Terminator Didn’t Offer Me “Salvation” from Boredom

Posted by John Martone on May 23, 2009 in Cinema |

terminator salvation

While I’d be hesitant to say the movie was enjoyable, I’d be hard pressed to point out what I liked about it. As you may or may not know, Terminator Salvation is both a prequel and sequel. Terminator 1-3 took place in a present day world haunted by apocalyptic figures from a future we dutifully marched toward. Terminator Salvation is the first movie to take place after our “Judgment Day,” but hides safely snuggled between the piles of mythology yet to be turned into a movie. (Spoilers from this point forward)

In Terminator: John Conner, for reasons we haven’t before still haven’t seen, is considered humanity’s number one hope against the machines. To prevent his mother from dying in the past (thus preventing his birth) he sends back Kyle Reese, who ends up impregnating Sarah Conner with John. Since Salvation takes place before the events in Terminator, Conner basically spends all movie attempting to meets and protects the young “future” Kyle Reese, who has yet to go do the nasty in the past-y with his mother. No great victories, no great losses. The entire plot is our protagonist trying to protect the present, which protects Reese’s future, which protects Conner’s past, which protects everyone’s present…

terminator salvation

Since you know neither Reese nor Conner can die, and that the evil empire of robots will last at least another twenty years, there is nothing at stake. Hitler shoots himself in a bunker, Jesus comes back on the third day, and Reese lives long enough to go back in time and ensure these events begin. These events are infallible, and become the foundation of our understanding. Salvation artfully connects itself within the Terminator mythology, but that is all. Nothing is added, nothing is gained. Every single person who was not Reese, Conner, or Conner’s wife is an obvious Red Shirt, and the movie was a two hour long away mission. Twice, twice in the movie Bruce Wayne John Conner gets into a death defying scrape, and is the sole survivor. I’d be surprised, but could Captain Kirk really die on an away mission?

So there you have it. Two hours of gritty blacks, browns, and gun metal grey. Sure, it has plenty of things exploding, but let’s hope the next movie tells us a story we’d actually like to hear.

John Martone is Texas based writer bent on creating odd plays. When not doing that he disassembles plot lines for the enjoyment of the internet.


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