Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Terminator: Salvation

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language
Profanity:Brief strong language
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Constant intense peril and violence, some graphic and disturbing images, child in peril, characters injured and killed
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2009

How can you have a war between humans and machines when the line between them is hard to find?

In the first three Terminator movies, cyborgs from the future were sent back in time to prevent future leader of the resistance John Connor from being born and then from surviving. But in the fourth installment, set in a bleak, apocalyptic landscape of bleached-out rubble and belching fires (but apparently excellent dental care), the time that was foretold has arrived. The Skynet computer network has achieved self-awareness and now sees humans as a threat to its continued existence.

Connor (now played by Christian Bale) is a charismatic rebel who does not work well with the chain of command. He knows that his future will require him to send a man named Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) back in time to protect a young waitress named Sarah Connor, who will become his mother, from the Terminator sent to kill her. He knows that Reese, now a teenager, must not just rescue Sarah; he will fall in love with her and become John’s father. A bit of an ontological paradox, but if we were going to worry about that, we’d never get to the explosions and shoot-outs, so on we go.

The machines’ “awareness” and instinct for independence achieves a kind of humanity as the humans’ ruthlessness and desperation makes them increasingly mechanistic. Life is Hobbsian, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” The people and the machines are more alike than different — they can think of little but self-preservation, and humanity is defined not by how something or someone is created but by the capacity to sacrifice for others.

It does not live up to the first two films, which had astonishing special effects, arresting characters, and some emotional resonance. But it does have some enormously cool machines (what I would like to see is these guys up against the Transformers, now that would be a movie!), and an Australian actor named Sam Worthington, an enormously magnetic performer who will also be featured in the upcoming “Avatar” movie (coincidentally directed by James Cameron, who directed the first two “Terminator” films). Worthington is electrifying. He plays Marcus, a character who raises questions about what it means to be human but provides a definitive answer about what it means to be a star.



  • Leon

    I love me some movie mom. Good thing she didn’t blast it. A movie with machines vs humans.. automatically awesome.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I look forward to your reaction to the movie, Leon! The machines in this movie are magnificent.

  • nathaniel han

    What exactly scary scenes are there?

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Hi, Nathaniel! The movie is filled with scenes of characters in danger as they are attacked by machines and people. What more do you want to know? I like to give people the information they are looking for but do not want to spoil any of the movie’s surprises.

  • Michael

    When you write “brief strong language” I imagine a single scene with a few bad words back-to-back, but what about throughout the movie, how was the pace of the everyday-bad-words? I’m concerned mostly with taking the Lords name in vain and the F-word. Thanks!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    As is typical with PG-13s, this movie has several s-words, b-words, and hells, one f-word, (and another possible one), a few damns and a couple of uses of God as an explicative. In almost every case, PG-13 movies use the f-word once or twice, so if that is your concern, you should stick with PGs and Gs.

  • http://themovingarts.com Eric

    I cannot contain my disdain for this awful, awful film.

  • Adeline

    The Terminator: Salvation reviews are starting to come in, and it looks like Terminator: Salvation is going to be a hit. The reboot film of the Terminator series, starring Christian Bale, is an update on the film series that began in 1984 with the release of the first film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The first film was shot for $6 million, and made over $80 million. Some people will look into a quick cash loan to see the new one. Salvation is a franchise reboot, as both prequel and sequel, and it’s been getting a lot of buzz. It might be worth short term loans to see if the Terminator: Salvation reviews turn out well.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks for the comment, Eric — do you mean in comparison to the earlier ones or just within its own terms? Can you say more about what you did not like? Was there anything you thought worked?

  • Victor Nemo

    First, let me start off by saying if you go in expecting something as good as T2, you’d be making a mistake. However, this movie is definitely better than T3. It’s a decent action flick that i found fun to watch. However, I didn’t like the fact that Christian Bale used his “batman” voice in this movie, I thought the movie could’ve done without that. Another thing is that this movie has a little bit more of a focus on another character rather than John Connor, but fear not, John Connor does have a decent amount of screen time in the movie.

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