Terminator Salvation Sucks Robot Balls
Posted by DrFunke on May 25, 2009
Clever title, thou art mine. Also, bad job by me: I thought a movie directed by “McG” might not suck. The man made “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” for God’s sake, and his name is fucking McG. To be fair to him all the action scenes actually looked really cool, and the CGI worked much better than I expected it to. For the most part, the movie’s problem lay with the screenplay. I imagine the writing process going something like this: the writers came up with an outline heavy on tired action movie cliches, and when someone suggested they get to writing the actual important content the head writer stood up at the table, dropped his pants, and wiped his ass with the script. McG quickly picked up the ass-wiped script and began filming.
Obviously, the lack of necessary substance led to a pretty craptacular movie. Elements that were supposed to be subtly introduced as metaphoric or symbolic were about as a kick to the junk. The movie’s big metaphor was that a heart and compassion are what makes humans special, and the cyborg character (Marcus Wright, played by Sam Worthington) was supposed to be the focal point of that. But of course because this movie was stupid, that only came about in scenes where Hot Asian Soldier Chick (the movie blew, I’m not looking up her name) was listening to his heart and said something like “Your heart is so strong and loud!” (Quick bitch: Hot Asian Soldier Chick looked great the whole movie except for one problem. She always looked like she had a stripe of black paint across her eyes. It was distracting and looked stupid. In conclusion, Hot Asian Soldier Chick hangs out with Michael Stipe from R.E.M.) It was handled stupidly and it was way too heavy-handed, and because of that it just made the movie worse.
Something that didn’t help that at all was the movie’s use of worn out cliches from other crappy action movies. Probably the best example comes up about 15 minutes in. John Connor (Christian Bale) just lost all his men in some robot attack, and is demanding to see the human resistance leaders who are based in a submarine. They say they don’t want to talk to him and he’s on a need-to-know basis about whatever the hell is happening. He proceeds to leap out of the helicopter he’s in wearing full combat gear into a stormy ocean with like 50 foot swells. Somehow, this leads to him being on the leaders’ submarine in the next shot. The ensuing conversation between Connor and the resistance leader includes a few gems. Leader: “Dammit Connor, your stunt is going to cost you! You’re out of control!” Where have I heard that befo– oh wait every movie ever. A great exchange comes after this, when Connor asks General Goateeface man about new intel or something. Leader: “You’re on a need-to-know basis Connor.” Connor: “AND I NEED TO KNOW!” And that’s just one of many possible examples. Shoot me.
Another problem was plot holes. They were all over the place and very problematic. Here’s one that killed me: these robots are killing machines that have pretty much wiped out humanity. You would expect them to be lethal, but of course their only move is to throw people at stuff or punch them real hard without killing them. Come on, that’s just lazy. A second one (THIS ONE IS SPOILER-Y: Near the end of the movie, Marcus sneaks into Skynet HQ so that he can help, long story short, Connor rescue Kyle Reese (Franklin McDouchenstein*) (*Not his real name, but I don’t really care) because something something past future you better remember the other Terminator movies real well. He shuts down all of Skynet’s defenses after accessing the main computer system, because he apparently can access all of these things and control Skynet. Of course this happens even though he was created as a cyborg 15 years earlier, had been in essentially a coma until like 4 days before, and he was only created to essentially go undercover into the human resistance to kill human leaders. This would be like if “The Departed” started off like normal, only once Leo got into the mob Jack Nicholson let him call all the shots on day one, then Leo called the cops and arrested everyone after like 2 minutes. Which is to say, “retarded.” SPOILER OVER. There are plenty more, but I don’t feel like writing about anymore because it makes me think of the 9 bucks I wasted.
Also, what the hell happened to Christian Bale? Maybe he’s still a great actor, but he hasn’t been taking any roles to showcase that recently. The Dark Knight was great, but he doesn’t act in it, he just growls and drinks coffee while his stunt double films fight scenes. Terminator is not a whole lot different. He just shoots fake guns and yells all the damn time. Half the time I felt exactly like this. After seeing American Psycho I thought he might be one of the best actors around, but I don’t know how true that is any more.
Final point. I hate when movies get lazy. This manifests itself in a few ways. One of these I will describe as the “Ocean’s 12” phenomenon, when the people making the movie just get lazy enough to include a moment like this one in “Ocean’s 12”: In order to get access to some faggy diamond, they had Julia Roberts’ character pretend to be Julia Roberts. I swear to Jesus when I saw that in theaters I started dry heaving. As if every other part of the movie wasn’t shitty enough, that was just the icing on the turd. A second one comes up mostly in sequels, when they use famous lines from the first movie as if to say “I hope you all know we think you’re retarded and will actually enjoy this.” In TS, this happens twice. At one point, Kyle Reese says “Come with me if you want to live,” which bothered me a little bit. But the worst part? Before going on his final mission, John Connor says “I’ll be back.” No dry heaving this time, but I responded the only way I know how:
All in all, I give this movie: 4 out of 5 Dismissive Wanking Motions. Or a D+.