Thursday, May 21, 2009

Starring Michael Ironside (A Terminator Review)

Just got back from two days at the parents house. I took my Mother, who only likes Jane Austin films and "Twilight," to see "Terminator: Salvation." She wanted to see it, I swear!! As you know, the preview for this gave me the night sweats. I was so excited to see it! The first two Terminator films were very, very important to my development as a film nerd. I saw "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" 7 times in the theatre. We will not discuss the third film here. It doesn't exist in the cannon of my mind.

There are many things to love about "Terminator: Salvation," and many things to go "meh" about. First of all the action sequences are INCREDIBLE (Director of Wolverine: Go see this film. This is how you do it.) McG, who I do not hate despite "Charlies Angels" (I admit both films are a guilty pleasure) knows how to blow shit up. And when he blows shit up it has meaning; it's not just noise like Michael Bay (more on the fucking Transformers trailer later.) The pace is relentless. The special effects are top notch. Every penny is obviously up there on the screen. Good job McG.

Second, there are a lot of nods and shout outs to the previous films, which is great for fans. I loved every one. Yes, "I'll be back" is thrown in there.

The best thing about "Terminator: Salvation" is the man on the right. Sam Worthington, who plays Marcus Wright, is the real star of this movie. Bale is great, but his role is relatively small. Marcus Wright is the emotional center of this film. When I read that Bale initially was considering playing the Wright role it made sense. Bale would have been good but Worthington is a revelation. Sam Worthington is going to be a big, big star. Not only is he in Cameron's "Avatar," but he is also in the remake of "Clash of the Titans." Where did this guy come from and where has he been hiding? (Plus: he is really, really cute. Not that his cuteness plays any part in my assessment of his abilities.)

And why did no one tell me Michael Ironside is in this flick? I LOVE this Actor. When I saw his name come up in the credits I knew that the movie would not be total shit. Ironside gets blown up. That is not a spoiler since he dies horribly in every film.

OK, the "meh" part. The characters, with the exception of Marcus Wright, are not well developed, including Connor. Where McG is great at action, he needs a little work on the emotional elements. Every big "emotional" scene falls flat, including the meeting between Connor and his Father. McG lacks the "gravitas" of James Cameron. Yes, I think Cameron usually goes over the top with this, but some is better than none.

A final thought: Quite a bit of the action takes place in the "future" San Francisco. Skynet operates from there. I found it fascinating that Starfleet also operates from there. One city, two very different futures. Now, I must go to bed before I don my Princess Leia outfit and play " World of WarCraft" or some shit like that. I swear to god I can nerd out so damn fast...


Dwido said...

Who can forget Ironside getting ripped in half in Starship Troopers then shot my his fellow
Marine before becoming Bug food!
Way cool.

Jen said...

My favorite Ironside death is in "Scanners" where his head blows up. Can't beat it! Talk about head trama.