Thought I’d put this up for all to see.
Owain’s comment on Robert’s
“I feel very differently about Terminator Salvation (ou est the colon?), though I cannot fault the effects work I found the script and the actors and the direction to be generally bland in the extreme.
Bale’s Connor had no depth, and seemed far removed from the smarmy youth of T2, the slightly edgy rogue from T3, and though – obviously – a large burden is being shouldered by Connor as ‘prophet’ of the resistance, Bale did little more than shout and scowl in a wobbly accent. There was no investment in the character, and it seemed slightly implausible that he couldn’t conceive of the machine’s doing any good (seeing as he saw Arnie as father figure in T2 and 3), so his extreme distrust of Marcus was a bit strange.
Worthington as Marcus had no charisma, his opening scene with Bonham Carter (who I found to be quite woeful in both her scenes, especially the second!) was such a flat exchange, when it instead should have been a strong grounding for the character and his demons. He played some of the later moments – coming to terms with his fate – rather well, but for the most part had either little to do or was too busy getting upstaged by Yelchin as Kyle Reese, unfortunately Reese had a mute moppet strangling his charisma and a ropey script like an albatross round his neck. Still, the scenes with Marcus and Reese were the film’s strongest.
The terminators themselves though well realised have however descended into cartoon villainy, with none of the unstoppable menace of before. One terminator that just walks by the hiding Connor even did the cartoon guard double-take, and later Terminators seemed more content to throw people around rather than actually terminate them. The huge skill of T1 and T2, even T3 to some extent, was that you felt that if a Terminator caught its prey there would be no hesitation; the only times a terminator would pause would be if they were using their current catch as bait.
Elsewhere the score was poor, the supporting cast bland, the script riddled with questionable plot developments and character motivations (the excuse that they’ll solve it in sequels is flimsy at best) and there was no sense of weight to any of the big moments in the film nor was there a climax, instead the film just ended.
I am not a Terminator obsessive, I think T1 and T2 are both milestone action thrillers, perfectly balancing smart sci-fi with intense chases and a soupcon of dark humour, whilst T3 has its problems it still manages to deliver some effective moments here and there. Of course, as a future war movie Terminator Salvation has to take a different stance to its predecessors and can’t simply be a cat and mouse, but to just throw a load of action at the screen with little regard for characters to invest in and a coherent narrative is pretty bland.”
© BRWC 2010.
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