May 22, 2009

Finally, the Terminator Movie We All Wanted

SO I WENT AND SAW "Terminator: Salvation" tonight. It ruled.

This was something of a surprise to me. You see, I haven't really been a fan of the Terminator franchise, if only because the series doesn't make a lot of sense. For one thing, the idea that a self-aware military defense program would try to destroy mankind with nuclear weapons is laughable. It's a computer. It's smart. It knows this wouldn't work. Besides, even if it did try it, it would soon realize the bug in its system.

GENERAL: Dear GOD. It's launching our nuclear missiles! We've only got thirty seconds --
PROGRAMMER: Hey! Computer! Got news for you! When those nukes go off, it'll create a giant electromagnetic pulse that will fry your CPU, not to mention the entire infrastructure you need to survive.
COMPUTER: ERROR ERROR FWZZHHHHHIP
GENERAL: The blue screen of death! You did it! You did it!
PROGRAMMER: Yes, I did -- say, where's Major Kong?
GENERAL: Uh oh.

Also, the whole time travel thing? Yeah, that's a bit silly. You know the drill, of course -- SKYNET, the computer program, sends its killing robots back through time to prevent the birth (or simply liquidate) John Connor, the resistance leader, while Connor sends back his own agents to prevent that. Then, when Connor's team triumphs, SKYNET tries it again, and Connor foils it again. If this kept up, it would get a bit silly. The next thing we'd know, SKYNET would send back a terminator robot to liquidate the chef at John's favorite lunch place in the hopes he would contract botulism.

Still: let's be clear, though. This is a fun movie. It is mindless and enjoyable and things blow up to spectacular effect. For that matter, the effects themselves are spectacular. The cinematography is outstanding and the desert landscapes -- it was shot in New Mexico, apparently -- really make for a gritty yet enjoyable war movie in which approximately eight million rounds of ammunition are fired, giant machines tromp around the landscape and wreak havoc, lots of things explode, and the resolution is satisfactory, but not to the point where there can't be any sequels. And if there are sequels -- well, I'll be there for them, at least if they're anything like this.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 22, 2009 12:20 AM | TrackBack
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