Am I a TERMINATOR fan?
Having enjoyed both of the James Cameron films I delved into the continuation of the franchise in the four-colored world of comics first throw NOW comics original series TERMINATOR: THE BURNING EARTH and later through Dark Horse Comics who published various limited series based on the franchise (all fairly good although like most franchise tended to run out of steam towards the end of their run).
Then came TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES (2003) directed by newcomer Jonathan Mostow who did an excellent job small thriller BREAKDOWN (1997) and U-571 (2000) but T3 ended up an ill-fated mess only enjoyable to those who have never seen the first two films. This film had a bigger budget but no brains and ended up nothing more then a very good paycheck for the current Govenor of CA. Sorry to say that I no longer was a Terminator fan.
Then in 2008 TERMINATOR showed up on the small screen with THE SARAH CONNER CHRONICLES, a spin-off with a great cast but messed with the continuity of the franchise so much that I’m not sure that in even belongs in the TERMINATOR franchise or if it’s just a bad dream (like what eventually happened with HALLOWEEN 4, 5, and 6 to that franchise). Although this show was cancelled after only two seasons it has its fans (because frankly the show wasn’t that bad).
Now we have TERMINATOR SALVATION (2009) a film that tries to be a sequel while also trying to reboot the franchise (ala STAR TREK). I’m not going to say the film is great but it’s a whole hell of a lot better then the previous film which is mainly because of the good writing and great cast on board. Whereas the 3rd film poked fun at itself on several occassions this film is a gritty war film that asks the question – in a world ruled by robots is humanity dead? After watching that 3rd film you’d think so but stars Christian Bale (as prophet of doom John Conner) and Sam Worthington are great foils for one another. It’s tuff to play opposite rising star super giant Bale but newcomer Worthington does a great job of holding his own in the film which is a testament not only to his talent but also to the great screenplay by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris.
It film not only has a gripping (and intellent) story behind it but it also has the action and excitement required of a summer popcorn film. I give great praise to director McG for putting together such a great team of experts (especially after the rumors of how hard he worked to get Bale interested in the film). Some people only see him as the guy who directed the CHARLES ANGELS films but I was willing to give him a chance (especially since Mostow – whom I like – screwed up the 3rd film).