Review: Terminator Salvation

30 07 2010
By AngryPanda

You could have warned us that you meant the end of a franchise!

I usually avoid this kind of topic but I decided to do what I do much too often and go against my better judgement by doing something that will inevitably put me in a position I enjoy only slightly more than sex with a telephone pole in Siberia. While being eaten by bears. So I’ll go ahead and do what everyone else on the net does, namely review (read: bitch about) a movie. While I heard cries of outrage about Star Trek (which in my humble and admittedly very lonely opinion got treated very nicely especially considering what a huge steaming pile of self-righteous, pretentious and utterly self-serving crap it is) and Wolverine (which I read since I’m 12 and never made any sense to begin with so I don’t get why anyone frets about the movie being just like that) there isn’t as much hate as their should be for Terminator 4. Terminator 1 and 2 always held a special place in my heart as they showed me how awesome a movie can be without even having any especially compelling story or characters (with the possible exception of Sarah Connor in 2)   simply by sticking to a solid concept and then holding on to it like they actually understood what it is. Then along came Terminator 3 which was pretty much Termniator 2 except that John Connor had turned from a pretty decent kid into an emo teenager but that was ok too. It didn’t actually do anything to hurt the story it just did nothing for it. This was followed by a series that ditched the story of Terminator 3 (in which nothing new had happened anyway) and continued the story of the two old movies years later without missing a step. I could go on about how awesome that series is for hours but I want to nitpick a multimillion dollar movie here and not praise a good series so I will just say that like the old movies it knows what the franchise is about (unstoppable robots that want to kill you) and that it worked quite well with that.

Now let’s get to the point here: TERMINATOR: SALVATION

I admit I didn’t have high hopes for this one as I pretty much expect every expensive movie to be made for morons and I’m still pretty sure this is the truth because some marketing genius thought that it’s a good idea to make every viewer with a brain try to drill holes into their eyes with the straws of their much too expensive soft drink just to make sure that Joe Average who couldn’t care about the story anyway and would ignore it even if it bit him in the face does not even get close to being endangered of thinking about the movie. Maybe that is why I manage to enjoy so many crappy movies others dislike. It’s like fast food. It just has a certain cheap allure that makes me happy. My biggest hope was that since this movie was supposed to play in the future it would be cool and full of high-tech weapons and large awesome death machines. All three prior movies and the series are full of tiny snippets from the future, all of which look awesome. I expected the movie to have about a fifth of the depth of 2 minutes of a mid-season episode of the series. Unfortunately what I got was exactly that only that the 2 minutes happened to be from the commercial break. Even worse these commercials had obviously nothing to do with the Terminator franchise.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day started with a nice scene setting the mood.

THIS IS HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK!

You might have noticed the struggling survivors, dark machine army and ruined city landscape. Not the mention the scary switch from happy playground to death zone. This is scary and cool at the same time. Ok the laser or whatever they are weapons look a bit cheap but one should think that they can fix that these days. And boy they did. Like fixing a brain tumor by chopping of the patients head, filling the mouth with garlic, burning it and putting the ash afloat on the mystical seventh sea with a broken compass. Before I go into further detail I will just sum up my biggest beefs with this movie right up front so everyone who wants to keep their sanity can stop reading.

