Posted on 16 April 2009.
The Terminator, which was first released in 1984, established the notion of man trying to stop machines from taking over the world. When the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day (often considered the best movie of the series) was released in 1991, it launched the franchise into the popular incarnation of what it is now. Since then, another Terminator film has appeared (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2003), a television series (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), video games and comic books. It also placed Arnold Schwarzenegger in his iconic role. Along with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek, the upcoming sequel, Terminator Salvation, the fourth of the series, will be one of the most anticipated films of 2009.
"Walk in my line of vision again! I dare you!"
Christian Bale (freshly removed from his classic rant on the Terminator set) will take over the reigns from Arnold as the leading man. He plays John Connor, the leader of the human rebellion against the machines. Unlike the first three films where most of stories involved time travel to the present day, this one focuses solely on the war in the future, 2018 to be exact. Bale, who no doubt was last year’s biggest star with The Dark Knight, will be the fifth actor to portray Connor. The others being Edward Furlong (young) and Michael Edwards (old) from T2, Nick Stahl from T3 and Thomas Dekker from the TV show. The story takes place after T3, where man is struggling in a bloody war to stop machines from destroying mankind. The machines, led by an artificial intelligence computer network named Skynet, first tried to alter the future by killing John’s mother, Sarah (Linda Hamilton, who will narrate some of this movie). They then made the attempt to kill John and failed. The machines, however, succeed by taking over the world’s computers and launched nuclear missiles to eradicate man. By 2018, the world is a desolate wasteland of war, death and destruction. Skynet uses “endoskeleton” large metallic robots shaped in the mold of the human skeletal system, to eradicate the last of the human resistance. John, who’s not yet the great leader, is struggling to find his place with the resistance. He has alienated some of his contemporaries by having a wide familiarity of Skynet. He informs people that Skynet is taking human prisoners and replicating them with flesh-covered endoskeletons. When the resistance meets fellow soldier Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), they are shocked to find out he has memories of being human, but is actually a machine. When John is confused whether Wright is from the past of future, he uses his help to fight Skynet and hopefully take it offline for good.
Mastering the art of walking on hot coals is much easier with boots on.
The film also stars Bryce Dallas Howard as John’s wife, Kate Connor, Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese (who’s character, played by Michael Biehn, went back in time in the first film to father John), rapper Common as Barnes, Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams and Helena Bonham Carter as Serena Korgen. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger does make an appearance as well, but only provides his voice while his features will be digitized onto actor Roland Kickinger. A lot of this movie will also hinge on its director, McG. He has done some very different work with the Charlie’s Angels movies and We Are Marshall, so hopefully he succeeds in changing his style. Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato wrote the screenplay and they have collaborated on garbage like Catwoman and Primeval. Hopefully they’re writing skills (or lack thereof) won’t transfer to this film, but I am hopeful since they also wrote T3 and The Game (for David Fincher), and both of those ended up positive.
I will definitely see this one and I’m sure everyone else will too. This movie will be huge and it may break some kind of box office record. However, I wouldn’t imagine it’s about to challenge Bale’s other franchise.
Terminator Salvation opens May 21st.