Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A couple thoughts about Terminator Salvation

Of the many sights there are to see in our grand capital, tonight I chose the Regal Cinemas on E street. More specifically, I went to see Terminator Salvation, which I've been really wanting to see, but Jenny is less interested in (and because this is my 5th trip to DC - which I love - and I've done most of the touristy stuff at least once before).

Anyway, I went into this movie with a little trepidation. I'd seen the previews, which excited me greatly, but then I read reviews like those at GeekTyrant (here and here) and Rotten Tomatoes, and as I generally respect those opinions (especially GeekTyrant), I was a little wary.

But I went and saw it, and I have to say, I loved it. My chief worry - in spite of the complaints of the reviewers above - was that it would be too divorced from the previous films (full disclosure: when I say "previous films" I mean Terminator and Terminator 2, which are great movies; I've never seen Terminator 3). But the continuity worked well for me. There were several subtle references to elements of the previous movies that tied the whole thing together nicely, I thought. This is especially impressive in light of the subtle genre shift between the first two movies and this one: Terminator and, to a lesser extent, Terminator 2 are at horror movies at heart (though with strong action-movie overtones). This one is a straightforward action movie. That this movie has such a similar feel (to me, anyway) to the first two in spite of that is pretty impressive.

Also, though the folks at GeekTyrant criticized both the script and the acting, I thought both were fine. Christian Bale is one of the best actors around, in my opinion, and he did a fine job as John Connor. Moon Bloodgood (of the late and much-lamented Journeyman) played her part well, as did the woman who played Connor's wife, Kate. The actor who played Marcus did well, apart from his occasional shifts in accent. On one point, though, I quite agree with the first GeekTyrant review: Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese was phenomenal. I was a little worried that I'd have trouble forgetting Ensign Chekov (whom he plays in Star Trek), but quite the opposite. He played the part extremely well, and made it easy to think of him as a young Michael Biehn (who plays Reese in the original Terminator).

So to sum up (because it's late and I'm sleepy and still need to pack), this was an excellent movie. If you liked the first two movies at all, you ought to like this one.

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