Friday, June 05, 2009
Anthony Lane on TERMINATOR: SALVATION
"If you arrived late for TERMINATOR: SALVATION and missed the name of the director, at what moment would you realize you were not watching a Mike Leigh film? I would nominate the scene in which a rusty tow truck, armed with a wrecking ball, is pursued by a riderless robot motorbike, armed with automatic machine guns . . . The business of the film is not to tell a cogent story or earn the devotion of our sympathies but to analyze alternatives and, when in doubt, pick whichever is loudest . . . Take John Connor, played by Christian Bale as a scar-nicked warrior, consumed by a messianic belief that he can save the world by shouting. After the opening battle, he answers his radio with yelps of "Here!" and "Connor!" as though introducing himself to a befuddled and very deaf grandmother . . . When, and on what possible ground, did someone decide that the Terminator franchise should be no fun to watch? It's surely not a good sign when time travel gives you a sense of deja vu. . . . The title is unfortunate, giving the impression—which is more than borne out by the film—that something must be done to save the franchise . . . With a brief cameo by a C.G.I. version of Arnold Schwarzenegger; or maybe this is him, and the virtual one is governing California."
Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, June 1 and June 8, 2009