First Terminator Salvation Reviews Are Mixed

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:38 pm,

terminator salvation3 First Terminator Salvation Reviews Are Mixed

With the release of the sci-fi blockbuster Terminator Salvation looming, the inevitable first and early reviews for the movie have been made available. And the words are not as positive as you might be hoping or thinking.

There aren’t enough reviews to even call this even a handful, but the three that there are, from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and a college website - “One of these things is not like the others…” – join together for an overall verdict of “mixed.” Variety and College Times are quite positive (with reservations), but THR is… well, let’s just say less positive about it. Check out some excerpts from the trio of reviews:

Variety

Darker, grimmer and more stylistically single-minded than its two relatively giddy predecessors, “Terminator Salvation” boasts the kind of singular vision that distinguished the James Cameron original, the full-throttle kinetics of “Speed” and an old-fashioned regard for human (and humanoid) heroics. Only pic’s relentlessly doomsday tone — accessorized by helmer McG’s grimy, gun-metal palette — might keep auds from flocking like lemmings to the apocalypse.

McG… exhibits an unexpected flair for the dreadful, abrupt and awesome. What we get here — which was perhaps missing on the relatively sunny mental landscapes of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” — is a sense of real horror: When humans are snatched up like Cheez-Doodles by skyscraper-sized Go-bots, there’s no slo-mo relief or stalling. Stuff happens as it might were the world actually overtaken by demonic appliances.

Christian Bale… is, once again, a movie star playing second fiddle. Heath Ledger stole “The Dark Knight” away from him and Sam Worthington (who will appear in Cameron’s “Avatar” this Christmas) heists “Terminator Salvation” from Bale…

McG’s direction is always intelligent… The script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris occasionally goes off the rails… the obligatory borrowing from the previous movies (“Come with me if you want to live,” “I’ll be back …”) tend to upset the mood created within McG’s bleached-out world, which is very deliberate and doesn’t need the comic relief.

The Hollywood Reporter

The machines rise to the occasion. Too bad the dramatic element’s just as robotic.

…while incoming director McG (the “Charlie’s Angels” movies) certainly gets a rise out of the machinery in the post-apocalyptic thriller, there’s little sign of life where the flatly executed human component is concerned.

Although director McG manages to keep the machinery humming 18 years after James Cameron’s “Judgment Day” and its liquid metal raised the F/X stakes considerably, anchoring it in any sort of satisfying dramatic context is another story.

“Rise of the Machine” scripters John Brancato & Michael Ferris fail to give Bale and Worthington much opportunity to stand out from all the monochromatic rubble…

But at the end of the day, despite the still-potent landscape provided by cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, production designer Martin Laing and visual effects supervisor Charles Gibson — the film is dedicated to the late Stan Winston, who designed the first T-800 — and that rumbling, propulsive Danny Elfman score, an inescapable truth remains: It’s just not the same without the Governator.

College Times

Does the series still fare well even with the time change and nearly complete cast makeover? What may come as a surprise to many is yes, Terminator: Salvation is still a good entry and a marked improvement over its third predecessor that may not exactly set the sci-fi genre ablaze with its effects or plot line but progresses the saga in an interesting direction with good action to boot.

Perhaps the biggest mistakes that McG’s entry makes is based more on lack of innovation and ambition. Terminator: Salvation is definitely big and spectacular as an action sci-fi movie, yet it lacks the punch and complete terror that came with the first two entries.

Terminator: Salvation has a lot of great action sequences that effectively ramp up in the amount of effects and fights seen on screen. Tensions run high when a massive robot starts to take human prisoners or through a one-on-one showdown between human versus robot. It is non-stop and gritty…

All in all, neither action nor Terminator fans should be displeased with McG’s work. Anyone expecting a genre-defining, science fiction film as explosive as the first two Terminators, though, are going in with too high of expectations.

