Terminator Salvation is the only Terminator movie set in a post-apocalyptic future that should never have existed. So this is much more of a continuation to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Since it includes characters like John’s wife Kate (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard). Despite that, I was still very excited to see it when I first saw the trailer. The only major red flag was the PG-13 rating for a sequel in a very R rated franchise. Made even worse by the fact that it’s a war movie. It was ironically the first PG-13 movie my brother and I went to see by ourselves. This is also the only Terminator movie to lack the magic of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Action director McG instead casts a gravely Batman voiced Christian Bale and Sam Worthington when he was the biggest star in Hollywood. Terminator Salvation takes place in the distant future of 2018. Skynet unleashes classic Terminators, Hunter Killers, Moto-Terminators, and Hydrobots. Since time travel doesn’t factor in, the driving force instead is John Connor trying to inspire people to join the resistance. One being his own father Kyle Reese played by Anton Yelchin. He meets a unique half-Terminator named Marcus Wright. They’re the only interesting part of the movie, because the rest is painfully generic. Where’s the enormous laser battle we were promised? This is nothing but deserted cities and slow moving Terminators. I appreciate late Stan Winston’s practical designs, but this is just not threatening. Even the R rated cut doesn’t add much other than a darkly lit tastefully done nude scene for Moon Bloodgood. Sadly the only exciting moment for me is the surprise appearance of a T-800 played by a CGI Arnold. Terminator Salvation did not stay the course.
P.S. The short lived Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is way better.