Terminator Salvation (2009) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Release Date: May 21, 2009
Directed by: McG
Music by: Danny Elfman, Brad Fiedel
Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Moon Bloodgood, Common, Helena Bonham Carter, Roland Kickinger, Jadagrace Berry, Michael Ironside, Terry Crews, Linda Hamilton

In 2003, a young man was on death sentence for the the murder of two policeman and his brother. Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) from Cyberdyne Systems tries to convince him and in return to give him a second chance in life for the purpose of donating his organs for her medical research. A so-called medical research known as Project Angel. Before the agreement, the man we then know Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) asked for a kiss from Dr. Kogan before signing the contract. Soon, we see him being tied to a seat and prayers were mentioned and he has no last words before the lethal injection enters his body.

John Connor and his men assaulted and invaded Skynet VLA

One year later, the day when Judgment Day finally arrives. Back to the year 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) leads a group of Resistance against the machines on one of Skynet’s base.

John Connor (Christian Bale) shoots a T-600

Connor dives down to an open underground tunnel with a group of men and finds a whole lot of human prisoners-looking-like-zombies and information of Skynet’s pre-development for a new-type of Terminator incorporating with living tissue (T-800 version) which is different from what he has seen before. When Connor climbs back to the top, he finds his men and the pilots dead as if being ambushed by machines; he became the only survivor after a nuclear explosion and battling a half-piece Terminator (T-600). He then walks away from the scene.

John Connor (Christian Bale) leading his men inside a water compound area

The same place of wreckage from where Connor took off, but this time the area is dark and raining; comes a naked man covered in mud. With those eyes, we knew it was Marcus, he picked up one of the Resistance clothes and travelled on foot to nowhere.

Marcus in nude and mud

John Connor was onboard of the helicopter and shouting to his pilot to make a detour as he wants to head to the command center instead. An arguement with the pilot makes him wins the conversation and dives into the sea. The scene shows Connor sitting down facing and having a talk with his superior General Ashdown (Michael Ironside) about his discovery inside the nuclear submarine.

Connor faces General Ashdown (Michael Ironside)

The Resistance has discovered a radio frequency capable of shutting down Skynet machines. They plan to launch an offensive against the Skynet base in San Francisco in four days, in response to an intercepted “kill list” indicating that Skynet plans to kill the Resistance’s command staff in four days’ time. John learns that his own name is second on the list, following Kyle Reese. The Resistance leaders are unaware of Kyle’s importance to Skynet, but John knows that it is because Kyle will later become his father (see The Terminator). John meets with his officer Barnes (Common) and wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard) and sends radio broadcasts to Resistance members and surviving civilians around the world.

Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) on top of a roof

In the ruins of Los Angeles, Marcus is saved from a T-600 Terminator by Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and his mute companion Star (Jadagrace Berry).

It was after the scene when Hunter Killer (HK) arrives and leaves and knowing that there were humans around that Marcus questioned about the machines that kills.

When Marcus was gunpointed by Reese, he said to him “If you point your gun, ready to pull the trigger”.

Reese then relates to Marcus the events of Judgment Day and the ensuing war between humans and machines.

Marcus Wright: What day? What year?
Kyle Reese: 2018
Marcus Wright: What happened here?
Kyle Reese: Judgment Day happened.

Marcus then followed Reese and Star to the so-called command center of Los Angeles. Marcus helps to repair a broken radio when Reese claims that he can’t seem to repair them.

The Harvester releases the Moto-Terminator to kill Reese, Star and Marcus Wright

Upon hearing John’s radio broadcast, the three leave Los Angeles in search of the Resistance. Marcus fixed a jeep to start rolling and had an arguement with Reese for his irresponsible and selfish behavior of abandoning them and not knowing a machine was spying on them. They survive attacks by Moto-Terminator and Harvester.

The Harvester and Transport

Unfortunate Reese, Star, and several other humans are taken prisoner, while a pair of Resistance A-10s are shot down. Marcus locates downed pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) and they make their way to John’s base, but Marcus is wounded by a land mine.

