Thursday, June 11, 2009

There is no Salvation

I'm not sure why I let myself get caught up in the hoopla for the release of Terminator Salvation. Somehow, during all the promotional activities for it, the trailers, the posters, the leaked Christian Bale rant, I managed to overlook one crucial factor: McG. He's an absolutely atrocious director, with a reverse Midas touch. So why, WHY did I ever fool myself into thinking that his take on Terminator would be any good?

It's not. It's not gouge my eyes out terrible like his Charlie's Angels movies, but it is not terribly good either. It isn't interesting to look at as it's all so flat and dull, nor was it interesting to watch. There were obvious clumsy edits where scenes had been removed wholesale too, and the whole thing did feel truncated, especially at the rushed and fumbled ending. McG doesn't bother to give us anything even approaching character development, presumably thinking that as the two main characters have featured in earlier installments, it wasn't necessary. Wrong-o. Anton Yelchin as a teenage Kyle Reese does a bang up job with the flimsy material he's given though. Christian Bale is very good too, of course. Sam Worthington struggles as Marcus Wright, wrestling with the accent as well as with a character that demands a subtlety and nuance that McG is incapable of extracting out of anybody.

Speaking of Marcus Wright, I have a question. In the film itself, it goes to great lengths to conceal his true identity and much ballyhoo is made around its eventual reveal. So why, then, is the same reveal in the trailer? Who the fuck authorised that? Having not really succeeded in telling the story very well, McG gives up not long after said reveal and the film collapses into a mess of incoherence and head scratching events that he doesn't bother to explain. The appearance of a naked Arnie-bot with Action Man genitalia was just one of those moments. A truly thundering disappointment in what has been, for the most part, a summer of disappointments. Sigh.

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