Today, the fourth movie in the Terminator series, Terminator Salvation, is here. This time the director is McG (Charlie’s Angels). And if that name makes you think of McDonald’s, you’re on the right track. Just as McDonald’s burgers never look like what you see in McDonald’s commercials, this movie is a betrayal. T4 tastes like it was thrown together in a greasy kitchen by folks who ignore instructions for good hygiene, press heavily processed ingredients together into cardboard containers, and hand it to us with a scowl. And when Arnie’s favorite line occurs at last, you’re likely to hear the audience protest: “No! Don’t come back!” Especially since it comes from the film’s most annoying character.
At the climax of the film, Christian Bale staggers into a factory where Terminators are made. He doesn’t see anything there that we haven’t seen before. “There are so many of them,” he gasps, pointing out the obvious yet again. Yep. And yet, the more of them we see, the less interesting they become. That’s how it is in this business. Too bad. There was a time when the sight of those red eyes sent shivers down my spine. The thrill is gone.
This franchise, like it’s villains, has become more machine than man. We’ll have to hope that what Michael Ironside says early in the film is true: Every machine has an OFF switch.
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