Terminator Salvation (2009)

Mike Matei / May 21st, 2009

Terminator Salvation: Movie review


  • April 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    My feelings exactly! Nice review!

  • April 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

    My dad and I also saw this in theaters and for what it’s worth, it was entertaining! The highlight is definitely the CG Arnold cameo because I didn’t expect it and it was a nice nod to the original.

  • IDaCashman

    April 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Like seriously, your right. Action and Horror should have as much…okay rewind. Comedy should be appropriate but funny, well Action and Horror should have as much gore, explosions and make-sense-with-the-plot $3X as possible. That’s why I got the Killer Cut of the new Friday the 13th. Did you know the Ensembles is gonna be PG-13? That’s one that needs to be R, and if you don’t know about it, check it out, it’s the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny for action flicks.

  • ponyboy556

    April 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I don’t know man, this one was not good but defiantly better that the third film. Obviously thee second one was all time best so in order from best to worst would be 2,1,Salvation, and 3.

  • Postertape

    April 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    A little late on this one, but I can’t agree. This was my least favorite. Sure, 3rd one was cheesy and rehashed, but it knew it was a rehash. This one was setting itself apart, trying to pick up the torch where Cameron left off. Puts a lot of expectation on itself to be amazing.

    Big problems: Story. I could not care less for the characters or their plight. It felt needlessly divided between Conner and Sam Worthington’s characters. I was really excited to see the future war, but didn’t get why humanity in Salvation looked up so much to John Connor. He was just..there. He was an ok fighter and a midlevel officer. Why did everyone like him so much? What had he done so far that had established this cult hero status in that world? Did people really just accept this since the other movies told us he was a hero?

    Small Problems: Everyone was 20 and beautiful. Really? I get that everyone would be youngish due to the mortality of fighting Skynet, but it just comes off as the studio pandering to audiences. Ugh. Also, the forced nostalgia lines wanted to make me puke. I’d forgotten Sam’s line “What day is it? What year?!” was actually taken from Kyle Reese’s first lines in Terminator. It just came off as really bad writing and acting.

    The cinematography was fantastic but the action just rings hollow if you can’t sympathize with the characters. There was a lot of potential here, but during the final dramatic scene, if you’re panning across the faces of the actors and I can’t remember any of their character names, it’s not a sign of a good film.

  • TheCommentGuy

    April 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Ugh, now I dont want to see this movie. Are there any good noteable modern remakes that arent just unesisary (I know I cant spell).

  • Guy Montag

    May 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    While AVGN’s video game reviews are awesome, almost every single one of James’ reviews for new movies are exactly the same.

    He always says something like, “but how is it? …well… its not bad.”

    He then says either “it depends what you want to take from it” or “you can nitpick it or accept it”

    Possibly the most neutral and accepting reviews I’ve ever seen. It seems like you ignore the plethora of problems with this movie, and I think the reason why people like your video game reviews so much is because you point out problems that people either didn’t really know about or had ignored considered. And the nostalgia factor of course.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, get a little more passionate about your movie reviews, because right now I could pretty much interchange your reviews between all of the films you have reviewed, and it wouldn’t make a difference.

    For the record, this movie was extremely mediocre, and came across as just another future war film. It seemed completely unconnected from the Terminator series, and didn’t have many redeeming qualities. Very forgettable.

  • ajax5405

    May 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    hmm, id say its worth watching but defenityly the worst of the 4 and the ending was so crappy, so predictable that it just pissed me off

  • May 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Nice review,i saw the movie and i was impressed.I saw on the internet that there may be a fifth terminator movie(title unknown).

  • RetroGamer3

    May 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    It was better then part 3 I guess but ya nothing beats the first 2.

  • mykejones92

    June 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    TERMINATOR sucks ass, that I rather watch arnold’s commando movie, and conan, and him speak in his babbling voice that makes him soudn like the incrdeble hulk on crack. ha ha ha!

  • OKgamer

    July 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I was disappointed by this movie. It was a revisioning of the seires kind of like Dark Knight. But unlike Dark Knight I didn’t think a huge change was needed.T3 was a decent movie but I guess some people really hated it. I’m glad you talked about the PG-13 rating becaused that really held this movie back. I don’t need a movie to be violent to like it. But for a terminator movie, I do.

    Here’s a idea for the next movie: Blue smoky backround, piles of skulls on the ground, waves of machines and humans battling, just like the future scenes from the first two movies. Simple.