In an attempt to save his life, the Resistance fighters discover that he is in fact a cyborg with human organs, a mechanical endoskeleton, circuitry, and a partially artificial cerebral cortex. Marcus believes himself to be human, demanding to be released so that he can save Reese from Skynet Work Camp by infiltrating into Skynet Central in San Francisco, but Connor orders his men that Marcus would be dismantled.

Connor confrontation with Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) who believes he's human

John Connor (To Marcus): You and me. We’ve been at war since before either of us even existed. You tried killing my mother. You killed my father. You will not kill me.

Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) releases Marcus Wright

Blair releases him and helps him to escape from the base. During the resulting pursuit Marcus saves John’s life from Skynet hydrobots, and the two form an alliance—Marcus will enter Skynet’s headquarters and attempt to disable its defenses so that Connor can rescue Reese.

Connor being attacked by a Hydrobot while in his pursuit to track Marcus

Connor demands that Ashdown delay the attack so that he can rescue Reese and the other prisoners, but Ashdown refuses and relieves John of his command. However, Connor’s soldiers remain loyal to him and he sends a radio broadcast asking the other Resistance fighters not to attack Skynet.

Connor urged the Resistance around the world to stand-by his command so as he can infiltrate the Skynet Central to rescue the prisoners

Meanwhile, Marcus enters the Skynet base and interfaces with the computer, disabling the perimeter defenses and allowing Connor to infiltrate the cell block and release the human prisoners. The Resistance’s disabling signal is revealed to be a ruse, and the command submarine with the resistance leaders aboard is destroyed by a Hunter-Killer.

Marcus Wright refuses to take order from Skynet after destroying the chip implanted behind his skull and destroys Skynet's mainframe and to help John Connor from the prototype T-800

Marcus discovers that he was created by Skynet and has unwittingly fulfilled his programmed mission to lure John into the base to be killed. He tears out the hardware linking him to Skynet and leaves to assist John in battling a T-800 Model 101 Terminator (Roland Kickinger with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s CG facial).

A burn-out skin prototype T-800 model 101 series

Connor is mortally wounded during the fight, but succeeds in destroying the Skynet base by rigging several Terminator nuclear power cells to an explosive, detonating them as he, Marcus, Reese and Star are airlifted out. Kate attempts to save Connor’s life, but his heart is too damaged. Marcus offers his heart for transplant, sacrificing himself to save John. Recovering, John radios to the other Resistance fighters that though this battle has been won, the war is far from over.

“Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Marcus Wright to Blair Williams.

Reviewer’s Note:
Terminator fans has been doubting director McG into directing the latest Terminator film, where the focus of the film this time isn’t really about the Terminators much although there were a hell bunch of them out there. The focus is more on the human race. Their struggle of winning the war. Purpose to live and exist. Director McG has never direct anything serious so far.

Well, this time he proves what’s best and he’s capable of doing to please the audiences and fans. Bale as John Connor reminds me of his role in 3:10 to Yuma where he acts alongside Russell Crowe. But Bale’s portrayal in this film with Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright is a little awkward when I saw Marcus being held captive and still believes he’s human; that is when John Connor’s interrogation having that Batman’s voice in Dark Knight with Joker.

Anton Yelchin as the young Kyle Reese; this Reese has the every knowledge of being taught by Marcus Wright where we will recall some parts being shown in The Terminator. The part where Marcus tight a rope around the rifle was shown in the first Terminator film when he battle the T-800 to protect Sarah Connor. Yelchin delivers the character very interesting and there are still a little comedy in him. Perhaps Reese was still a teenager.

Then there’s this scene where the Hydrobots jumps onto Connor’s face as it wriggles to kill him. Don’t you think it’s one of James Cameron’s cameo item? Doesn’t it reminds you of facehugger in Aliens?

One response to “Terminator Salvation (2009) – REVIEW

  1. I did like Terminator Salvation. It didn’t have as many good things as the first three, but it was still great with all the action and special effects. I just finished watching Terminator on DISH Online and it is was pretty cool. I love going on DISH Online because just for being a DISH Network customer, I have access to thousands of movies and TV shows anytime I want! I am also an employee of DISH, so I have had a lot of time to play with the site, so I suggest taking a look at dishonline.com! Whether you are a customer or not, DISH Online has something to offer anyone!

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