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“Terminator Salvation”
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Home / Film Reviews / “Terminator Salvation”

“Terminator Salvation”


Director: Joseph McGinty Nichol (called McG)
Actors: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, and Helena Bonham Carter
Rating: PG-13

In 2003, Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) of Cyberdyne Systems convinces multi-murderer and death row inmate Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) to sign his body over for medical research following his execution by lethal injection. He agrees.

One year later, the Skynet system is activated, perceives humans as a threat to its own existence, and eradicates much of humanity in the event known as Judgment Day (see “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”). In 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) leads an attack by the Resistance on a Skynet base. John discovers human prisoners and the plans for the development of a new type of Terminator incorporating living tissue, but is the only apparent survivor of the attack after the base is destroyed in a nuclear explosion. Minutes later Marcus emerges from the wreckage of the base and proceeds on foot to Los Angeles.

Upon arriving in LA, Marcus is saved from a machine by Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and his mute, child companion (Jadagrace Berry). Those in the know will remember that Kyle will later become his father (see The Terminator) and the beat goes on.

Later we learn that Dr. Kogan will die of cancer so my first question was: Why can’t the machines who can triumph over all, bend human cells to metallic will, design and produce an endless number of nimble machines that continually trap and often beat humanity to a pulp, soar the skies above, use the Australian crawl in the depths below, not be able to cure the good doctor.

Allow me to add that trying to keep track of the various time slips and the family ties that hitch and unhitch down the ages is on the level of memorizing the notes found on one of the more widely used drugs of today.

Then there’s the director, McG and the hubris of refusing to use his given name of Joseph McGinty Nichol because as he explains: “It’s fun to hate a guy called McG. In my humble opinion it’s sheer f*****g lunacy because it’s just short for McGinty and that’s what my name is. My mother's maiden name is McGinty. My uncle is Joe, my grandfather was Joe. I was called McG since the day I was born because we were broke and there were three Joes in the house. There’s no Hollywood, 'I think I'll give myself a nickname' crap. It just is. And at some point I would be a sell-out punk if I rolled over and said, 'Well, call me Joe.' [. . .] I can only sigh and move forward . . .

“The whole idea for doing this movie is to honor the first three movies but begin again. The big difference is we're post-Judgment Day, whereas the other pictures were all contemporary, with the Terminators coming back in time. It's deep post-Judgment Day, it's a new beginning, and because the future is malleable, there are a great many places to go.”

Understand? I had hoped you would. Oh, again there is no end to this movie so the franchise continues,