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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 06:18 pm

No salvation from Terminator sequel

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Christian Bale (right) as John Connor in Terminator: Salvation

If your idea of a good time is a series of ear-splitting action sequences strung together by a plot that’s obscured by a meaningless barrage of gunfire and barking actors, Terminator: Salvation is the film you’ve been waiting for. This reboot of the classic sci-fi franchise is as different from the original trilogy as dirt is to water. While the first three films were rather intimate affairs, focusing on a relatively small number of characters careening about Los Angeles fighting over the future of the human race, Salvation is a sprawling mess of a movie that aspires to be an epic but collapses under the weight of its own ambition.

Christian Bale yells throughout as John Connor, the savior of the human race who’s charged with testing a device that might knock out Skynet, the system the machines have put into place to wipe out the human race. This tough assignment is complicated by the appearance of Marcus (Sam Worthington), a stranger from the future who may hold the key to taking down Connor’s foe.

Director McG delivers the occasional arresting image but he possesses no finesse, hammering away at the audience with one action sequence after another, some of them making no sense where the plot is concerned. Then again, plot is not important here, special effects are and that’s the difference between this film and the previous entries. The story and characters were the focus in the initial trilogy, which the groundbreaking special effects supported. Flipping those priorities on their heads proves a disaster as more is not more here, but much less. This is not entertainment, but rather a bludgeoning of the audience that deserves much more.

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