  • stickpge

    July 3, 2010 at 6:34 am

    nice review but where in f*** name is jour top 10 alien invasoin films with the blob and the day the earth strood still and war of the world
    id like to know tanks in advance

  • Want3d Dead7

    July 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    my god i thought Terminator Salvation was one of the best movies of the past 2 years, im not kidding, i love this movie – sam worthington and christian bale are are just top notch, the only thing that coud possibly make this movie better would be the R rating but i really dont think this movie really needed it, i mean i dont think this movie is PG-13 just to get bigger audiences, i think it’s PG-13 because it genuinly has no reason to be rated R – like they arent holding back anything, you know what i mean? i look freward to T5 if it happens

  • keeman4454

    July 13, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    not my favorite out of the terminator seris. but it wasnt bad. the nuke explosion at the begining was actually the coolest scene in the movie for me.

  • Fantasy Forest

    July 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    James I wish you would make a separate *spoiler* review, because I’m interested in your thoughts on the actual storyline and the ending. Good review however, as always.

  • venom 51007

    August 4, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    U know they do have a Blu-Ray version that is rated R. Also would it kill the director to put the real Arnold in the movie instead of stupid CG!!!!! I’m getting sick of this CG but I do like the movie its awesome.

  • August 17, 2010 at 1:26 am

    First: Blue ray. What a wasted “upgrade” that was.

    Second: HA! This movie was mediocre at best, and the new robots are completely interchangeable with that terrible Transformers movie. Why was the focus not entirely on John Conner? Or perhaps the boy to be his father? Instead we’re stuck following the adventures of some meat head we don’t care about. AND THEN duh duh DUH! He ends up being 1/2 man 1/2 machine. Ladies and gentlemen. I give you Robocop, The Terminator Style. I’m not kidding you. He’s got the endo-skeleton of a robot, mixed in with meaty man parts. None of the actors are believable in their roles, and like the dude up there pointed out, 20 and beautiful. Pathetic. The should have grabbed the actors from Book of Eli. Then you woulda had yourself a believable cast.

    All in all, just as the movie has one glimpse of coolness towards the end, the Robocop throws a fit, gets beaten up by a terminator, and then donates something… to save some one… And every one’s like WTF. Really. The movie will be forgotten in a year. And nobody will talk about it as the sands of time bury it under a pile of used medical supplies.

  • Shiirow

    September 24, 2010 at 1:52 am

    For all of you saying they were all 20 and beautiful… well I give you that most were attractive but really… the chick that ends up hanging out with the Robo-nator. she really didnt look all that attractive… just sayin’

  • domdom82

    September 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    this movie sucks so much ass I can’t believe it. The cgi is ok but that’s about it. But who needs a 10-story mech-like terminator that more looks like a robot from transformers than a terminator. While at the same time, the T-800 model is being introduced as the latest and most advanced model from skynet!?? Who needs that if you have a walking mech that has the firepower of an entire army!?
    same for the story. instead of a pathetic try to develop John Connors character along with Kyle Reese, they should have just started later on where his reputation is all set and the final battle is at hand.
    And who needs that side story character Marcus with a human heart!? as useless as a third tit. and skynet isn’t even destroyed, nor did they show how the other terminators get sent back to the past!!!

  • domdom82

    September 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    now we need a fifth and sixth terminator just to explain how Kyle Reese and the first terminator and then, 12 years later, the T-800 and the T-1000 get sent back to the past! If you count the 3rd as a valid sequel (which I don’t) you would also make even a 7th movie to explain how the second T-800 and the TX get sent back EVEN YEARS LATER. So the future war would last like 20 years or so to explain it all.

    Considering those story gaps, this film was a fucking waste of time and money as it explains NOTHING. Instead we get a nonsense-story about a machine with a human heart and lot’s of CG. WHO NEEDS THIS SHIT!!

  • KiramidHead

    September 25, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I thought that Sam Worthington was what made the movie work. His performance was pretty good, and better than Christian “Shout every other line” Bale.

  • re_d

    September 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I don’t know if you will see this after being so long 😉 but hey you said something about the reasons for p-13 action and R comedy in this review.

    I think there are a couple reasons one is the exact reason you said its hard to get a rise (for lack of better words) out of the action in action movies, for the same reason we can watch south park on the comedy channel now and can also dance to music with out our elders shitting on our heads 🙂

    The other reason may be vague an miss guided but i think the another reason is that even the ratings on movies and games these days is a market ploy, i mean the people that rate movies must not have kids or the internet, and if they do have kids with the internet they are the type of friend that has no clue of the world around them.


    Anyways i guess i can comment on the movie as well, I never mind CG as i can marvel at art created outside of a movie so as long as the story is good in the particular movie that i am watching i don’t seem to notice as much. The fact that i don’t mind CG i guess could be related to the fact that it is in nearly every movie today, i am 25 if that is a reference to anything.

    As far as this movies story line went it was pretty good in my opinion it was confusing with the time line of Connor being older then his father instead of the original when it was the other way around, i don’t think he was even alive actually but same difference.

