“Terminator: Salvation” was directed by McG and serves as a sequel to “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” but a prequel to “The Terminator” film. This was the fourth film in the series but the first and only prequel. The film stars Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Moon Bloodgood, Michael Ironside and Helena Bonham Carter. The Halcyon Company acquired the film rights from Mario Kassar who wrote and produced the previous 3 films but the Company ended up filing for bankruptcy shorty after the movie was released and cancelled all potential sequels.
In 2003, Marcus Wright (Worthington) was sentenced to death but donated his body to Cyberdyne Systems for science purposes. 15 years later, after Los Angeles was leveled by a nuclear bomb, a war raged on as Skynet lead the machines to destroy what remained of the human race. Resistance leader, John Connor (Bale) and his men are sent to machine communications base to destroy it but stumble across a concentration camp beneath it. Before anything could be said, the machine blow it up leaving Connor alone. Among the rumble, Marcus awakens and goes roaming the streets of whats left of Los Angeles. At the Command Base, Colonel Hugh Ashdown (Ironside) i forms John of 2 major bulletins. The first being a signal was found and can be use to stop the machines. The other was that a kill list was found in Skynet. Connor was number 2 behind a unknown teenager, Kyle Reese (Yelchin). John returns to his wife Kate (Howard), his second in command, Barnes (Common) and fight pilot, Blair (Bloodgood) to test this new signal and also find Kyle before Skynet does. With only 4 days left before the kill list is carried out, the Resistance has its work cut out for it as they try win this war while Marcus is the one who finds Kyle and helps him find Connor before the machines kill them all.
This was a pretty solid movie. I really enjoyed Christian Bale as John Connor. His portrayal was much darker than Nick Stahl in the previous film and gave him much more depth. While Stahl was more brooding and tortured, Bale was more brutal and hardened having been through a lot more than the previous film. While Sam Worthington is fine, his character seemed unimportant and felt very tacked on. The movie and storyline could’ve worked without him. The visuals were a bit soft except for one particular scene at the gas station. It seemed like a Hi-Def video game cutscenes at times but still maintain the dark tone. It is a bit disappointing coming off the previous film but it is still a solid action movie.
After “Salvation’s” mediocre box office return, it would be another 6 years before the next film would be released. 2015’s “Terminator: Genesis”, which was another disappointment and 2019’s “Terminator: Dark Fate”, which I’ve already covered, was straight up garbage. McG would on to direct more films including “This Means War” and “The Babysitter”. Christian Bale would go on and complete “The Dark Knight” trilogy in 2012 and then appear in a slew of award winning films such as “American Hustle”, “Vice”, “The Fighter” & “Ford V. Ferrari”. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”. Anton Yelchin would go on and appear in the rebooted “Star Trek” trilogy from 2009 to 2016 as well as the 2 “Smurf” films in 2011 & 2013. Sadly, Yelchin passed away in 2016 after a freak car accident near his home in California.