As a big fan of the Sarah Connor Chronicles, I’d been wanting to see the Terminator Salvation movie for ages. All set in the future and told from John Connor’s perspective? Ace, I thought.
Sadly the film didn’t quite work for me. We never really get to empathise with any of the main characters (cos they don’t show any range of emotion or really represent the ‘mortal condition’ in any philosophical sense), so it’s all a fairly soulless, big-set-piece movie, although it’s admittedly visually impressive. And there are very few moral dilemmas in the first half of the movie, so it’s not very interesting on either an emotional or intellectual level. In the second half, there’s the dilemma of SkyNet using a ‘human shield’ to protect its facility and the debate about whether the forces of the Human Resistance dare attack if they’re gonna end up killing their own people. But it’s not much of a debate and it’s over in a few seconds. John Connor says ‘no’, the leader of the resistance says ‘yes’, everyone agrees with John and that’s the end of it. Nobody has any lingering qualms about the decision made, cos they’re too busy with the next big-set-piece already.
And even more disappointing for me was that the terminators lacked a bit of menace. There was no real malevolence about them. The cylons in Battlestar Galactica are far more hate-filled in their attitude towards humankind for my money. Things do get a little better when a naked CGI of Arnie turns up near the end – complete with lowering brow, brooding silence and latent homo-erotica – but his appearance is way too brief.
In summary, the tv series (Sarah Connor Chronicles) is far better and describes the glory and frailty of ‘humanity’ far more convincingly. And the tv series doesn’t have Christian Bale’s annoying attempts at a gravelly voice that just ends up sounding like a sore throat. But what’s this I hear? They’ve just cancelled the Sarah Connor Chronicles tv series. The fools. Ah me, it looks like the end of the franchise. Judgement Day is come!