Obviously I had to watch this Terminator movie, because it stars Christian Bale and, well, it’s a Terminator movie. It was fun, but it definitely didn’t have the intensity of purpose or the cleanliness of plot of the first two. The plot is messy, and has holes you can drive a truck through. But it was fun watching the world of the future, particularly to see Terminators in their element and to see the resistance in action. I have waited a long time to see the post-apocalyptic world of Terminator (though not so long that I watched T3), and it was fun. Stuff blew up. Big machines didn’t blow up. People ran very fast away from them and then died.
Also, the directors did that classic derivative Terminator movie thing where scenes from the previous movies were repeated almost verbatim but with different actors and context. In this case scenes from T1 and T2 were included. This was fun, and I was waiting for this. Some were quite subtle, too, and some were flipped so that the machine did it to the people. I really like this aspect of the Terminator movies.
However, I had two major presentation gripes about this movie that didn’t quite spoil it for me:
- I didn’t like the militarisation of the resistance. They had jets and helicopters and submarines. I remember vividly the scenes from T1 in the future – guys with small rifles hiding in the ruins, sharing a single jeep with a machine gun on, while massive machines crunched their way over a landscape of skulls. Where did those guys get their jets and subs? Kyle Rees was not a product of a military machine, but a desperate man on a one-way mission from hell.
- Kyle Rees said that the Terminator “absolutely will not stop” and “doesn’t feel remorse”. But the terminator in this movie had John Connor by the throat, and it paused long enough for him to get away. Twice. This really gives me the shits. If you can’t choreograph a fight scene so that your guy doesn’t have to be saved by his remorseless enemy’s remorsefulness, get a different job.
Things got a bit weird halfway through the movie – there is a “good” terminator who doesn’t quite work in my opinion, and the explanation for whose presence gets a bit flaky, and at this point the plot also starts to get those crises of motive believability (“I don’t think he would do that”) which can spoil an otherwise enjoyable movie. But then some more shit blows up, and everything is okay again.
But the ending was infuriatingly bad. Silly silly directors!
Anyway, go watch it. The first half an hour is like Halo with terminators. After that there’s another half hour of really intense chase and combat scenes. Then it got a bit flaky for half an hour, there was the obligatory (not very good) inspirational speech which you can’t really believe will influence anyone, another half hour of intense fighting, and then the end. That’s an hour and a half of terminators hitting things or being hit. Well worth the effort!