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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Terminator: Salvation (12/1/2009)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language.

Directed by McG (We Are Marshall, Charlie’s Angels)

Starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington

Todd's Rating: Theatre Worthy

A must see for every Terminator fan!

Just in case you missed it, let’s start at the beginning. The Terminator released in 1984 as a low budget sci-fi film which became a megahit. Larger-than-life Arnold Schwarzenegger played a cybernetic organism that was sent back from the future to kill Sarah Connor. But when he first uttered the words, “I’ll be back”…everything changed.

The story line involves Skynet, an artificial intelligence computer network, that started thinking for itself and decided it needed to eradicate mankind with nuclear bombs and killer robots. So it sends the T-800 back in time to stop the future leader of the human resistance, John Connor, from ever being born. But Connor (of the future) sent his own guy, Kyle Reese, back to stop the T-800. In the process, Reese fell in love with John's mom and fathered a child with her. You guessed it—a child named John. Dizzy yet?

Now add in two more movies (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), a TV show (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), and ton of novels, comic books etc. When we get to Terminator: Salvation, the year is 2018, Judgment Day has happened and the machines are roaming the land collecting people and holding them in death camps. But under the leadership of John Connor, the humans form the Resistance and fight back. Kyle Reese is just a teenager and, of course, if a teen Reese gets killed before the adult Kyle Reese goes back to 1984, then John Connor ceases to exist. Dizzy again? The newest character is Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) who is a soldier in the resistance but has some serious suspicions surrounding him.

When I first heard McG was directing the 4th installment of the much-loved Terminator franchise, I was less than thrilled. Why? Well his previous films include the two Charlie’s Angels films and We Are Marshall. So was it possible that McG would surprise me with an intense, action-packed wild new Terminator film? The answer is a resounding yes.

I’m just gonna say it - Christian Bale is awesome. My wife calls him my man-crush, but…ok maybe it is a man-crush. Ok seriously, he delivers another amazing performance (check out Dark Knight, 3:10 to Yuma, The Prestige, Rescue Dawn, Batman Begins and so on and so on). Add to the mix Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood and Bryce Dallas Howard and you have yourself a great cast.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the “cast”. There’s been a major upgrade of hardware: There are water infested Hydrobots that look like a metal hybrid of a snake, shark and alligator. The huge Harvesters complete with very cool motorcycle-type robots that roll down their legs. And of course the roaring Hunter-Killers whose rumbling engines are so intense you can actually feel it in your chest.

McG did a great job of throwing us enough Terminator bones to keep the loyalist fan happy. From a blast of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘You Could Be Mine’ to the signature lines (John Connor gets to say, “I’ll be back” without it sounding cheesy and Kyle Reese gets to say, “Come with me if you want to live”) but the biggest and best comes in one of the final battles…nuf said.

Terminator: Salvation is exactly what I wanted and exactly what I expected…an awesome summer blockbuster…go see it!

It’s a PG-13 Sci-fi action movie about robots whose sole purpose is to kill humans…so you decide. Once you get past the violence and some language, there is not much to be upset about. No sex (although there are a few scenes where soldiers are naked) and even the violence is on the tame side. By that I mean not an excess of blood and gore.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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