Upon further review, maybe it's not quite as bad as I thought.
But it's still not all that great.
This continuation of the Terminator franchise, which stumbled somewhat with 2003's "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," certainly still stubs its toe, but if this truly, as is rumored, is part one of a second trilogy of films, we need to reserve judgment until we see the direction the franchise is to move in in the next films.
My main problem with this entry is that McG and company seemed to try to integrate Transformers into the Terminator mythos, adding giant "collector" robots, motorcycle Terminators, and a silly, unnecessary variety of other quasi-cyborgs. The effect is akin to overload, and seeing so many defuses the sense of dread that filled virtually every frame of the first three Terminators.
In a sense, this is much more of a hardcore action film, and frankly the series isn't better for it.
Christian Bale brings back his gruff Batman voice, but inhabits John Connor with a sense of detachment. Though he's front-and-center of the military action against Skynet, he still goes underground with radio communications to the resistance. His superiors seem to resent him, but still trust him with important assignments, which is an odd and off-putting development.
Sam Worthington's performance as the co-lead (who has significantly more screentime than Bale) is shaky at best. His Australian accent comes and goes, though it's puzzling why McG would choose to include takes that are so blatantly bad.
The you-know-who "cameo" actually comes across as a bit less animated on the smaller screen and works better, and a second viewing seems to set up more of a larger story, but whether it's capitalized on is hard to say.
Curiously, the DVD features zero extras (though there are some pre-film trailers that can not be accessed from the main menu). So, sorry DVD owners, no footage of Christian Bale's rant, no topless Moon Bloodgood scene. You'll have to upgrade to the Blu Ray, or go online to check that stuff out. Do we detect a double-dip coming?
Film rating: 3 Yaps Extras rating: 0 Yaps
Read Nick Rogers' review of "Terminator Salvation" here.