Terminator salvation

Terminator Salvation is a 2009 American
science fiction film, the fourth installment in
the Terminator series, directed by McG, and
starring Christian Bale as future Resistance
leader John Connor and Sam Worthington as
cyborg Marcus Wright. The film also
introduces a young Kyle Reese from the
original 1984 film, played by Anton Yelchin,
as well as depicting the origin of the T-800
Model 101 Terminator. Terminator Salvation,

set in 2018, focuses on the war between
humanity and Skynet – a departure from the
previous installments, which were set on the
present day and featured time travel.
After a troubled pre-production, with The
Halcyon Company acquiring the rights for
the franchise from Andrew G. Vajna and
Mario Kassar and several writers working on
the screenplay, filming began in May 2008 in
New Mexico and ran for 77 days. The film is
currently the most expensive independent
production in history.[2] Terminator Salvation
was released on May 21, 2009 in the United
States and Canada, followed by early June
releases in the United Kingdom, Australia,
New Zealand, and South Africa. The film was
met with mixed to negative critical reviews
and failed to meet box office expectations
with $371 million worldwide.
Contents [show]
In 2003, Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham
Carter) of Cyberdyne Systems convinces
death row inmate Marcus Wright (Sam
Worthington) to sign his body over for
medical research following his execution by
lethal injection. One year later, the Skynet
system is activated, perceives humans as a
threat to its own existence, and eradicates
much of humanity in the event known as
Judgment Day (see Terminator 3: Rise of the
Machines). In 2018, John Connor (Christian
Bale) leads an attack by the Resistance on a
Skynet base. John discovers human
prisoners and plans for the development of a
new type of Terminator incorporating living
tissue, but is the only apparent survivor of
the attack after the base is destroyed in a
nuclear explosion. However, Marcus
emerges from the wreckage of the base and
proceeds on foot to Los Angeles.
John returns to Resistance headquarters
located aboard a nuclear submarine and tells
General Ashdown (Michael Ironside), the
current leader, of his discovery. Meanwhile,
the Resistance has discovered a radio
frequency believed to be capable of shutting
down Skynet machines. They plan to launch
an offensive against the Skynet base in San
Francisco in four days, in response to an
intercepted “kill list” indicating that Skynet
plans to kill the Resistance’s command staff in
four days’ time. John learns that his own
name is second on the list, following Kyle
Reese. The Resistance leaders are unaware of
Kyle’s importance to Skynet, but John knows
that it is because Kyle will later become his
father (see The Terminator). John meets with
his officer Barnes (Common) and wife Kate
(Bryce Dallas Howard) and sends radio
broadcasts to Resistance members and surviving
civilians around the world.
Arriving in the ruins of Los Angeles, Marcus is
saved from a T-600 Terminator by Kyle Reese
(Anton Yelchin) and his mute companion Star
(Jadagrace Berry). Kyle relates to Marcus the
events of Judgment Day and the ensuing war
between humans and machines. Hearing John’s
radio broadcast, the three leave Los Angeles in
search of the Resistance. They survive an attack
by machines, but Kyle, Star, and several other
humans are taken prisoner, while a pair of
Resistance A-10s are shot down. Marcus locates
downed pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood)
and they make their way to John’s base, but
Marcus is wounded by a magnetic land mine.
Attempting to save his life, the Resistance fighters
discover that he is in fact a cyborg with human
organs, a mechanical endoskeleton, circuitry, and
a partially artificial cerebral cortex. Marcus believes
himself to be human, demanding to be released
so that he can save Kyle from Skynet, but John
believes that Marcus has come to kill him and
orders his destruction. However, Blair releases
him and helps him to escape from the base.
During the resulting pursuit Marcus saves John’s
life from Skynet hydrobots, and the two form an
alliance—Marcus will enter Skynet’s headquarters
and attempt to disable its defenses so that John
can rescue Kyle.
John demands that Ashdown delay the attack so
that he can rescue Kyle and the other prisoners,
but Ashdown refuses and relieves John of his
command. However, John’s soldiers remain loyal
to him and obey his command not to attack the
Skynet base. Meanwhile, Marcus enters the base
and interfaces with the computer, disabling the
perimeter defenses and allowing John to infiltrate
the cell block and release the human prisoners.
The Resistance’s disabling signal is revealed to be
a ruse, and the command submarine with the
Resistance leaders aboard is destroyed by a
Marcus discovers that he was created by Skynet
and has unwittingly fulfilled his programmed
mission to lure John into the base to be killed. He
tears out the hardware linking him to Skynet and
leaves to assist John in battling a T-800 model 101
Terminator. John is mortally wounded during the
fight, but succeeds in destroying the Skynet base
by rigging several Terminator hydrogen fuel cells
to an explosive, detonating them as he, Marcus,
Kyle, and Star are airlifted out. Kate attempts to
save John’s life, but his heart is too damaged.