    Then other parts of the movie are cliche like the area you commented on how robots have hearts or what not =p which always boggles my mind when i watch them because these people are supposed to be our future yet apparently none of them have ever heard of a cyborg.

    Jeeze, i think i can slightly relate to your reviews as far as this response goes and there are a million movies to review 😉 maybe i can give a request or, maybe not. Great job anyways, thx for giving me something to do.

  • lelle

    October 15, 2010 at 4:50 am

    isn´t the world alredy a bitt fucked upp??

  • Nin10dO

    October 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    They just don’t make good movies like they did before.

  • WatchmenFTW

    November 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I thought Terminator Salvation was pretty good, but it’s definately the least best Terminator film.

  • November 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    To be onest with you , I saw this movie after I saw Avatar …
    I did’t liked Avatar for one reason : perfomance of Sam Worthington
    I did’t looked at the movie beacose I heard some friends that sucks ass !
    But I was to tempted …. When I first saw it I was like ,, Hey AVATAR !!! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DONIG IN TERMINATOR!!??”
    The only part that I liked about this movie is that I saw Arnold playing in it ….well sort of …. for about 40 seconds ….
    Overall , this movie sucks!!!!

  • December 31, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Not that anyone’s reading this, but wow do I disagree. It wasn’t bad? Yeah as in it wasn’t a total disaster. That’s about it.

    The glimpses of the future in T1 and T2 are 10x more exciting than what we see here. So freakin’ desolate, which I get but how did the first two movies make the future war look so interesting? The ending pissed me off to no end. I won’t spoil it, but it was just a blatant way to excuse the idea of making another one.

  • January 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    hmm not saying to much what i think of this one but in the review about t3 u said i cant wait for t4 but this one was releset(i cant spell for shit) :S

  • January 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    i feel ashamed posting the comment above sorry…

  • GNCD

    January 16, 2011 at 5:16 am

    i agree. this film stands on its own. this is like the next chapter in the terminator series. no more time traveling. the war will all be fought in the future. looking forward to the next installment.

  • February 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I think this movie would have worked alot better if there was more suspence, danger and terror. All Terminator movies should just aim for 18cert, this was a 12 so violence was just hidden behind explotions and machines, it never felt like the machines were relentlesly hunting humans and the plot diddnt seem to go anywhere. I hope in the next on they add more of the horror element back in and we see a good man v machine warzone battle. Id have to watch this again but yeah it was a fun movie i enjoyed the action but i didnt really care about the story so much because its all choppy and a hash job hidden in explotions. ..if your going to do thats the way to go though. …mebe put some of yer ac/dc in there then you got a modern terminator just hunting to ac/dc son of a bitch.

  • Guy Incognito

    March 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

    The thing that I think hurt this movie the most was the setting. In all the previous movies, it was set in a contemporary, familiar world. So when the Terminator shows up, it’s fucking insanely out of place and otherworldly.

    That’s what makes it so scary. A fucking killer cyborg just shouldn’t be there, so no one sees it coming. The Terminator always has the element of surprise, in addition to being unbelievably hard to kill.

    That’s the other thing. Aside from seeming almost commonplace, once it’s set in the future, the terminators go down so easily it’s laughable. It seems like, to compensate for how many more Terminators there are to deal with, they had no choice but to make them enormous pussies or John would have spent the whole movie fighting the first Terminator he came across. So the Terminators lose their menace and the impact of seeing one on screen once you’ve seen several of them put down with a few well-placed bullets. They don’t feel like unstoppable killing machines anymore. That’s what killed Salvation for me more than anything.

  • chrisRAWRZ

    March 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    i liked this movie….i was pretty amazed that the main terminator in the movie who thought he was real was the main character in avatar.when i saw him while watching after in theaters i was like woah he’s hitting it up big this year.

  • TheThrashKing

    April 5, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I think Mc G’s vision of the future war was completely off. There seemed to be no Nuclear winter, even though Mc G’s future took place even earlier than Camerons’s, and Cameron’s was all dark and gloomy. And what about the violence? I mean, that was a Terminator Trademark, rated R violence and cussing. That may seem like nit picking, but in a post apocalyptic war against machines…you’d think they wouldn’t want to hold back on that type of stuff. Over all, this was a HUGE disappointment for me, and I’m sure the majority of Terminator fans would and will agree with me.

  • April 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

    The world looks less bleak because years have passed since the begging. The war has gone into a pattern.

  • jimreid

    April 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    It is very ironic, that although it is the only movie of the series to have a terminator with a human heart, its also the only movie that has no soul.

