Last Chance For The Terminator

I honestly can’t say I know that much about Terminator Salvation.  I’ve heard scathing reviews and I’m not particularly a fan of McG, but even still I really haven’t let that influence me that much.  Mind you, I didn’t bother to see the film in theaters, but that was mostly because of a lack of enthusiasm on my part.

Personally, the Terminator series stopped being a relevant franchise with the release of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.  The sequel felt like a distinct drop off in quality as two of the major fixtures from the franchise (James Cameron and Linda Hamilton) opted not to participate.  Still I loved the first two films enough (in particular T2) that I was will to overlook that glaring alarm.  I will admit there are some decent action sequences, but Arnold felt like he was getting old and I found it difficult to embrace Nick Stahl and Claire Danes, in particular the Claire Danes plot line really felt forced to me.

Originally, I thought it was cool that the franchise had been picked up again and someone was willing to invest a lot of money in putting together another big budget film.  The loss of Arnold felt like it could be insurmountable, but I have long been a fan of Christian Bale (dating back to Empire of the Sun) so I was hopeful.  I was even pretty pleased by the trailers that were released.

And yet at this point I still haven’t seen the film.  I am interested in seeing it.  Maybe I have disassociated Terminator Salvation from the rest of the franchise and that is how I’m able to muster interest.  This is a similar strategy to the one I’ve employed with the Matrix sequels, and have had mixed success.  To me, it basically looks like a Transformers movie – something full of mindless action.  Perhaps it would’ve best to see a film like this in a theater full of action junkies, but that is no longer an option.

The release of Terminator Salvation on blu-ray is finally my chance to catch it.  I feel like my predispositions have disappeared and people have generally moved on from talking about the movie.  This is probably the best opportunity to watch the movie with a clean slate before it gets lost amongst all the other films in video stores over time.

I have long believed one’s level of enjoyment depended upon the expectations going in a film.  I have very low expectations at this point, so I’m optimistic I’ll enjoy it.  Even still, the association with Terminator will leave a bad taste in my mouth.  Because the film failed to be a hit at the box office it is hard to see future sequels with Christian Bale being released and maybe that is for the best.  I think the only person who could revitalize the franchise at this point would be James Cameron, and even still it is hard to imagine a film without Arnold.

Even if I’m able to disassociate the film, this is probably the Terminator franchise’s last opportunity to win me back.  If the film is as enjoyable as Terminator 3, then I’m done.  I learned my lesson with Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions – sometimes it just isn’t worth sticking with a franchise until the end.  If it doesn’t entertain me, my interest will be terminated (sorry, but it was too easy).


Spencer was born and raised in New Mexico. He grew up with the many great films of the 1980’s before having his world rocked after seeing The Usual Suspects. He moved to Washington State to go to the University of Washington, and currently any free time he currently has is split between working on film projects and watching films.

Follow him on Twitter or email him.

View all posts by this author