Marcus offers his own heart for transplant,
sacrificing himself to save John. Recovering, John
radios to the other Resistance fighters that though
this battle has been won, the war is far from
Christian Bale as John Connor: A soldier in the
Resistance waging war against Skynet after it
destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear
holocaust, who is destined to become humanity’s
leader. Director McG deemed Bale “the most
credible action star in the world” during
development.[3] McG wanted Bale for Marcus, but
the actor — even though he “can’t really
remember why” — wanted to play John, and that
led to the character’s role getting expanded in
rewrites of the script.[4] Bale was the first person
to be cast and signed on for the role in November
2007. McG talked extensively with Bale in the UK
about the role while the latter was filming The
Dark Knight, and they both agreed to proceed.[5]
Although a fan of the Terminator series, he was
at first uninterested, until McG convinced him the
story would be character-based and not rely on
special effects.[3] They kept working on the story
every day, along with Worthington.[6] McG said
Bale broke his hand punching a Terminator prop
during filming.[7] Bale also spent six to eight
hours each day with McG in the editing room to
advise the finished product.[8]
Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright: A
mysterious man on death row for murder who
donated his body to Cyberdyne Systems for
experimentation.[9] His last memory is of being
on death row, and John is at first unsure of
whether Wright is trustworthy.[10] Terminator
creator James Cameron personally
recommended Worthington (whom he directed
in Avatar) to McG.[11] Russell Crowe also
recommended him to McG. The director decided
Worthington looked tougher than the “great
many of today’s [waify] young male actors”.[9]
Worthington recalled Cameron told him “the
Terminator to make is the one with the war”.[12]
Worthington tore his intercostal muscles during
the first weeks of filming, but he nevertheless
insisted on performing his own stunts.[9][13] McG
had originally asked Christian Bale to play the role,
but the latter insisted on portraying John instead,
and to expand the character’s role.[14] The former
once expressed interest in casting Daniel Day-
Lewis or Josh Brolin in the part as well.[15][16]
Brolin did talk to Bale and read a draft of the
screenplay, which he found “interesting and dark,
[but] ultimately, though, I didn’t think it felt
Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese: A teenage refugee
and admirer of John Connor and the Resistance.
As portrayed by Michael Biehn in The Terminator,
he was sent back in time to 1984 to protect Sarah
Connor to ensure the survival of the human race,
and fathered John with her. Yelchin said he
wanted to portray Reese as Biehn did and not
make him appear weaker because it was a
younger version of the character. The difference
in his portrayal lies in showing Reese as intense,
but not concentrated until he joins the resistance
proper. Yelchin tried to convey Reese’s intensity
by focusing on how fast Biehn appeared when
running in the original film.[18]
Bryce Dallas Howard as Kate Connor: John’s wife,
who is seven months pregnant. Charlotte
Gainsbourg was originally set to play the part, but
left due to scheduling conflicts with another
film.[19] As portrayed by Claire Danes in the third
film, Kate was a veterinarian; but in this film, she
is now a physician. Howard suggested, as part of
the character’s backstory, that Kate studied
medical books and interviewed many surviving
doctors after the events of Judgment Day. The
film’s subject matter reminded her of developing
countries, devastated by war and lack basic
supplies such as clean water, which “reflects
things that are going on currently in this
privileged world that we are living in where there
hasn’t been an apocalypse and robots haven’t
taken over the world. I think that’s something
definitely for us to reinvestigate and that we
continue to make choices for our own future to
take that into consideration”.[20] Howard also
focused on Kate “being accustomed to fear and
loss” because the character was a military
Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams: Suffering from
survivor’s guilt, Blair is a “no-nonsense and
battle-hardened” pilot of the Resistance and the
romantic interest for Marcus as well.[22][23] McG
characterizes her as continuing the feminine
strength that has been prominent throughout the
Common as Barnes: A resistance soldier and
John’s right-hand man.[25][26]
Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Serena Kogan:
Before Judgment Day, Serena was an ex-
Cyberdyne scientist with terminal cancer working
on advanced technology, convincing Marcus to
donate his body to Project Angel for her
“research”, which will fall into the hands of
Skynet.[27] Her face was later used by the Skynet
computer in order to communicate with Marcus.
