New Terminator predictable, lacks tone

Vince Driver and Vince Driver

‘Terminator Salvation’ paints a picture of a future where machines ruthlessly hunt humans and Christian Bale can only communicate in yells. There’s also something about time travel and a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The fourth installment of the terminator series breaks with tradition by showing the world many years after judgment day.’ Christian Bale plays the adult John Connor, and his performance fits the atmosphere of the movie. That is to say, he is nearly devoid of humanity, instead he only barks militaristically and utters catchphrases for most of the movie.

He does quiet down for a few tender scenes with his wife, but these are so short and sparse that they are completely forgettable.

Sam Worthington plays Marcus Wright, a man who is resurrected after execution with robotic parts. Despite being more machine than man, Worthington gives the most human performance of the film, developing believable and heartfelt relationships with other characters while struggling with his condition.

The acting, however, can’t fully overcome a contrived plot which telegraphs the ending. The action sequences do help distract from this, as they are the strongest part of the movie.’

Between the hundred-foot robots, motorcycle robots, water snake robots, robots with guns and frisbee robots, there are enough robots in Salvation to occupy Bale and Worthington constantly and keep things interesting when the dialogue starts to wear thin.

Schwarzenegger makes a CGI cameo, with his face placed digitally on another actor’s body.’ This fan service is bittersweet because the best part of Arnold’s performances in the previous films was his mechanical vocal delivery, as well as the way he injected quiet humor into the role.

Terminator Salvation improves upon Rise of the Machines, but it still lacks the personality and tone of the first two films.’ It creates its own hopeless, grim atmosphere.’ This may be fitting for the distant post nuclear future, but not for the beginning of summer blockbuster season.’ Save the heavy attitude for a more thoughtful film. Grade: B Runtime: 130 min Director: Joseph McGinty Nichol Cast: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood Release: May 21, 2009 Rating: PG-13 for Sci-Fi violence and language ‘