The Terminator franchise began in 1984 and as been around for nearly 30 years. It is one of the most sacred franchises in modern film making. Consequently, it is one of the most overrated ones as well. While the concept is fantastic it has not equated to all of the films being great. There have been 4 Terminator films but only one of them was truly great. The film bolsters one of the most iconic characters as well as great action stars to ever grace the big screen but it still adds up to just a mediocre franchise who squandered a great deal of potential. The most recent one to grace the silver screen was Terminator Salvation.
Terminator: Salvation is quite possibly the second best film in the series but it still falls miles short of the sole great film in the franchise, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. it’s a mildly entertaining convergence of sci-fi/ action film. It is the fourth movie in the long tenured franchise. This is easily the second best of the films in the series. The Terminator franchise is comprised of three mediocre films based on a great concept. If it not for the greatness of Terminator 2: Judgment Day then this franchise would be just another great cult character. The movie stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises), Sam Worthington (Wrath of the Titans), Moon Bloodgod (Faster), Bryce Dallas Howard (Lady in the Water), Common (Just Wright), and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek 2009). The movie was directed by McG.
“Salvation’s” story is solid but it fails because of the split in the focus of the story. Where it really suffers is the decision to split the focus of the film between John Connor (Bale) & Marcus Wright (Worthington). John Connor has always been the focus of the series but this film is really hampered by dividing the focus being on him. “Salvation” would have been better served if it was just Marcus Wright’s story. His story is clearly much better & far more interesting. John Connor would be better served as a supporting character or an element of the film that is hinted towards. In the co-starring role, his story feels forced. Marcus’s struggles with humanity and his interaction with Kyle Reese clearly his the best part of this dilapidated future.
Salvation finally gives us the look into the future that has been hinted throughout each of the Terminator films but it does measure up to the vision of the future that had been laid out in the prior incarnations. Many of the future’s aspects that were mentioned in the other films make an appearance but this future is not the future that was described in Terminator 1& 2. The film fails because it does not give the fans what they have been waiting nearly two decades to witness.
The cast is very solid. The film revolves around a trio of distinct performances that define it. John Connor (Bale), Kyle Reese (Yelchin), and Marcus Wright (Worthington) each add different aspect to Salvation but only two of the three work. Sam Worthington does a good job as Marcus Wright. He carries the weight of the film. Worthington’s driven performance is clearly what carries Salvation. The interaction between Marcus and Kyle Reese is clearly better than the Marcus vs. Connor dynamic. Anton Yelchin’s portrayal of a young Kyle Reese is very good.
Terminator: Salvation is easily a let down based upon the expectations of what the film could have or should have been. Consequently, it’s the second best of the films. The sole great film in the series T2 is set the bar for this franchise so high that any film following will be hard to measure up to. Salvation is easily better than T3 and is as good as the Terminator. The story of the first Terminator is miles ahead of Salvation but where the era hinders The Terminator, Salvation flourishes. Salvation biggest downfall is T2. No film in this franchise will ever measure up to the success of it. Salvation is good just does not make the cut in its Judgment day.
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