Rambling about Terminator Salvation

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Let’s just get this out of the way. I loved Terminator Salvation. Yes, my “taste” can be questionable at times. I did in fact enjoy Terminator 3 for what it was, but seriously I don’t know how anyone who likes the Terminator franchise could not like Salvation. Why? Salvation was essentially the film that I dreamed of seeing when I was a kid. I finally got to get past all the traveling to our present day and right into the post apocalyptic future.

Is it better than T2? No. Could it have been? Nope. First of all, you can never make a film as good as T2 without James Cameron, but more importantly you’ll never be able to compete with your memories of how great that film was back in the early 90s. It also can’t be as original of an experience after three movies and a television series. Salvation might not have been as emotionally touching as some may have wanted, but it had everything I wanted in a Terminator film and almost nothing that I didn’t.

As much as I loved the film I did have three problems that bothered the hell out of the inner nerd in me. Warning! Spoilers ahead…

1. Nuclear War: Maybe I missed something, but the whole thing about Skynet winning round one is that it used our nuclear bombs against us. If that’s the case Kyle Reese and his little friend should have no hair and their teeth should be falling out. There’s such a thing as radiation and fallout that would take out almost all survivors of a nuclear war and it just doesn’t go away in a day or two.

2. Cars That Can be Fixed: You couldn’t fix damage from an EMP blast by fiddling under the hood of a car that had been near ground zero. Sorry, but that’s highly unlikely.

3. The Heart Thing: So the survivors of the robo-apocalypse have the knowledge and the skill do to do open heart surgery in a field hospital? That’s hard to swallow. Then it becomes absolutely unbelievable when you consider that the robo-dude and John Conner would have to be the same blood type and even then John’s body wouldn’t reject the heart. Instead, I’ll just reject the ending and pretend that part doesn’t happen.

  • “…but more importantly you’ll never be able to compete with your memories of how great that film was back in the early 90s.”

    This is so, so true. I haven’t seen Salvation or the Chronicles show, and I barely remember the uninspired (but decent) T3, but I was just telling my wife the other day that even though I’ve seen dozens of movies since 1991 that are much better than T2, but I don’t think any of those superior movies have gotten me as excited as T2 did in 1991.

    My friend and I would watch the “You Could Be Mine” video religiously; we loved the song to death, and the video’s clips from the movie were overwhelming in the weeks leading up to the film’s release.

    I still remember another friend reporting that he knew someone who’d seen it, and that “He can shape-shift ’cause he’s made of LIQUID METAL,” which we unanimously agreed was the coolest thing ever.

  • Chad B

    I also have to agree with your take on why nothing will surpass T2. It all comes down to nostalgia, which for anyone visiting here is likely something that runs strong :)

  • I thought it was great, but I have questionable tastes in movies too. I even liked the Phantom Menace. My biggest problems with the movie were:

    1. I thought the score wasn’t that good. It was cool when they had some music form T2, but overall it was pretty weak.
    2. They fly helicopters in at the end and there is barely any resistance form the terminators.
    3. The stupid heart thing at the end.

    Overall I thought it was great and it will suck if we don’t get more movies, which considering the box office of this one, I don’t know that we will.

  • XeQUae, you’re not alone; I have become a big Phantom Menace fan.

  • Vincent

    Monte, you only like Phantom Menace because no one else will. heh

  • I am something of a geek without a country; my favorite G.I. Joe line is Sigma 6, I prefer Metallica’s new stuff to their old stuff…

    I’m so alone!

  • MrA

    I can live with a few of the issues, and I for one appreciated some of the origins of phrases and advice, however the execution could have been better. One thing did bug me, that Reese noted moving around during the day is better, when the original film had him explaining that moving at night was better.
    Note, that I don’t outright hate the movie, but find it hard to love.