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Terminator Salvation


With Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter, Jadagrace, Bryce Dallas Howard

Written by John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris
Directed by McG

This legendary sci-fi series which started in the mid-‘80s has become an integral part of popular culture, launched the careers of director James Cameron and (muscleman turned actor, turned governor) Arnold Schwarzenegger, and coining the popular phrase “I’ll be back”. Here the legacy is further expanded with this high energy fourth installment, shedding further light on the future war between man and machine.

The story takes us beyond the third chapter after the machines have waged war on the human race via Skynet. Pockets of resistance fighters survive in gutted cities and underground hideouts, battling for survival. John Connor (son of Sarah), the prophesized saviour of humanity is faced with a higher command oblivious to his knowledge of what will transpire. John’s father, Kyle Reese, is yet to return back to the past to save Sarah Connor from a Terminator sent to eliminate her, and in effect stop John from being born (as told in the first, classic Terminator). John is yet to meet Kyle (still a teenager), and their destinies draw closer via a man with knowledge of his whereabouts. The resistance also deciphers a signal which can switch off the machines and may end the war.

On hearing this chapter would be directed by McG (with loads of TV & music video experience and also doing the Charlie’s Angels movies), with his flashy MTV generation style, I felt apprehensive. But, I thought of the visual energy he injects into his scenes and with the comedic and musical elements stripped, he could actually pull off a big scale sci-fi action movie. And indeed he did, besides the sure thing of amazing ILM special FX. The journey through this chapter of the Terminator universe is filled with new, old and incredible robots in a post-apocalyptic world geared to crush mankind for good, every detail brilliantly executed in great action sequences, while the actors deliver believable performances of a desperate race clawing to survive while hanging onto their humanity.

For those hoping to see Arnold (the original Terminator) in a cameo role, you may just be pleasantly surprised – or not…
The third (and previous) Terminator chapter had its moments, but did not fully satisfy, and as a result, up until this moment I have resisted the TV series born from this franchise. This is in order to avoid the possibility of it ruining the legacy for me if it follows the form of shows like the new Bionic Woman. But then, I could be wrong.
The movie is dedicated to the memory of groundbreaking special make-up FX man Stan Winston who was on board from the first Terminator movie.

Unfortunately this South African DVD release features zero extras - although many making-of clips were constantly rotated on local TV during the movie's cinematic release, serious fans would want as many pieces on the movie as they can get.
(The cover lists the running time as 72 minutes! Don't fear, it's not the half-length abridged version, but a typo.)

5 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B - C

Click poster images below for the previous Terminator movies

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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