There are a few brands in the movie industry, which you just can’t miss. Whenever a sequel comes out, whether you liked the previous or not, whether you are a fan or not – it all doesn’t matter, you just have to go and see it. “Terminator” is one of these brands. The first two films were so good, that even now, decades later, I still have vivid memories of some parts of those movies. I still sometimes wake up in cold sweat when I see a huge tank turning around on a hill of human skulls. I still ask myself a question “How do you kill a smart machine, which is made of liquid metal and can blend into any form or shape?”, and I am so glad I know the answer.
And even though I didn’t like the third film of the series, and didn’t expect much of the fourth, knowing that Arnold Schwarzenegger prefers to be a politician these days rather than his usually self, I still had to go and see “Terminator Salvation” in the cinema.
How good was it? A bit. Nothing special. It had the humans and machines, it had the time travel, it had some war, it had plenty of special effects. But it lacked two most important things which Terminator is all about, at least for me – Arnold Schwarzenegger and the huge scale. Call it ambition if you will.
The movie makers at least agreed with me on the Arny. I guess they tried to get him in, and they couldn’t, and they couldn’t make a Terminator movie without one, so they ended up rendering an artificial Anry on a computer. He didn’t come bad or anything, but it’s just not the same.
Regarding the scale, the ambition ,the “WOW! Effect”, they totally blew it. There was no scale to this movie. Nothing that we haven’t seen before, nothing surprising, nothing mind or eye blowing. Same old, same old.
While, McG knows how to make good action movies, and both parts of the “Charlie’s Angels” are here to prove that, I think it’s him to lacks the scale. Scale is something only a few directors have a feeling for. Steven Spielberg is one (and he knows war too). Peter Jackson is another (although I don’t know how good he is with machines). Michael Bay is yet another one (although he is already doing a good job with another robot-related series). McG? I’m not so sure.
And I’m pretty sure it was the director’s lack of magnitude. Because the only other possible reason for not having scale in the movie is budget. And I don’t think budget deficit applies to the Terminator movies. As I said, this is one of those well recognized brands, so there shouldn’t be any problem finding the money or bringing the profits home. I might be wrong, of course, but that is my opinion.
So. The summary. If you haven’t seen it, go and see. It’s worth it. If you are deciding between seeing it in the movies and getting the DVD, go see it on the big screen. It’s just better. But don’t expect much of it either way. And maybe then, when you don’t expect much of it, you’ll enjoy it more. My rating – 3 stars. Not bad, but average.