut down Skynet for good.
Great in concept, absolutely awful in execution. One of the most interesting things McG wanted to do with this film was to make a war film reminiscent of Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan. A gritty, realistic look at this war between man and machine. Unfortunately, the film is too chocked full of problems to maintain what little “coolness” that was going for it.
Some of the worst casting choices, maybe ever. Christian Bale is horrifically miscast here. Never for a second do we like his character or even want to root for him. Bale must have forgotten that he wasn’t on the Batman set anymore because he’s still using the same ridiculous, over the top, throaty voice for the Dark Knight films, until the last act of this film. Sam Worthington is bland and boring, as is Bryce Dallas Howard (she has little do here but stand next to Bale). Alton Yelchin doesn’t even fit the bad-ass silent type that was Kyle Reese in the first film; instead he’s a nerdy scavenger character here.
Mind-numbingly boring. The biggest crime you can commit during an action film is boring the audience, and Terminator Salvation might be the biggest repeat offender there is. The film’s actions scenes, while looking great, have no substance and are full of things we’ve seen in the previous films- just noisier and bigger. The film is loud and seems to go on forever, and the scenes without action continue to contradict the rules and the world building that was set up during previous films.
Gleefully (un)violent. One of the best things about the previous films was their approach towards violence. Even though they were at times comical, they still had a realistic look towards violence. Here the director had to pander to the studio to release a PG-13 war flick without that sense of violence and realism set up in the other films. What war film has zero bloodshed?