This is the fourth movie in a long-running series. With few exceptions, that is usually when a series falls apart (think Jaws 4, Superman 4, Batman & Robin). 'Salvation' works mainly because of a good cast and solid pacing, with some nice effects thrown in. As a summer action movie, it does its job to entertain. But it's still a far cry from "Judgment Day" and even a bit short from the original. It pairs up about evenly with 'Rise of the Machines," however.
The film had some great acting, and some awe-inspiring cinematography. And yes, I loved all the action scenes. However, there was no real substance to the plot; instead, we get typical Hollywood quasi-intelligent cliched conversations that try to sound deep and meaningful. Needless to say, it ends up being cheesy. Another problem I had with the movie was it's PG-13 rating. Hollywood insists on making money; to their credit, they do it well. But to take an R-rated franchise and dull it down to a PG-13 is just obnoxious. They did the same thing to the Die Hard movies (Live Free or Die Hard's unrated version was SO much better than the theatrical one). It's not that I love blood and f-bombs, it's that it makes the movie feel more like it's predecessors.
Bottom line: while obviously not being anywhere near as good as the first two due to some script flaws and it's weak rating, Terminator Salvation still managed to entertain with it's loud and exciting action. Plus, it was better than the Rise of the Machines.
300 Stars for 300
Reviewed by CaptMarc for 300 at 2009-11-21 10:49:18
The movie 300 is all about a few men (300) facing thousands (the enemy) against overwhelming odds. Courage, duty, honor, and loyalty to the nth degree mixed with some great special effects, good screen play, and a plot based on history equals a movie to own. I liked the sepia/color artistic flair that the movie was filmed in too. There's an ogre battle scene that will chill you to the bone. It will have you returning to your scene selection screen time and time again.
Disappointing to say the least. The movie is a one note bore until late the film. The dialogue is atrocious. Slipping in the "I'll be back" line was as forced a line as I've ever seen. In fact, it drew an audible groan from the crowd I saw it with. Leaps in logic and rather mundane action drop this film to the bottom of the barrel in terms of summer blockbuster material. I honestly can't think of one thing the director did right. Shooting this one note crapfest through panty-hose to give it a grainy feel may have seemed like an artistic touch but all it did was add to the unsavory feel and genuine disappointment this movie will generate.
Salvation is pretty good as a post-apocalyptic war movie with spectacular visual effects, but as a Terminator movie, it has a completely different vibe from the other three. I went in expecting something less than T1 and T2, and thus was not really disappointed. Salvation is probably almost as good as T3 (which I happen to like), but it almost feels like it's in a completely different genre. You have men fighting against all manner of machines, and the Terminators themselves are almost incidental, at least until the finale. Anton Yelchin is great as a young Kyle Reese and, as Marcus Wright, Sam Worthington completely steals the movie away from Christian Bale. I would likely watch it again, but this is definitely a different kind of Terminator movie.
I disagree. I think that Snyder is in a no-win situation here. As mentioned, to make a film replicating the entire Watchmen series would be 4 hours ? at least. The alternative was to ?interpret? the series and make it more watchable for people who have never read the book. Of course, had he done this, fans would be enraged that he had prostituted Alan Moore?s masterpiece just to make it ?Hollywood?. Instead, he stuck as closely to the story as he could, crammed as much as possible in under 3 hours and produced what I?m sure most fans would agree, is a pretty great homage to one of the best graphic novels written. Seeing almost exact images from the book translated to the big screen was a thrill and I thought they did a great job. I thought the cast portrayed the ?feel? of the book very well. While the sex scene may have been a bit overdone I thought the overall relationship was just as believable in the movie as it was in the book. Haley played Rorchach to perfection and Patrick Wilson made a good Dan Dreiberg.
Having said that, I?m curious to see how people who have never read the book will take this movie. Personally, I think that without the benefit of reading the book and having the entire back story, the movie wouldn?t be nearly as enjoyable. I don?t think this works well as just a standalone movie the way other comic book movies do ? you don?t need to read a Batman comic to enjoy ?The Dark Knight?.
As a big fan of the book and of Alan Moore?s work I thought this was a great movie and I can?t wait to see the longer director?s cut.