why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

terminator salvation
Click for full sized poster

Terminator Salvation

Starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Moon Bloodgood, Jadagrace Berry, Helena Bonham Carter
Screenplay by John Brancato & Michael Ferris
Based on characters created by James Cameron
Directed by McG
website:  http://terminatorsalvation.com/

IN SHORT: Finally, the Terminator saga "begins." Our audience applauded. [Rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language. minutes]

Your only warning: If you are of the mind that you do not want the mystery of how the Terminators and Skynet came to be and rule the world, you do not want to see Terminator Salvation. In our sneak preview audience, that was about two persons out of several hundred. Everyone else in our audience applauded. While Terminator Salvation leaves an open ending, just in case someone comes up with something new for a fifth film, this one pretty much caps the series. It also has enough surprises in it that fans of the first trilogy will get thrills enough to make 'em giggle.

Honestly, after three big budget films and a small screen television series detailing much of the Terminator story, we weren't sure if there was enough material left untouched to deliver a worthwhile viewing experience. Of course, we've been reading X-Men for thirty plus years so we should know better about the viability of action stories. Pour enough ingredients into the mix and stir carefully and buy lots of popcorn. Terminator Salvation is worth it.

We begin with the execution of multiple killer Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). As penance for his crimes, Wright signs his body over to techno-scientist Dr. Serena Kogen (Helena Bonham Carter) of the Cyberdyne Corporation, herself dying of cancer. Neither will know, at that point in time, that armageddon is about to hit and nuclear fire will essentially turn the earth to toast. Thus begins day one in the saga that is the Terminator franchise of movies. There's a lot of history that could get in the way of any novice walking in to see this film cold and it has always been our Prime Rule that you shouldn't have to know anything to enjoy the film. Terminator Salvation  satisfactorily meets that criteria with a wee bit of text that essentially summarizes what's "happened" to begin the film. Post execution of  poor mister Wright, we are post Judgement Day, as what is left of humanity battles the increasingly powerful Skynet and its force of various Terminator machines.

Wandering about in the middle of it all is the aforementioned Marcus Wright, once again alive. He doesn't remember his death. He's not really sure of what is going on in the world, save that there seem to machines everywhere trying to kill him and every other human walking the planet. Enter a teenager named Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) who saves Marcus from a Terminator attack. Reese will be revealed to be t he son of Resistance fighter John Connor (Christian Bale) and his wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard). Reese has no idea of any of that -- Terminator is a time spanning saga, after all -- nor does he know the ultimate reason of why he must never fall into the hands of the machines. His death would, of course, effectively destroy time and space and all theinvestment you've made watching The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines <g>.

While the story of Connor's life runs parallel to that of Reese, the latter has the more interesting tale. It is Reese that saves Marcus from Terminator attack. It is Reese who serves as father figure to the 9 year old kidlet sidekick, a traumatized mute girl called Star (Jadagrace Berry). It is the capture of Reese and Star that drives the storylines of both adult characters together and as they clash, in what will be humanity's final battle with Skynet, the pair have to learn to trust each other to save the history that is to come.

Well, of course they don't.

Chronologically in the middle of that last paragraph comes the introduction of fighter pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood), saved by Marcus after a Terminator "Harvester" machine grabs the previously mentioned kidlets. The rescue of the kids, and other humans being held by Skynet, brings the two stories together and reveals how Connor came to head the Resistance. If you don't know, or remember the details of, any of the original trilogy, the danger faced by Reese and Star and, ultimately, Marcus Wright feels real. Those that do know the details will be thrilled to see all kinds of new Terminator machines, as well as the metallic monsters of old. And lots of things blow up in a screenplay that as much honors the earlier Terminator films as it fills in the holes.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Terminator Salvation, he would have paid . . .


We'll repeat ourself. It's a great popcorn movie. For those who want the pix on their desktops, take your pick of three dozen or so Terminator Salvation wallpapers.

amazon com link Click to buy films by McG
Click to buy films starring Christian Bale
Click to buy films starring Anton Yelchin
Click to buy films starring Bryce Dallas Howard
Click to buy films starring Sam Worthington

buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.