Complete A-Z list

Terminator Salvation


Stars: Christian Bale, Sam Huntingdon, Moon Bloodgood, Michael Ironside, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Helena Bonham Carter

Director: McG

Dialogue is pretty much redundant in this fourth episode of the series, in which the makers compensate for only having about 20 minutes' worth of plot by filling their screen with constant action, blasting thousands of tons of metal skywards, and dazzling (or drowning) us all with eye-boggling special effects.

It's 2018, some years after the computer behemoth Skynet became self-aware, constructed the Terminators and other metallic fighting machines, and decimated mankind. Pockets of resistance remain, one of which involves John Connor (Bale, doing his hoarse Kurt Russell accent), the son of Sarah Connor from the first two films.

The sub-plot of the story involves Marcus Wright (Huntingdon) who, in 2003, is asked by a dying scientist (Bonham Carter) to donate his body to science, and wakes up in 2018. Both his and Connor's futures become intertwined with that of Kyle Reese (Yelchin), who will grow into the man Connor sends back in time to protect the Connor family.

If you haven't followed the plot so far, you probably aren't a fan of the series, but, if you fancy an orgy of destruction, this one fills the bill. No Schwarzenegger this time, although Bale does get to say 'I'll be back'. However, a digitally remastered Arnold does make a late appearance in the film. It's Arnie, Jim, but not as we know him now. Huntingdon, whose character proves later to be largely automated, ironically provides the film's only flashes of humanity.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Technicolor.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 30 May 2009