Terminator Salvation

May 24, 2009 at 8:30 pm (Movie Commentary) (, , , )

The following review may contain spoilers: read something else if you plan to go see Terminator Salvation any time soon!

I don’t remember who I saw the first Terminator movie with. Did I see it with my ex-husband, here in Saskatoon, when it first came out? I don’t think so; I don’t remember seeing it in a theater. Did I see it, on television, with my boyfriend in Montreal? I don’t know.

The first Terminator movie came out in 1984. I have vague memories in my head of watching it on a small screen. The second Terminator movie, the one that starts with images of Judgment Day, that I remember seeing loud and bold. But again, I couldn’t tell you where I saw it?

I’m a fan of the Terminator series – I like the boldness of Sarah Connor, the paradoxes of time travel and, on occasion, loud, tense movie scenes. I miss watching Linda Hamilton in this role. There are still so few kick ass heroines out there for a feminist to emulate.

I’ve seen all the Terminator movies and was just getting into the television series. (I’m annoyed that it got canceled just as I was getting drawn in). It concentrated on telling a story – I liked that.

I was looking forward to the new movie. I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters I cared about! I should have waited for the DVD.

The movie started out loud & bold. It takes you straight into the action. The problem, for me, was that was all it did. There was too much action, in my opinion, and no consideration given to plot. Where was the story? Why should I care about these people? I almost started to root for the machines and looked forward to watching & wondering what the machines would do next.

If you own this image, let me know and I will remove it

If you own this image, let me know and I will remove it

The problem with Terminator Salvation is that it is missing a plot. Where is the story I’ve come to know and love?

I have so many questions:

If John and his wife were locked up before Judgment Day (the end of movie 3) – how and when did he join the army and get his skills? Who else knows about him being the savior of all? How and when did Kate, his wife, stop being a vet and start treating humans? Why are the others blindly following him to death?

The Inefficient killing machines annoyed me; why not just kill Kyle Reese? Why would machines take prisoners? What could they possibly gain by this when it has been stated, time and again, that their goal is the elimination of all mankind?

Of course killing Kyle would result in a major time paradox – what would happen if the machines killed the teen aged Kyle Reese before he got a chance to go back and meet Sarah? What would happen to the John there in the future? Who invents/controls time travel? Who, actually, is the enemy here? Can’t we all just get along?

Deus ex Machina was the prominent phrase rattling around in my brain as I left the theatre. For those who don’t know, Deus ex Machina, literally means “God by machine.” It is when the author takes the easy way out to solve problems, rather than have the characters work things out themselves. Basically, God steps in and makes everything work!

This is how I felt leaving Terminator Salvation – that everything got worked out and logic, story and plot be damned!

For an expanded point of view, better articulated then mine (LOL), go read this:

Carrie, I would so go see your version :-).

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