“[I’m open to] all those things, if it’s True Lies, Terminator, a well-made Terminator…the last one was awful. It tried hard, not that they didn’t try, the acting and everything. It missed the boat.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger, April 2012.
Hold up, hold up – Arnold, I’ll let you finish, but know this – “Terminator: Salvation” really isn’t that bad. And it’s a lot better than the godawful, woebegone, half-assed “Terminator 3: Rise of the Novelty Sunglasses”. A film, lest I forget, that was reviewed by Mrs Rolling Eyeballs thusly – “After making me sit through this, you’re lucky that I didn’t divorce you”. But then, I had to go and see “Something’s Got To Give”, so I figure that we’re essentially even…
If “Terminator: Salvation” is guilty of anything, it’s that it feels really episodic – generic action sequence follows intense dialogue exchange and begets another huge action scene – and suffers a little from what we know about star Christian Bale‘s on-set temper flare-up – when you watch Bale’s John Connor in the film get all method and ticked-off, its hard not to expect him to suddenly get riled and start to fire his co-stars and demand better acting talent to work with.
I’m always going to be interested in seeing another movie in this universe – hey, I was hyped for part three before it opened and, well, you know how that turned out – and I really feel that it might be time to do the previously unthinkable and acknowledge that perhaps we don’t need to have Arnold present to make a film which is canonically acceptable and not painful to watch. In fact, at this point, might it be argued that Arnold is more of a hinderance than a plus point?
Somebody call Timur Bekmambetov – if any cat can make a balls-out, utterly crazed “Terminator” movie that could erase the memories of recent instalments, it’s him.