It's Sam Worthington's Film
SPOILER ALERT ! We’ve tried to stay away from the big stuff, but don’t read on if you’re looking to stay 100% pure…
Bale’s name might be on the top of the credits – and he gives good growl as usual. But it’s Sam Worthington who gets the meaty plotline to chew on. His Marcus goes through a major journey.
Our only troublesome issue: his accent wobbles occasionally – something that should have been fixed in post-production.
Anton Yelchin Makes A Solid Kyle Reese
Yelchin doesn’t get as much to do as Worthington or even Bale, but he makes the most of his role, inhabiting the skin that Michael Biehn laid out in the original movie, without seeming like he’s doing an impersonation.
Almost Everyone Gets Good Material To Work With
We’ve talked about Worthington... Bale’s Connor is, obviously, the other strong focus - but even lesser characters like Moon Bloodgood’s Blair Williams get their moments to shine.
Bryce Dallas Howard’s Kate Connor is the only one who really seems short-changed by the film's relentless pace.
She gets some moments with Bale, and one action beat, but that’s about her lot. Maybe next film…
The Set-Pieces Are Stunning
You may have seen some of the film’s highlights in the trailers already, but there’s plenty that's been held back for the movie itself.
There's a terrific, tense escape scene with a nice Steve McQueen/Great Escape-style stunt and plenty of pummelling Bale Vs Terminator scraps.
It's Loaded With Nods To The Other Terminator Movies
Never once forgetting their franchise's heritage, McG and his team have packed Salvation with cleverly crafted – if occasionally unsubtle winks to what came before.
Our favourite? A snatch of Guns N’ Roses ‘You Could Be Mine’ when Connor tangles with a MotoTerminator…
Fanboys Will Be Happy
The movie hits the ground running in terms of plot – with just a brief, narrative crawl at the start to explain who Connor is, for anyone coming in cold.
So much assumed knowledge might leave viewers unfamiliar with the other Terminators a little lost, but there is plenty to enjoy for non-fans and, y'know, keep up! Do a bit of revision on the other three before you buy a ticket...
It Looks Amazing
McG has talked about the special film stock he and his camera team created for the movie, and it works well, giving the film a bleached, stark look that perfectly fits the sparse, arid, desert locations and the general ruined, post-apocalyptic LA vibe.
Plus, everything about Connor’s Resistance HQ – and, for that matter, the command base’s hidden location – has an edgy, grimy, desperate-humanity feel to it.
A Famous Face Definitely Appears
Whoever on the effects team created the much-rumoured version of one of the Terminator movies’ most famous visages deserves a huge slap on the back and a big pay rise.
It makes for a broad-grinning, tummy-flipping, cheer-out-loud moment…
The mighty Michael Ironside plays the head of the resistance, and though he only has a small role, he absolutely rocks.
The movie needed someone – besides Sam Worthington – to match up to Bale for muscular alpha-maleness, and Ironside is more than up to the job.
The Ending Is Edgy... And Controversial
But definitely not in the way the early rumours suggested.
Yes, there’s sacrifice and yes, there’s a life-saving move.
Other than that... expect much message-board debate - and maybe derision...
It Leaves Us Wanting More...
There are no easy-wrapped happy endings.
The small triumphs feel earned, but what you’re left with is a feeling that the war – and this new chapter of the story – has only just begun.
And the last lines of the film will be pleasingly familiar to fans and mouthwatering for newcomers…