  • x1PMac1x

    June 11, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Everyone may be great at pointing out the let downs in this movie or what they actually liked about it, but no one really appreciates the potential this movie gives to the series of Terminator films as a whole going forward. Now that the cheesy crap is out of the way and we are flung into the future, the possibilities are endless for what they can do. They can go in depth into the future war, they can introduce new relationships, and they can even make a side story where more cyborgs go back in time and battle to stop other mechanical apocalypses. Yeah it wasn’t great, but it gives a hidden gift that I hope some great script writer/director will pick up and run with to all of our enjoyment.

  • JoshuaFrye

    September 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Hey James, they entire purpose of the machines in the movie is to capture #1 John Conner or #2 Kyle Rease, effectively killing Connor as well.

    So when the machines actually ID and capture Kyle Rease… and use him to lure Connor to his death, it seems kind of ridiculous doesn’t it? Why not just kill Rease? It’s why they wanted him to begin with. It’s what they’ve been doing the entire series!

  • Snejku

    September 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    This is probably the one movie I completely disagree with you on, I hated almost every single thing about this movie. Terminator 1 and 2 had a very deep impact on me as a kid and Terminator 3, like you. I feel has been misjudged a bit too much. But this one, after seeing it I felt completely raped of those childhood memories having seen the first two. I think Bale is useless portraying Connor, the enviroments felt nothing like the flashbacks of Terminator 1 and 2. And like many people do say, I really have to agree on this one. It’s not Terminator without Arnold.


    Well the movie has been out for a while and I feel that I should be able to mention it. The naked Arnold jumping out of the freezebox CGI face just made it worse, because to me that just insulted creative storytelling and plot parts. It felt like a desperate attempt to put Arnold in this movie but ridicules the movie goers who just wish in vain he had really been in it.

    I respect your opinion because you argue in a mature sense and speak of the diffrent elements of films from a good standpoint but for me, this was one of the worst movies I have ever seen and that says a lot for me at least, and I truly do mean that I hated it. But as always, keep up the good work because I keep coming here to listen to your profound thoughts!

  • OfficialJab

    September 23, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I must be some sort of crazy person because I love all four movies. So many people the days just hate every new thing that comes out, even before they are released, or there is any definitive information on them. There’s some kind of sequel bias that’s like a pandemic now. There’s so much nitpicking and blowing tiny things way out of proportion, and calling them rape without even hints of sarcasm or hyperbole.

    It’s so embarrassing to read and hear. Everyone’s a critic? More like everyone’s a pretentious snob. Good review, though. Obviously not everyone after all, thank goodness.

  • Firewall_Philip_Hanan

    October 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    #1 Terminator 2
    #2 Termianator 1 & 3
    #3 Terminator: Salvation

  • March 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I thought this movie was okay.  Not as good as the first two, but definitely better than the third.  The thing that bothered me the most about Salvation was the fact that the machines have no reason to be after John Conner in the first place.  It wasn’t until he led the resistance to certain victory that the machines decided it was neccessary to send a terminator back in time to kill his mother (Dr. Silverman’s “retroactive abortion”) and a T-!000 to take him out as a child.  In Salvation, Conner isn’t leading the resistance yet (Michael Ironside is) so we haven’t yet reached the point in time at which he becomes enough of a threat to be specifically targeted.  No time-travelling terminators survived to bring information about Connor’s destiny so I have to ask the question: Why the hell are the machines even after him OR Kyle Reese.  They shouldn’t know or care about who he is yet…….so the whole premise sort of makes no sense….

  • August 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I don’t know why, but Termiator Salvation reminds me of Call of Duty, but I’m not a CoD player

  • Olof Gyllström

    December 15, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    This was a good review, not just taking a piss on the movie for not being like the previous ones.
    Good job, James.

  • July 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

    It kinda made me mad cuz when u saw the 1st terminator u saw the soldiers in the future with laser weapons to stand a chance against the terminator and the setting was also a little disappointing cuz the 1st and second showed human skulls cars blocking u everywhere and the humans had little survival salvation every place but the part where u meet Kyle is more of everything is destroyed nothing is there and has this dessert setting the part where u meet Kyle was good it actually looked like a apocalypse idk maybe it’s like that cuz it’s 15 or 20 years before the 1st movies apocalypse idk it was ok not bad but not as good as the apocalypse in the 1st

  • wolfrider

    October 8, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    The Terminator – Amazing, a real classic.
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day – Fucking spectacular, perfect.
    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – Iffy and unnecessary.
    Terminator Salvation – Damn good, really underrated.

  • Stephanie Cutrere

    August 26, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    This is what we were waiting for, the Terminator film that takes place during the war. It was good and well filmed and gave us new killers from Skynet such as the Motorcycle units and the Harvester.

    It’s on Par I agree and wow, what fan of Guns N Roses still isn’t listening to “You Could Be Mine”?

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