The Terminator trilogy fulfilled the role of good action flicks wonderfully, at least the first two. Who could ever forget the famous Arnold line: “I’ll be back!” And the first two movies had some pretty compelling human drama woven into intense, fun action. When Arnold gave a scorched thumbs up sign to his friend John Connor as he sacrificed himself for humanity I was moved like many others I know. These films employed science fiction in a way that demonstrated the clear difference between humans and robots: human’s have a heart. As Christianity Today’s reviewer put it: “What makes humans different from terminators? What makes them similar? Are humans' fates as programmed as the actions of their robot enemies? Terminators are trained to kill, but why do humans kill?”
Terminator Salvation does not deliver at all. It will not inspire or move you. That’s too bad because the action and special effects are drop dead great! The robots do rock. They even make a 1991-era Arnold appear in this movie, along with an amazingly huge robot that blows you away. If you want to enjoy what the critics call a “popcorn flick” then you might enjoy Terminator Salvation. The specials effects do deliver the big blow in this summer screen event.
But Terminator Salvation disappoints when it comes to narration and the human story it could have developed. (I mean, the human race is under attack and might not survive.) The movie just falls flat, and almost from the beginning. It never recovers, even by the end. John Connor may save the human race but who will save John Connor? Even the Fox TV series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I watched for the past two seasons, had a great deal more human emotion and feeling in it than this new movie.
Unless you just want an evening out, and the chance to see a big new sci-fi fun film, without a great deal of feeling or real plot, you can afford to miss Terminator Salvation. I didn’t expect a lot going in thus I wasn’t too disappointed.