Although these are only three of the hundreds of reviews that will eventually be published about the new Terminator, it’s still a bit on the disappointing side to see so many weaknesses pointed out. Obviously since it’s the guy who gave us the Charlie’s Angels movies who’s bringing us this film, it’s not going to be one of the all-time classics (like the first two in the series are). But from the trailers it really does look like one amazing movie.

That’s skilled trailer editors, for ya’…

I expect the movie to fall somewhere in between the level of Terminator 2 and a silly, over-the-top throwaway movie. At the very least it will be an entertaining movie, especially if you just treat it as what it essentially is – a summer blockbuster.

If you want to read the full reviews highlighted in this post, you can head over to Variety, THR and College Times.

What do you make of the mixed nature of the first reviews for Terminator Salvation? Is it what you expected from the movie?

Terminator Salvation is scheduled to open this Thursday in the US, and on June 3rd in the UK.

Sources: Variety, THR and College Times

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  1. Yeah your right Daniel, it has a good 3 person vibe but I can tell they pumped this one out pretty quickly.

    Beware Jago, its not anything close to Bioshock or Halo3!!!

  2. @ Daniel F

    Bale looking like he’s straining to do a poo for the duration of a film is much better? The point IS to laugh at Arnold. Sorry but Bale is one of todays dime a dozen GQ oscar baiters. If it wasn’t Bale it would’ve been Hugh Jackman or DiCaprio or someone else like that. They’re all interchangable. Arnold and all his ilk who can’t act make up for it with unique personalities and actual charisma. There’s only one Arnold, there’s only one Sly, only one Bruce. If Bale had turned down the role movie wouldn’t be any different.

  3. You couldn’t possibly be more wrong dudelove. Bale is one of the best actors in film. Bale is not easily replaced and has a far different style than any other actor you listed. Arnold is only unique because of his accent other than that he’s just another crappy actor with large muscles. Their voices are the only things that make Sly or Arnold any different than anyone else.

  4. Oh and I’m not a huge fan of First person shooters like Bioshock or Halo personally I can’t stand first person games so when a shooter comes out and it’s not first person I get amped up and then this game let me down so bad. It looked good and with a Multiplay would of been great, but they had to drop it when it was looking so good.

  5. Totally agree, Daniel F. Bale is an awesome actor who’s a perfect fit for the role of someone like John Connor. He brings the intensity and darkness that the role would require (much like the character of Bruce Wayne). When I heard that my favorite actor would be playing the infamous Connor, I was thrilled. Arnold used to be my favorite – but then he retired and was replaced by Bale after I viewed him in Equilibrium. I’d previously seen American Psycho, but it wasn’t until Equilibrium that I became a fan.

  6. Lets face it your typical actor in hollywood today lacks the intensity that Bale bring to a movie. I’ve never seen an actor that just by looking at him makes you feel exactly whats going on in a scene.

  7. d@mn d@mn d@mn… i should have read this before actually accepting the game… i had it already reserved…crap!!! might as well play it and exchange it for bionic commando then…now i’m pissed off at the terminator franchise. When i say that i mean t4-t6…

  8. Meh the movie seems to be getting decent to great reviews so no reason to be pissed at the franchise because the game sucks. The sad truth is most movie games are terrible though Wolverine was far superior to the movie which was odd.

  9. Lol, Jago, ah we all get duped sometimes by the xbox machine.
    The game has an arcade feel to it, the loading at every checkpoint is hilarious, but its not total crap…
    The graphics aren’t too bad.

    Daniel, do we at all take on the Harvester during the game and where’s the T-800′s?

  10. Rodney over at themovieblog.com says in his review thats its on par w/ T3(which imo isn’t a good thing)

  11. “You couldn’t possibly be more wrong dudelove. Bale is one of the best actors in film. Bale is not easily replaced and has a far different style than any other actor you listed. Arnold is only unique because of his accent other than that he’s just another crappy actor with large muscles. Their voices are the only things that make Sly or Arnold any different than anyone else.”