  1. This movie did not play in the future. It was your average half rebellious Americans using big and very normal guns to blow stuff in the Nevadan desert. We had a few shots in cities but those were rare, considering that the few huddles survivors had been said to hide in those in the older movies. This was basically Rambo VS “Insert some machine here because it wasn’t a Terminator”. Resident Evil 3 made the same mistake. I’m pretty sure it’s whole scenery looks exactly the same today, right down to the zombies in the gas stations. And how did they keep all this military bases running without a civilian infrastructure support them anyway?
  2. Matching the above theme the star was not conflicted and amazing rebellion leader John Connor. For one he wasn’t even the leader of the resistance because Hollywood doesn’t know how to make movies about those. The only action star they know is the mid level commander who goes against all orders and saves the day by blowing stuff up with his huge ..gun… making his superiors look like dicks and generally be as intriguing as the star of your average first person shooter . I can barely remember how these guys are named in the different movies and games so I just call them Steve. Now this movie was about Steve who happened to carry the name John Connor. But because that wasn’t quite boring enough they decided to add a second character to the main cast. I always thought it would be impossible to make me not like a cyborg who can throw cars around but as it turns out all it takes is to make him into Steve. Now we have two Steves running around, producing testosterone and bad dialogue like you could sell it on eBay and both have incredible uninteresting girl friends That would be the main cast now. I sum it up as Steve and the girl. Twice.
  3. They didn’t even watch the old movies (I would later find out that this wasn’t true but that made it worse not better, you’ll see.). What I mean with this is that they took absolutely one of the tricks that made the old movies successful and obviously never ever listened to the storyline. They had a horribly bleak intro (compare to the one from T2: Judgement Day) that did not set any kind of mood and a large part of the movie was shot in bright daylight. They skipped the Judgement Day entirely. Even T3 had at least that going for it. I saw Terminator 1 about ten years ago but I still remember Kyle saying something about the survivors only going out at night. It was easy to remember because all the scenes from the future had been at night too. Of course they fixed that problem by having him say the exact opposite in this movie. Which solved the problem somehow by showing they are idiots anyway? Or something like that. I understand that all these big budget projects are very proud of their special effects and the fact that they no longer have to hide the background in the dark like they had to do in the past. But I would think we are used to that by now. You can use the dark for effect again people, it’s ok now. We’ve known you can use daylight since Starship Troopers. So the machines now see you better at night instead of day and Terminators can be shot in the head with a normal pistol. Forget the horror elements too I guess. That might be the reason why they have turned from remarkably effective killing machines into complete morons too. This goes up the line from the cute little water worms to the motorcycles up to bloody Skynet itself. While I’m at that since then did Skynet build a stupid theme park instead of an army? But back to the things they didn’t notice. Skynet knew who Kyle Reece was. What? Why? How? If he does know why doesn’t he just kill the guy once he recognizes him. Which bring me to the next point.
  4. Why are the machines complete morons? Kill Reece, no John Connor, instant win (of course this doesn’t make sense since John isn’t the actual leader of the rebellion but we’re long since past such details). This would be very clean and effective. Machine style you know? Instead he takes him as a hostage. Skynet could have won in so many ways. Kill Reece. Don’t build a stupid time machine if you already know it will result in the birth of your most important enemy. Not only did they not do their research they also started working with time paradox which is something smart people should avoid and stupid people (like them!) should stay the hell away from like vampire kittens from pools of holy water filled with a crossbreed of dogs and piranhas. After not playing the instant win card everything else seems almost reasonable in comparison but let’s bitch about it anyway: Why exactly does he think using Cyborg Steve to lure Connor Steve to him is a good idea? Do Steve’s relate to each other? Are they attracted to each others rebel attitude and huge sweaty muscles? Is it the scent of testosterone? The gruff voice they use to deliver bad one-liners? Why could it ever be a good idea to use a half machine to lure in a man who hates machines more than anything? The worst part is that this actually worked so I guess they did not intend Skynet to be a retarded potato, the movie was just written by some. Then in an act of supreme shortsightedness Skynet unveils his new T800 series. You know the ones specifically built to be superior “infiltrators” in a situation in which is it is absolutely perfectly clear that it is a killing machine. (Does this count for point 3 too? Yes I think it does). So in his own base with every variety of killing machines available (all being in various states of funny or stupid) he/it chooses to use its new infiltrator model for a fight. This infiltrator is also vastly superior to much larger killing machines for some reason. Let’s assume it is because of fanboyism because it makes a lot more sense than what they came up with.
  5. This wasn’t even a good action movie. Yes I mean it. Taking away all the things they fucked up about being a Terminator movie, ignoring the fact it was set in a boring desert and about Steve and Steve using their very manly guns and military toys it was just pathetic. They fight giant robots (I dare you to laugh about Anime again), even more gigantic space ship thingies (which look even more overpowered than in the old movies, why on earth did they need to do that?) and legions of circus freak machines with only their very sweaty muscles and the average and boring guns that make wanabe militaries and 14-year-old shooter players cum in their pants without even touching themselves. You know, the “normal” ones. Because Sci Fi weaponry is GAY! They use this arsenal of Hollywood manliness to go right into a Skynet base and not only come out alive but also destroy it in the process. A base full of killing machines. Each one dangerous enough to be the villain in its own movie. This is also a basic movie mistake. Have one enemy and his is terribly dangerous. Make it a dozen of them and they turn into mooks. Seriously, they should have used the Master Chief as their main character and called this the HALO movie. I think the kids would have eaten out of their hands. Plus it would not have killed a good franchise this way.

Now after these highlights I intended to go though the movie scene by scene to show that is sucks more than some unholy hybrid of roadkill and Dr. Quinn but I’m getting tired thinking of it. If you’re lucky NiceDino might do it (dun dun dun!) In closing I’d like to say:

Maybe you think Transformers sucks but watch the old series and you’ll realize what a load of crap (admittedly very cool crap) it really was. Watch the old Termintor movies and you see that this was good stuff. Making a good Transformers (or Resident Evil/Wolverine) movie is hard and while I’m not happy they fucked it up I can see why. It’s not like they had a step by step manual. Making a good Terminator movie is easy. Just do it like it was done before. You can bitch and complain about a lot of movies. But this one takes the cake because it had absolutely no excuse for being such an utter and complete failure.

Little did we suspect that the Terminator in this picture is the scared victim, being helplessly crushed between Steve and Steve as they piss over Cameron's work.

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5 responses

30 07 2010
Shooter

Don’ The delicately designed Salvation Three Helicopter is a lot tougher than it looks. Shooter

14 08 2010
Terminator Salvation (2009) « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] from the Panda: This is our 50s post and as this landmark we bashed on Terminator Salvation a SECOND time. Yeah, that movie really sucked so […]

25 10 2010
Terminator: Salvation again? The panda holds a grudge « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] have been boring. But anyway the part that interests me is about Terminator: Salvation both me and the Dino wrote about that glob of buffalo-snot before. Here goes: Terminator: Salvation has a […]

21 04 2011
Judgement Day! « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] Also: Terminator Salvation by yours truly the one and only (well soon to be considering our reproduction) Panda. And since I was really angry in that case there was another one just because I couldn’t fit all the hate into the first. Now that I think of it maybe this should be a Terminator fansite. In a way it is. Terminator could only be more awesome with lasers… fuck they have them! .. ok it is bloody perfect. I need to write about Cameron the one guy who knows how to make movies sometime. If I wouldn’t file western and eastern production under completly different genres this might be the one thing that is better than Awakening of the Trailblazer. Now excuse me, I need to get killed by a supercomputer. […]

21 05 2011
Just terminate those plans for now! « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] Terminator 4: Judgement Day has happened! During a short black screen. Best part of the movie. […]

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