Set in the futuristic, yet somewhat relative year of 2018, Terminator Salvation tells the story of John Connor, the eventual leader of mankind in its fight against the machines. Fully equipped with high powered action sequences and a few attempts at storytelling, the film is sure to entertain the franchise's most dedicated fans. However, for those who see this film as an introduction to the series, they will quickly realize that unfortunately, this fourth film does not provide a fluid pathway to either understanding or contentment.
But that is not to say that newcomers will not enjoy this film; it is rather a different kind of enjoyment. Instead of story and content, you must focus in on the extravagant special effects and unprecedented cinematography. Rather than the backstories and character relations, you must dig into the here and now, working to fully grasp the initial concept and reason for the war; a feat that was accomplished during the opening sequence.
Starting with a computer-messenger style of storytelling, the origins of the Terminator is explained, refreshing the minds of those who are looking to fully comprehend the actions taking place. While the facts were somewhat clearly laid out, the quick synopsis lacks details, skimming the surface of an otherwise deep and complex story line.
But before we know it, director McG takes us on a wild and ambitious action sequence that introduces us to a prime aged John Connor, played by current franchise rebooter Christian Bale. Most known for his on-set outburst that leaked onto the internet a few months back, Bale gives a decent performance as Connor. However, I have to admit that at times I honestly believed that I was watching Bruce Wayne and his harsh, raspy voice, spring up and take on the never-dying machines. But voice aside, I can't really complain. Sure his performance wasn't Oscar worthy, but it wasn't a total distraction from the film either. Instead, it was a satisfactory presentation of a role that easily played second to the monstrous machines.
Sam Worthington and Moon Bloodgood also hold their own in the summer blockbuster sequel, providing a good counter force in relation to Bale, ultimately giving the film some much needed balance in terms of character and star-power. That, along with the direction of McG helped make Terminator Salvation the ideal summer draw that it has long been expected to be. The story is there, as is the technological specs and A-list talent; and while this film will succeed on spectacle along, I can't hate it. For at the end of the day, it is fun, exciting and a pure breed thrill ride; what more can a movie fan ask for?