Even with the franchise’s signature star confined to public office, The Terminator series doesn’t lie when it says, “I’ll be back,” albeit with a new spin. Up till now, the Terminator films have focused on Terminators from the future sent to the past with the goal of killing humans who would be influential in the war between Skynet (machines) and the Resistance (humans). Terminator Salvation, the fourth theatrical incarnation, sees the story take a new direction by focusing on the actual war itself for the first time.
The film focuses on John Connor played by Christian Bale as the messianic, but mistrusted leader of the Resistance and Marcus Wright played by Sam Worthington who is part man, part machine and unclear of his origin. In the previous films, especially T2 John is portrayed as the ultimate savior of the future, but here we see him become even more Jesus-like with many opposing his leadership. It’s also interesting to note that the original ending had him dieing for his father (sound familiar?), but because of leaks this was changed. Despite, some vaguely religious allegories the movie is very much an action thriller, in fact, that’s about all it is.
The movie’s plot consists of a series of events with the sole purpose of propelling the action from scene to scene. We see Wright deal with what makes a man a man and a machine a machine, but that is about as deep as it gets. Being a Terminator movie, the plot is a little convoluted, but this movie is built on the action. With the Charlie’s Angels director, McG, at the helm it goes without saying that the action sequences come at you full throttle. All kidding aside, the film never lets up with intricate action sequences that never go over the top, even though ratio of explosions to plot points seems a little excessive. So if you’re like most Terminator fans and are looking for some post-apocalyptic warfare or you just want to get a glimpse of a young CGI Schwarzenegger, you can’t go wrong with Salvation.