Terminator Salvation…The Apology

Since 1991 I have been a very loyal fan of the Terminator franchise. I think ultimately what did it for me was Edward Furlong’s defiant nature towards his mother and Gun’s N’ Roses blaring “You Could be Mine” from Use Your Illusion II. I really related and idolized the attitude and freedom that his character portrayed. Following that, super sci-fi story lines and production art made the perfect film for an 11 year old boy to look up to.

In the years following, I was silently obsessed with biker culture, time travel, liquid mercury, special effects, and paradoxes. As a pre-pubescent male, I really adopted this to reflect my personal views on society and culture; or at least as much as an 11 year old can.

12 years later when I heard that Warner Brothers had bought the rights to Orion and Carolco Pictures ownership of the film, I was pretty excited to see what was going to happen; especially  after hearing rumors of a female T-X! I went to the theater and was happy with the output…or at least I had thought. After 4 years of digestion I realized Warner Brothers had duped me into believing what I saw was honest quality and content. It turned out that Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t do a good job and the film was just a commercial for Indian Motorcycles and Victoria’s Secret! How blind am I folks?! This realization was brought to light when I saw the first ‘leaked’ image of our newest hero Christian Bale capping a T-101 in the dome with an automatic assault weapon.

This movie really brought back the darkness of the original Terminator but with all of the explanations that the 3rd 2.5th movie left out.  I totally disagree with all the haters on the scar explanation. In one scene which is near the end of the movie the T-800/850 prototype burns Connor’s face.

Remember this scar?

Now, I know that this is a very small detail, but when compared to a half naked Ahnold in T3 slowly jiggling towards Nick Stahl as he has been reprogrammed by the Terminatrix to kill John, I think this is a huge difference in content quality and context.

***SPOILER ALERT***Don’t read the next paragraph if you don’t want to know the end of the movie.

Also there is the matter of Arnold’s role in the new movie. KUDOS to the 3D team for pulling this one off. This was CLASSIC Arnold from back in 1984. Cold, machine, unemotional, Deathy McKillingsworth. In T3 the T-800 explains to John that his model version will be the one to kill John. What Skynet didn’t count on was the human side of Marcus to give up his heart to save John’s life. I found it as poetic as it could be on a movie set in what should be the set for a Fallout 3 movie set could be.

Overall, I think the movie gets an 8.4 out of 10. Bale’s role in the movie was actually pretty limited which surprised me a bit. The production design was phenomenal except for the T-600’s wearing Rambo style bandannas…Come on guys…really? The sound design was INCREDIBLE! Best Foley art since The Matrix. Seriously. I think the choice of nodding back to T1 and T2 through the use of audio such as Connor’s use of You Could be Mine to evoke drone cycles was a stroke of genius. It really hit home and I am not ashamed to say it made me tear up a little as my inner Furlong gave my mom the finger and rode off on a Honda XR100 into some California canal.

Thank you Hollywood. You really made amends with me on this one…next one you owe me is Demolition Man.

Later Taters…

~G