Terminator Salvation (2009)
PG Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
- Christian Bale, Sam Worthington
The atmosphere that James Cameron and Stan Winston had created for the first 2 films in the franchise is what really hit me and still does to this day. I think that was the key component along with consistency and approach that gave the Terminator film it's unique style and attractiveness. It's metallic-blue overlay, infused with creepy whines of music and heart pounding edge of your seat suspense was what really created this secondary reality if not for only an hour long. It made us have a connection to these characters. A sense of believability in what was really going on. But it was those elements that were able to harness the inner workings of this dark dreamland. In essence the first two Terminators were projected nightmares in a sense, as if you were running and running, but no how fast you ran, the shadowy figure on your toes just keeps closing in. THAT is what made those films so captivating.
Now these elements in one way or another were tried in this newest installment of the franchise. I see it as I've heard before as a "hit and miss" movie in which it got some key features to play out in the film, but lacked that essential tone T1 and T2 romantically portrayed.
I have talked in lengths with individuals on why this film didn't quite hit all of it's projected(we hope) targets and I haven't really heard a clear and analyzed answer. Some say it was the amount of sub-plots that were involved, the lack of plot, the empty character development, the slight cheesy factor, and or the overall weak story and unnecessary additions to the Terminator franchise. Although these all valid arguments to say the least and I would agree on them full heartily, I don't see it as the culprit of the problem here of why this film did not life up to it's expectations.
I think, like I said above in the first paragraph, that it was the direction the film was taken in perspective to it's overall tone and mood. God bless his soul, Stan Winston. For if he were alive I think we would have seen a more polished version of what we have now witnessed. I also think it was a bad part on McG for giving the O.K on the revised Terminator theme by veteran composer Danny Elfman. I don't know why in the hell the screened audiences gave the thumbs up on that one. Another issue of course is that most of the scenes were in broad day-light. I understand that McG wanted to get a different take on the war, but I don't think this was pulled off in any respects to what James Cameron had in mind for the war.(Shouldn't the sky be filled with pollution and dark particle manner from the nuclear explosions creating an ever-dark wasteland?) This was CRUCIAL and they blew it. I don't see why they didn't go with more night scenes. It is one of the strongest representative thematic elements portrayed in the Terminator 1 & 2.(I am not even going to mention T3 because of the ridiculous amount of mistakes made)
The Rating: A main point that needs to be addressed for sure is the film's PG-13 rating. Of course they did this to appeal to a larger demographic of movie-goers, but they did it in expense of the true grit and bones that T1 and T2 had. I don't see why a Terminator film should be even considered for a PG-13 rating. Anything lower than an "R" rating does not do the title justice. The series is called Terminator for a reason...They are killing machines. THAT'S IT. I think that this is one of the biggest insults to the die-hard community of Terminator fans everywhere.
There is no room for Mediocrity in trying to follow up after T2: Judgment Day. Lets hope and pray that us as an online community hold the next bunch of crazies accountable for their creative actions for the next installment of the franchise.