International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Review:
Director McG - stgarring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington and
was uncertain of how this film would play out before I went to see
it. I am a fan of the original and learning that this one was to
be directed by Charlies Angels: Full Throttles
McG as well as a star turn from Helena Bonham Carter (What? Merchant
Ivory meets The Terminator) I had my misgivings.
A few years ago
I felt the series had run its course and had nowhere to go. I went to
this one hoping that the film lived up to its trailer and my misgivings
for starters it has eschewed the time travelling of its predecessors,
focussing on the not too distant future (2018). The war between
humankind and the machines is in its full throes after Judgement
Day and John Connor (Christian Bale) is a rising leader of
the resistance, not quite The leader yet. He is assisted
in his struggle by his wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard), and his
lieutenants including Barnes (Common) and the feisty and independent
Blair (played with passion by Moon Bloodgood).
The plot sees Connor
trying to track down his father Kyle Reese (played here by Star
Treks new Chekov: Anton Yelchin), the man who is destined
to be sent back in time to protect Connors mother. Also pursuing
Reese are the machines. The race is on and it is not just Connors
future that is at stake but humankinds future as well.
Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright deserves praise for his sensitive portrayal
of a man who wakes up in an apocalyptic future to discover he is not
who he seems to be in true Frankensteins Monster style.
His story and character arc is of as much importance and interest as
As you can probably guess, there is not much humour present in this
one. There are no dry one-liners delivered by Arnold Schwarzenegger,
as he is busy being the Governor of California. His image is used in
a scene involving a T800 however. The film is not worse off for its
lack of wit as it would have looked out of place amongst the chaos and
the carnage and the world being portrayed.
The film brings to mind George Millers Mad Max in
style and look as Skynet machines like Harvesters and Moto-Terminators
tear up the landscape looking to either destroy or enslave humans on
the run in the desert. Visually the film is a triumph, you are totally
immersed in this dystopian desert world and the pace leaves you no time
There are also nods to Blade Runner for style as well as
to the previous entries in the series. Luckily it avoids being overly
reverential and appears fresh and original as a consequence.
Bale may be a tad monosyllabic at times but the other characters that
become entwined with the main story manage to lift everything. I found
myself just as intrigued by Reeses and Wrights journeys
as much as Connors. That is my only minor quibble in a film that
is packed with incident, action and suspense. It otherwise deftly avoids
making any wrong steps, vividly bringing to life a bleak future where
people are being hunted to extinction by relentless machines and our
only hope lies with the belligerent and unbowed resistance.
This will appeal to fans of the original and deserves to win over a
new audience. The Terminator is back!
(For an Alt viewpoint: The hero was the baddy, a bland performance from
Sam Worthington, Christian Bale was intense but nothing was explained,
very little made sense and the audience were restless and often bored.
Moon Bloodgood is worth watching but given all she has gone through
she falls for a machine? No one ever discusses what drives the machines
or why they continue to exist themselves. A film to avoid. But doesn't
look as bad as Transformers 2 however Ed.).
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