May 21, 2009, - 2:48 pm

Not Bad “Terminator Salvation” Better Sequel Than Expected

By Debbie Schlussel
Unlike most other critics, I actually like “Terminator Salvation.” As sequels go, it wasn’t bad. If there was one objectionable thing it was that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger apparently has so few problems to deal with in California, he apparently had time to work with filmmakers for his computer-generated, much younger-looking naked cameo in the film.
But aside from that, I found it entertaining. It wasn’t a great movie. But it was engrossing, if often a little slow, despite the action. It’s dark, gritty, and definitely a guy’s movie.
I liked it not just for its unwavering portrayal of good versus evil and man versus machine. I liked that the movie was full of heroism and respect for human life. And no-one wanted to go “negotiate” or “reason” with the terminator machines, like they do with Ahmadinejad or the rest of our enemies. They realized they were their enemies and they wanted to just flat-out destroy them.


The plot: It’s the year 2018, and an entity known as “Skynet”–run by computers–has taken over the world. It and its terminator robots and machines have destroyed most humans and most cities (and the desolate sets reflect that). But pockets of human resistance in Los Angeles and other parts of California are fighting back, so that the human race will survive.
John Connor (Christian Bale) is the grown man who was once the baby of the Linda Hamilton character in the original “Terminator” movie. He is leading the human resistance or sort of leading it and contending with higher ranking human commanders. Connor knows that he must find and save a kid named Kyle Rees, who is his real-life father. If he doesn’t, he will cease to exist and the human race will be defeated by Skynet and its terminator machines.
Meanwhile, Marcus Wright, a man who thought he was executed in 2003 awakens and finds himself helping the resistance. But is he really human or a machine?
Full of action and special effects, the real star of the movie was not Christian Bale, but actor Sam Worthington, who plays the heroic Wright–poignantly playing a wholly moral being torn between man and machine.
Yes, the movie is a doomsday flick. And, even though I like that genre, I’m getting tired of those. Aren’t we all?
Still, as a sequel and sci-fi movie complete with light escapist entertainment and a ton of action and great FX, this one isn’t bad. And it’s actually pretty good. Plus, you needn’t have seen any previous “Terminator” movies to see and know what’s going on in this one.

9 Responses

If we ever do create a sentient machine, then it will have a choice and the freedom, like us, to choose between right and wrong. I would submit every creature, natural or artificial, with awareness of the meaning of its actions, is capable of walking in the path of G-d. That and freedom are for now a uniquely human trait but someday it will be a universal one.

NormanF on May 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

SWEET! I always thought the first 3 movies belonged together, then the tv show and T4 in their own little group.
Must go see…

cirrus1701 on May 21, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Debbie- do they waterboard the terminators? oh wait.. you said it’s california.. never mind…

Mistress_Dee on May 21, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I’m so glad to hear it isn’t a bomb. After seeing the first film, this one needed to be done to complete the circle. I’m looking forward to seeing it!

mplumb on May 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Who were the critics that blasted the flim. I wanna know their names and what they said. I think we all wanna know that info Deb.

Squirrel3D on May 21, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Ever since seeing The Prestige, and from La Deb’s review, I’ll see anything with Christian Bale.
I loved the first Terminator, hated the second tons for it’s lefty politics and the fact the kid was a creep who I was hoping would get whacked by the Terminator.
Only thing, Los Angeles as a city of resistance?!?!? Give me a break, they’d be the first to surrender and help the enemy…come to think of it, they already have!

Jeff_W on May 22, 2009 at 10:05 am

L.A. and San Fran, would roll right over for the machines and Feinstein and Waxman, among others would prosecute any human caught killing a machine even in self defense. Then they’d demand hearings. Feinstein would attempt to profit by selling technology to the terminators and waxman would make sure they’d be given their civil rights with the ACLU as the watch dogs of their freedom.
The pockets of resistance would only come from the small towns and suburbs where the more intelligent life forms live with their bibles and their guns. We could actually allow the terminators to tire themselves out cleaning out places like L.A., New York, Detroit.

samurai on May 22, 2009 at 11:34 am

It has been getting pretty bad reviews overall: It is nice to hear a good review

Actual on May 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Jeff — I loved the first Terminator, hated the second tons for it’s lefty politics…”
That must have passed me by.
But thinking I’ll be back.. wasn’t the do-gooder wet liberal big government sanctioned foster family skewered by the gooey Terminator?
The kid John Connor was forced to live off his wits and exhibits a foundation of admirable self-sufficiency, and loyalty to him mother?
And wasn’t Sarah Connor committed to the State nut house as a virtual enemy of thre state.

Jack Bauer on May 24, 2009 at 7:09 am

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field