Sam Worthington Terminator Salvation Interview
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I was prepared to hate “Terminator Salvation.” How can director McG top the stellar productions of the first two “Terminator” films by James Cameron? Besides, the third movie of the franchise was a forgettable mess.
The writers of the third “Terminator,” John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, in an attempt to erase that movie from our memories, also wrote the fourth film. And now, Brancato and Ferris are forgiven. “Terminator Salvation” is a worthy addition to the franchise.
The best part of the film is its Western structure. “Terminator Salvation” borrows myths and conventions from good, old Western films in order to come up with a flawed but ultimately satisfying movie.
The film is set in the year 2018. Judgment Day has come and gone. Now, an army of Terminators roams the desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape. But small groups of survivors have organized into a Resistance. Their would-be leader is a man named John Connor (Christian Bale).
The character John Connor has been present in the last two “Terminators.” Edward Furlong played him as a young teenager in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and then actor Nick Stahl in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.”
In “Terminator Salvation,” John Connor accepts his heroic destiny, but he must first come to terms with Marcus Wright (the fantastic Sam Worthington), a new Terminator prototype that is part-machine, part-human, yet whose heart is all intact.
Adding layers to the narrative is the character Kyle Reese (the charming Anton Yelchin). You may remember the name from the first “Terminator” played by Michael Biehn. In the 1984 movie, Kyle came back in time to save Sarah Connor, the lovely Linda Hamilton, and became the father of John Connor. Now, Kyle is a young member of the Resistance and is about to meet his son for the first time.
“Terminator Salvation” is a story about three men who must find common ground to take a stand against Skynet, the artificial intelligence network that is increasingly hell bent on unleashing nuclear annihilation. Like a Western film, the women in their lives are either genteel (Kate Connor played by Bryce Dallas Howard) or rough and rugged (Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams).
Director McG once said that he offered the role Marcus Wright to Bale but the actor declined and chose John Connor instead. And that’s a good thing because the character was given ample focus. The bad part? Bale seems to be stuck with his growl and scowl acting he perfected in the “Batman” films. He wasn’t able to add gravitas to the role.
But the savior of the film is Worthington. The Australian actor is the heart of the movie, literally and figuratively. He gave a memorable performance as a conflicted Terminator who must choose between following Skynet or saving humans. Worthington is also cast to play Perseus in the upcoming “Clash of the Titans” remake, so this actor’s star wattage is poised to shine bright.
Yelchin is also a great addition to the cast. The guy who played Chekov in “Star Trek” is stepping yet again into mighty big shoes. But he proved to be such a charismatic actor that he embraces the Kyle Reese character and makes it his own.
McG did his best to create a summer popcorn film and succeeded! “Terminator Salvation” has great special effects (watch out for those giant Terminators and their robot motorcycle siblings) and cinematography. From the first time you see Marcus’ boots in the foreground with a decaying Los Angeles in the background, you’re entering desolate American west by way of post-Apocalyptic future.
The film has some glaring plot holes but I won’t spoil the movie for you by spilling them here. But there’s one giant surprise that I cannot keep from you. There’s an homage given to the original Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And you will find yourself clapping with joy.
And for that, “Terminator Salvation” gets 3 the franchise is back kisses
Year of Production: 2009
Country: United States