Terminator Salvation

Rated 2.0

Humans fighting killer robots in the not-too-distant future against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic California? Of course you want to see that. But Christian Bale as humanity’s savior, John Connor, standing around verbalizing every explanatory thought in his inexplicable, unyielding, monotonic throaty whisper? Ugh. This is really stupid stuff by director McG (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) and the writing duo Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato (Catwoman). It’s the year 2018; there are some people in a submarine, some others in a well-fortified hideout, and a guy from the past who reappers as a half-man/half-robot (played by Sam Worthington—the film’s lone compelling character). After an hour-and-a-half of ridiculous one-liners and robot close-calls, we get the promised showdown at the compound of the human-hating machines of Skynet. The film and its predessesors already give away its telegraphed ending, but I’ll nonetheless keep things very general and say that unimaginative stupidity is the only thing that reaches a crescendo here. Despite itself, T4 is not entirely boring. What it lacks in storyline and interesting characters, it, at times, makes up for with visceral, exciting action sequences and gritty robot effects. And except for one head-slapping CGI homage to the earlier films, the digital enhancing is seamless. Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13