It’s been a while since I saw this film, so some of the details in here might be a bit soft, but I remember how I broadly felt, so I wanted to share it with you all.
Christian Bale stars as John Connor in this latest installation in the Terminator franchise, the first to be set post-Judgement Day. Connor is a lieutenant in the Resistance, but commands a large following of people who see him as mankind’s saviour. (This aspect reminded me much of Neo’s status in the second two Matrix films, actually.) Sam Worthington stars as Marcus Wright, a half-human, half-machine prototype who awakens with no memory of Judgement Day and no knowledge of his cyborg nature.
Worthington is the film’s stand out revelation – incredibly watchable and he brings a superb humanity to his character. Anton Yelchin is (as ever) excellent, truly striking home the frailty of John Connor’s temporal-manipulation-dependent existence as Kyle Reese. None of the other character’s really get a chance to flesh out their characters, with Bryce Dallas Howard in particular getting a rather easy payday.
To the film’s considerable credit, there has been a significant effort put into thinking through the mechanics of this post-apocalyptic world, into how the machines fight the humans. We are introduced to humanoid terminator designs ranging from 7 feet tall to 70 feet tall, motorbike terminators as well as enormous airship terminators. The mechanics may be a tad overly-complex, but they produce such good action scenes, it’s hard to complain too much.
Which brings us to another strength of the movie – action. Thankfully, McG has not failed to realise what made the Terminator franchise so successful – great action sequences. We may not quite have anything to match T2’s storm drain bike-truck chase, we’ve got plenty of contenders – the chase from the petrol station comes particularly to mind.
Overall, it’s not great, but it’s not bad. When you view it as a stand-alone action movie instead of as a part of a franchise, it actually comes out looking fairly decent. It sure kicks the hell out of T3. B.