Friday, May 22, 2009

Terminator Salvation

Even though critics have been ripping it apart (sometimes quite viciously), I had to see Terminator Salvation for myself. And I have to say, I see what they mean.

This movie wasn't all that good. Oh, sure, you've got the special effects, the bang-em-up, blow-em-up spectacular that every summer blockbuster needs. But really, that's all there is here. Lots of "fun" effects, including a nude "governor" at one point that made me chuckle (and wonder if the T-800 prototype was on steroids).

A lot of critics have panned the film saying that it had no heart, no emotional connection to or between the characters. And that's certainly true. There's nothing, not a single warm moment to be had. Even when John Connor met Kyle Reese for the very first time, there was some dull surprise but that was about it. You'd think that finally meeting dear old dad would be ... well, you know, emotional or something.

But the movie didn't just suffer from a lack of heart. It also suffered from a lack of brains as well. Someone please tell me how Skynet knew about Kyle Reese? I mean, seriously. How did they find out? Sarah Connor didn't exactly make this public knowledge. So how did Skynet find out? How did the computer know that by kidnaping Kyle, it would be able to get its hands on John Connor?

Allow me to play Monday morning quarterback for a moment. I think it would have been a lot more satisfying to see a movie about the early resistance where John Connor doesn't want to embrace his destiny. He sees the resistance under the able control of Michael Ironside's character and thinks that maybe Mom was wrong. And then something happens and John has to take control, scoring a decisive first victory against Skynet. The end of the movie could revolve around Skynet realizing that it had a tremendous adversary in John Connor and gearing up to stop him (but no time travel yet). Much more emotional. Much more interesting.

As it is, this movie is just a bunch of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Lots of great ILM effects but that's about it. I have a friendly suggestion for the production team. Bring the writing crew from The Sarah Connor Chronicles to help you write the inevitable sequel. I hear they're not doing anything right now. More's the pity.

No comments: