Terminator Salvation

 

Warner Bros

 

PG-13

 

Plot Summary: John Conner must find his father to keep him from being killed by the machines.

 

Reason for the Rating: for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language.

 

When Arnold Schwartzenegger uttered his three most famous words ("I'll be back"), I'm not sure he thought the Terminator would be back four times. And possibly a fifth. But here we are again, lining up to see John Connor and Skynet's killing machines.

 

Terminator Salvation begins in 2018, after Judgement Day has flattened civilization. Cities are a wasteland with pockets of humans scattered across the earth. The machines have taken over, and are determined to rid the earth of humankind. While John Connor (Christian Bale) isn't leading the fight against the machines, everyone knows he is their ultimate hope. And so they listen to what he says, and follow his commands more faithfully than they do the generals who are leading the Resistance. Not only is Connor confident, but he has his mother's cassette tapes, which give him additional information about the future, from the past (you'll have to watch Terminator 1,2, and 3 to really understand this movie).

 

But, Connor isn't ready for Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). Wright is a death row inmate who was put to death in 2003. Shortly before dieing, he signed over his body for genetic research to Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter). When he awakens in 2018, the world has changed, as so has he...more than he knows. As he searches for Dr. Kogan, he stumbles across Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), who is John Connor's father, but as a teenager. Again, you must have seen the earlier Terminator movies to understand this plotline.

 

Wright and Kyle make every attempt to leave Los Angeles, but meet machines at every turn. While fighting for their lives, they manage to blow up everything in their path. Every abandoned car or empty building is sure to be decimated, which is great fun for those who love pyrotechnics. In other words, if you like to see things explode, you'll think this movie is the bomb!

 

Which is what this movie is about. Not much is given to dialogue; just enough to move the movie along. What holds Terminator Salvation together are the computer graphics: huge transforming machines, motorcycles without riders, terminators that cannot be killed, and even a CG created Arnold. If you're looking for a movie with substance, this isn't the place you'll find it. What you will find is a story that is predictable, and in many ways unoriginal. If you watch Terminator Salvation, see if you can find how many ways this story is like previous Terminator movies.

 

PopFam.com Recommends: 

 

Pure entertainment. Not much in the way of meaningful conversation, but plenty of action. Score some points with the male in your life, and take him to see this movie.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• What do you think it would be like to live in a world that has been demolished by war?

 

• What do you think your parents were like as teenagers? Have your parents tell you a story about this time of their life.

 

• In the movie, John Connor is the hope for the salvation of mankind. What is your hope placed in for your personal salvation? How is it evident in your life?

 

--JW

 

Note: All movie-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective movie studios. 

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