Mr. Blog Goes to the Movies: Terminator Salvation

29 Mar

March 29, 2011

excerpted from May 31, 2009

I saw this one on Memorial Day when I was supposed to be cleaning out my car’s trunk. All those dead birds are getting cramped. (Ooops, there’s that Malaysian thing I’m not supposed to talk about.)  

The Terminator franchise is really easy to understand if you don’t try to understand it. In the first film, an evil computer named SkyNet decided that, in order to make the planet Earth all nice and peaceful, it should kill every human. Of course, humanity is nothing but annoying, and they refused to go along with SkyNet. But not at first. Oh sure, no one minded when SkyNet bought GM, and people cheered when SkyNet took over all the banks, and when SkyNet put tolls on every New York bridge and tunnel, raised the subway fare to $4.85, and made taxi riders share cabs with random lunatics people loved it, but when SkyNet tried to mulch 93% of Earth’s population to stop global warming, even Mayor Bloomberg thought that it was going too far. He had proposed to mulch only 35%.  

SkyNet sent a terminator back in time to kill the woman who would one day give birth to the leader of the resistance. Don’t ask me why. It is simpler if you don’t ask questions. This killer robot looked just like Arnold Schwarzenegger- and yes, I spelled that correctly. Don’t expect me to do it again. I could do a lot of governor jokes here, how he wielded his veto power, etc, but frankly that would be a lot of typing.  

To protect Sarah Conner, the resistance sent back a guy named Kyle Reese. His job was to keep her alive so she could give birth to John Conner, the resistance leader. In a wild plot twist that no one saw coming, unless you were watching the film, Kyle became John’s father. So in other words, John sent his buddy back in time for a booty call that would ensure John’s own birth. And somewhere along the line they crushed Arnold.  

In the next film, John Conner is a totally annoying kid. You really wanted him to die. In this film, SkyNet, using the brains of a fart, sent ANOTHER terminator back in time to kill him. Man, you’d think a super-intelligent hyper-computer would learn from its mistakes. So, d’uh, the resistance sends someone back in time to protect him. What’s the twist? This time, the terminator is a good guy sent to save John Conner. And yeah, it is played by Arnold again. Lots of stuff blows up and John Conner is saved.  

But things don’t go well, as the third film, with yet ANOTHER Arnold terminator sent back in time to kill John Conner, ends with the creation of SkyNet and the beginning of the end of humanity. A real upper, that film.  

This latest film has no suspense because it takes place before the first film. In other words, you know that SkyNet will win the big battle. You know that the resistance will go on. You know that John Conner won’t die. You know that John will find Kyle Reese. All of these things were revealed way back in the first film and are the objects of absolutely no suspense whatsoever. These are fixed, unchanged events.  

So what is this film about? The central questions are:
Will SkyNet win the big battle? YES
Will the resistance go on? YES
Will John Conner die? NO
Will John find Kyle Reese? YES  

At this point, I must caution you that my movie reviews may contain spoilers.  

The film was good, the special effects were good, and the action was good. All it missed was some gratuitous female nudity but you can’t have it all.  

I also saw the big movie blockbuster of the summer, Grease 2.  Hey, I saw it on cable, that counts.

5 Responses to “Mr. Blog Goes to the Movies: Terminator Salvation”

  1. Thomas Stazyk March 29, 2011 at 4:51 am #

    Excellent summary. But I have to admit I think Arnold is totally cool in T2. But that could be because all the other characters are so dorky.


    • bmj2k March 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      I can’t put my finger on what I dislike about T2. I hate the kid who played John Conner but that isn’t what turns me off. I think it is that it is so slick, so porduced, that it takes me out of the film and makes me keenly aware that I am watching an expensive blockbuster. The action with the action and the truck is too slick and not gritty enough.


  2. Thomas Stazyk March 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    No question it was a triumph of special effects over plot and acting. I agree about the John Connor kid, ditto for the mother. And the terminator morphing thing was a little lame.


  3. The Hook March 30, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    Very well done, sir. Leonard Maltin should be quaking in his Hollywood boots.


    • bmj2k March 30, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      I have to give a shout out to Leonard Maltin here because he selected a series of cd’s of the best movie music and had the great taste to include the Ed Wood main theme.


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