Way back in March, I said that I was not 100% sold on Christian Bale as John Conner. And now that I've seen Terminator Salvation... I'm still not 100% sold on Christian Bale as John Conner. He is good, but not as good as he could have been. Does his performance make the movie any less enjoyable? Not in the slightest. Mostly because Sam Worthington--the newcomer who plays human/terminator Marcus Wright--outshines Bale. Worthington has the looks and the presence to steal basically every scene, and I cannot wait to see him in more movies!
The year is 2018. It's post-Judgement yet pre-time travel. The Resistance is still small, but there's an organized army fighting the machines. John Conner is just a soldier on the totem pole who's got a small yet very loyal following. He's married to Kate Brewster (Bryce Dallas Howard) and has a baby on the way. The army has discovered a weapon that will help them defeat the machines, and Conner volunteers to test it.
Meanwhile, Marcus Wright, a stranger whose last real memory is speaking with a dying Helena Bonham Carter on death row, wakes up in the post-apocalyptic world out of touch and completely lost. In attempt to find living people, he runs into his first terminator where he is quickly saved by John's father Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin). After some big chases and monstrous encounters with more terminators, Marcus finds himself alone until he help rescue the beautiful Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood), a resistance soldier in Connor's unit.
When Wright and Connor cross paths, Wright's appearance alters everything John knows about the future. The two men must learn to trust each other and fight to find the truth and bring down Skynet.
Beyond the great presence of Worthington, there's not really much to say as far as the acting goes. I mean, it's a Terminator movie. Are we really here to talk about the acting? No. This movie is about big action and bigger explosions, and there are plenty.
The special effects are great. I loved the motorcycle terminators agile creepiness as the sped along chasing Reese and Wright. The water-snake machines made my skin crawl, and the big T-100 made me smile (oh, the memories) and cringe (oh, the puncture wounds!) all at the same time.
There is a heart to the story, so don't think a plotline was completely ignored. But in comparison to the explosive decibal levels of the action, the plot is whispering. It's a popcorn summer movie that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Have fun and enjoy.