Sunday, June 7, 2009

Terminator: Salvation (2009)

I'm not going to go in to why McG calls himself that, when I'm sure his parents gave him an actual name. A director's moniker shouldn't save or sink a film (unless he's called Scorsese or Wood, Jr.), so McG's name isn't the reason why Terminator: Salvation is tosh. Christian Bale's (in)famous rant at his cinematographer shouldn't be a reason why this film is so bad, nor should it cause any prejudice either. We don't care that Klaus Kinski pulled a gun and threatened to kill Werner Herzog during the tumultuous shoot of Fitzcarraldo (1982), even after seeing it on countless documentaries, like My Best Friend. It was inconsequential - Fitzcarraldo turned out to be an amazing film. Whether the feud between Kinski and Herzog was the reason, one can only speculate. No, Terminator: Salvation is tosh regardless of the knowledge that Bale spew out verbal bile on a hapless cinematographer.

I grew on Star Wars on VHS. So, I was spoon-fed about its awesomeness from a very early age (though I don't agree with it today). The first Terminator film came out when I was 2, so I wasn't able to watch it then. But, when the Terminator 2: Judgment Day came out, I actually saw it in theater. I was speechless at T-1000 walking through prison bars ("what is  a prison, dad?"). I had nightmares when Jennette Goldstein stabbed her husband with her arm (say what?). And as a teenager my favourite catch-up line was "Hasta la vista, baby" - I couldn't speak Spanish then and most of the recipients of this line couldn't speak English. In other words, I grew up as a Terminator-freak. It defined my childhood and teenage years, until I saw Mel Gibson painted half his face blue. I hated the third Terminator - I can't even remember what the plot was. I remember Arnie acting like he was bored and a little too old for this role. And there was a hot Terminator chick, but she wasn't Linda Hamilton. No, sir.

And now this. Tosh. What made the first two Terminators so good was the humour and the mythology. There is none of that humour in the fourth (and please, make it the last) instalment. I feel like my childhood is being raped over and over again ("Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles" ... puh-leeze!). Why? With each version they are making less money and gaining more bad criticism from the critics and the public. Why do they keep on doing them? I admit, I am weak - I actually went to see it. I paid to see it. Big mistake. All I want to do right now is watch the first two and remind myself how good they were.

One other thing. I don't think Terminator: Salvation is bad only when compared to the previous films. It's bad on all counts. The acting is at best on par with The Hottie and the Nottie. There are a couple of decent chase scenes and the obligatory action scene involving a truck, but "A-Team" had those too. A good action scene doesn't make a good film (see Ronin). A good film needs good characters, dialogue ... you know the drill.

There will probably be worse films this year, but none will be as disappointing as Terminator: Salvation. Please, don't be back.


Kevin said...

Please don't be back, indeed. Ha.

I have never seen Fitzcarraldo. I think I'm going to have add that to my Blockbuster queue now.

I doubt there will be a T5. This one hasn't even crossed $100M in the US. That's bad! Especially when you consider Trannies 2 is expected to rake in almost $200M in 5 days. Christ help us.

rican said...

God, hating Terminator: Salvation appears to have become a career for some folks. However, I have seen Fitzcarraldo and most recently saw My Best Fiend. I didn't know Kinski was such a freakshow. I am now compelled to see all of his collaborations with Herzog.

Gurur said...

Rican, my friend. You're in for a treat. Check out Woyzeck and the remake of Nosferatu. Cobra Verde is pretty awesome too. And yes, slamming T:S is a rewarding career.


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