    You couldn’t possibly be more condescending. I consider Bale one of the most overrated. He’s great in smaller films but a big dissapointment in big ones. In all of them he’s got the same super serious expression on his face. IMO he’s just boring when a role requires shooting things and dodging exposions. I’d rather he stuck with working with Werner Herzog, James Mangold and Christopher Nolan’s smaller films where he puts actual effort into the roles he plays.

  12. Dudelove – if Bale has a fault, it’s that he puts (too much?) effort into ALL the roles he plays. I can’t agree with your insinuation that he doesn’t because there hasn’t been a single Bale film I’ve seen where he hasn’t applied himself 200%.

  13. Thanks for the heads up Vic. I’m glad to hear it’s better than Wolverine.

  14. Actually dudelove I could possibly more condescending ask around I have been on several occasions. Bale gives 110% in every movie he is in and is by far the most intense actor in film today. He truly pours everything he has in to all of his films and you can see that in every performance. No two performances are ever alike from him. He is just as great in smaller films as he is in larger ones. The simple fact that you would rather see Arnold in a film than Bale shows how good of a judge in talent you are. Do you also think Keanu is most talented actor of our time?

    Umm 790 you get to turn a wrench on the Harvester and take control of it does that count? I’m not an expert on Terminators so I’m not sure if there are T-800′s in the film, but there are T-600′s Humanoids. The AI in the game is pretty cool and the enemy types are great as well. Certain Enemeys in fact are so smart and protective that they can take a lot of work to actually kill. However the T600 actually act like a lot of the Terminators in films and just keep moving toward you no matter how much you shoot them no self preservation at all. Which actually kind of feels like the movies I liked that. The spider dudes however protect them selves like crazy and enemies tend to focus on Connor more than anyone else.

  15. @Daniel F

    You’re not going to like what I have to say about Bale’s performance in my review. 8-)

    Vic

  16. Probably not, but I doubt you’ll be saying things like what dudelove says. If you say he had a bad performance I’m sure I’ll disagree, but this guy is just downright insulting.

  17. it hasn’t even come out yet and were getting warnings about it already. that’s not a good sign at all.

  18. My review is online.

    Vic

  19. I can’t say for certain whether it’ll be a good movie or not but it does look really interesting and I will be seeing it when it comes out. These negative reviews clearly are based on the “wow factor” that the first two films had so that’s why the reviews are mixed.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents.

    Peace.

  20. “Actually dudelove I could possibly more condescending ask around I have been on several occasions. Bale gives 110% in every movie he is in and is by far the most intense actor in film today. He truly pours everything he has in to all of his films and you can see that in every performance. No two performances are ever alike from him. He is just as great in smaller films as he is in larger ones. The simple fact that you would rather see Arnold in a film than Bale shows how good of a judge in talent you are. Do you also think Keanu is most talented actor of our time?”

    How is that last line NOT condescending? I just don’t believe Bale looks to be even trying in this film, many reviewers have pointed out the same. John Connor is supposed to be an inspiration to the human race, more ike Superman than Batman. Hell Christopher Reeve in his prime would be perftect John Connor.

    You seem to be intentionally ignoring the fact that I’m applying this to ACTION movies only in an attempt to insult me.

  21. I didn’t say I it wasn’t condescending I simply said that I can be more condescending. I’m fairly talented at it. I’m not gonna pretend I’ve actually seen the film yet, but from the trailers he seems to be doing a good job and he has been amazing in everything he has done even his films that were not great. Reign of Fire while not being that great Bale still was amazing. He was also great in other actions films like Equilibrium, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight. He has never put on a bad performance.

  22. I’m glad I read all the bad reviews before I watched it I think I enjoyed the movie more because of it. I was expecting something far worse than it actually was. Overall it’s a good movie with great special effects, the bikes were cool!

  23. Terminator Salvation is a very good movie. It is obvious that even without Schwarzenegger the movie can be good. The action scenes are top-notch.

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