The original Terminator film was a solid action vehicle, and rose almost immediately beyond the scope of the cult status it probably deserved mainly as a result of its being a fairly unique endeavor. More or less non-stop action, dusted lightly with a vague story of time travel and machine comeuppance, and fueled with the fun of getting to kill someone all movie long, the overall theory worked amazingly well as a raucous bit of fun.
While the Terminator as good guy spin was somewhat interesting, the totality of positives that came together to make the first film a success was not really the sort of thing that lent itself well to a continuation of the franchise. With more added to the world, and new excuses for plots, the story becomes tired, convoluted, and everyone is their own grandfather. With every subsequent movie there is all the more chance that audiences will hope people will speak for a certain amount of time, and the project morphs into something new, or is pointless.
By the time we get to Terminator Salvation, it’s a real chore to go in with positive expectations, no matter what you might hear about it.
Keeping exclusively to the future (apart from a very short establishing scene) in this one, John Connor (Christian Bale) is at a tricky point in the war against the machines. Stymied somewhat by those in command of the resistance, and on a desperate search for the person he apparently has to send back in time to become his father, the battle is not going well and Connor is running out of ideas.
Meanwhile, our story has a new character to focus on. Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a convicted murderer in our present, has agreed to donate his body to science after he is executed. His body shows up at a SkyNet research facility, and it turns out that he is part of a sinister plot SkyNet has come up with to infiltrate the resistance.
Our plot revolves around John Connor’s effort to unite the resistance toward sensible actions (armed with his unique knowledge of past and future), the race to find his father, and Marcus’ attempt to figure out what’s going on seeing as he just woke up in this post-apocalyptic world and thought he was dead. Spinning along with all this is a new superweapon the resistance may have discovered, a radio signal which might be able to shut down the machines.
A wonderful showcase for the power of low expectations, Terminator Salvation is another solid ride that manages (perhaps just barely) not to get bogged down in its own, by now rather goofy, story. The action scenes are fun and mostly serve an actual purpose, and Bale and Worthington are both worth watching whatever they’re in.
There is still something nagging about the franchise in general, and the display of the future makes it trying to believe the resistance is still around if you pay too much attention, but overall this is a good choice to satisfy your action fix.
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DVD Features -
The standard, single-disc DVD version does not include special features, but the Blu-Ray is loaded with a lot of great bonuses that take advantage of Blu-Ray possibilities.
The lack of even a token special feature or two is the sort of thing I think is going to leave a lot of people rather upset, but there is a lot of fun available on the Blu-Ray.
- Theatrical Version of the Film:
Exclusive to Blu-ray™ Content:
- Two Versions of the Film:
- Theatrical Cut (Rated PG-13)
- Director’s Cut (Rated R) – Includes explosive new footage not seen in theaters.
- Maximum Movie Mode featuring Director McG deconstructing the film’s key moments, 11 mini featurette focus points, over 40 minutes of Picture (PiP) commentary with cast and crew interviews, storyboard comparisons, still galleries, Terminator mythology timeline and more.
- “The Moto-Terminator” – See how the Terminator Salvation visual effects crew and Ducati partnered to create the slick and deadly Moto-Terminator!
- “Re-Forging the Future” – Go behind the scenes of Terminator Salvation with an exclusive set tour.
BD LIVE Content Includes:
- Compilation of 10 viral videos from the “Resist or Be Terminated” alternate reality game revealing SKYNET’s secret plans.
- The first episode of Terminator Salvation Machinima Series
- Digital version of Issue #1 of the Terminator Salvation official movie prequel comic.
Digital Copy on Disc
- Theatrical version of the film
COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE
IF YOU ARE LISTENING TO THIS, YOU ARE RESISTANCE
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