Tilda Swinton was originally considered for the
part, but Bonham Carter replaced her before
filming. She accepted the part because her
partner, Tim Burton, is a Terminator fan. Her role
was a “small but pivotal” one and would only
require ten days of shooting.[28] On July 20,
2008, Bonham Carter delayed filming by a
day,[29] and was given an indefinite leave due to
the death of four of her family members in a
minibus accident in South Africa.[30]
Roland Kickinger as the T-800 Model 101: The first
Terminator covered in living human tissue built
as Skynet’s newest weapon for the extermination
of humankind. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s facial
likeness was utilized via CGI, with a mold of his
face made in 1984 scanned to create the digital
makeup.[31] Fellow Austrian bodybuilder and
actor Kickinger, who previously portrayed
Schwarzenegger in the 2005 biographical film See
Arnold Run, was his physical double on set.
When asked about his role, Kickinger said it’s
“Arnold’s character in the first Terminator. That’s
basically my role, but 20 years before, so it
establishes how the Terminator came about.”[32]
Polish strongman athlete Mariusz Pudzianowski
was also considered for doubling
Schwarzenegger.[33] If Schwarzenegger had
decided not to lend his appearance to the film,
then John would have shot the T-800’s face off
before the audience got a good look at him.[34]
Jadagrace Berry as Star: A nine-year-old girl in
Reese’s care.[21] Born after Judgment Day, Star is
mute due to the trauma of the post-apocalyptic
world. However, this has given her the unnatural
ability to sense when a Skynet machine is
Michael Ironside as General Ashdown: As a
former commander from the United States
Armed Forces, Ashdown serves as the leader of
the Resistance, who views John Connor as
nuisance yet also sees him as an asset because of
his extensive knowledge of the Skynet machines.
Linda Hamilton as the uncredited voice of Sarah
Connor: Hamilton is heard from tapes Sarah
recorded before her death prior to the film’s
events to warn John of the future war.[35]
In 1999, two years after C2 Pictures purchased
the rights to the franchise, two Terminator films’
premises were mapped out and were supposed
to be developed simultaneously. Tedi Sarafian
was hired to write Terminator 3: Rise of the
Machines, which he eventually received shared
story credit for, while David C. Wilson was to
write Terminator 4. Before any revisions were
done, T3 initially took place in 2001 and revolved
around the first attacks between Skynet and
humans. T4 would follow immediately
afterwards and centered primarily on the war
seen in the first two movies.[36] Warner Bros.
gave the film the codename “Project Angel”.
Following the release of Terminator 3 in 2003,
producers Andrew G. Vajna and Mario Kassar
contracted Nick Stahl and Claire Danes to return
as John Connor and Kate Brewster in another
film.[37] Director Jonathan Mostow helped
develop the script, written by John Brancato and
Michael Ferris, and was set to begin production in
2005 after completing another film. It was known
by then Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role would be
limited, as he had assumed office as Governor of
California. The producers sought to have Warner
Bros. finance the picture as they did for
Terminator 3.[38] In 2005, Stahl said John and
Kate would be recast as the story jumped
forward in time.[39] By 2006, Metro-Goldwyn-
Mayer, distributor of the original film The
Terminator, was set to distribute the fourth film
as part of the new CEO Harry Sloan’s scheme to
make the studio a viable Hollywood player.
On May 9, 2007, it was announced that
production rights to the Terminator series had
passed from the feuding Vajna and Kassar to the
Halcyon Company. The producers hoped to start
a new trilogy based on the franchise.[40] By July
19, the project was in legal limbo due to a lawsuit
between MGM and Halcyon subsidiary T Asset.
MGM had an exclusive window of 30 days to
negotiate for distribution of the Terminator films.
When negotiating for Terminator 4, Halcyon
rejected their initial proposal, and MGM
suspended negotiations. After the 30 days were
over, MGM claimed that the period during which
negotiations were suspended did not count and
their exclusive period was still open. Halcyon
asked a court for an injunction allowing them to
approach other distributors.[41] Later, the lawsuit
was settled and MGM got a 30-day right of first
refusal to finance and distribute the fifth
Terminator film.[42]
Finally, Warner Bros paid $60 million to acquire
the United States distribution rights of Terminator
Salvation; Sony Pictures also paid just over $100
million to acquire this film’s distribution rights in
most international territories.[43]
McG signed on to direct as the first two films
were among his favorites, and he had even cast
Robert Patrick (who played the T-1000) in his
films.[44] Though he was initially unsure about
“flogging a dead horse,”[3] he felt the post-
apocalyptic setting allowed the film to be different
enough so as not to be just an inferior sequel.
The idea that events in Terminator 2: Judgment
Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
altered the future also allowed them to be flexible
with their presentation of the futuristic world.[45]
McG met with the series’ co-creator James
Cameron, and, although he neither blessed nor
cursed the project, Cameron told the new
director he had faced a similar challenge when
following Ridley Scott’s Alien with Aliens.[3] He
maintained two elements of the previous films;
that John is an outsider to the authorities, and
someone of future importance is being protected,
and in this film it is Kyle Reese.[46]
The first full screenplay for the film was written
by Terminator 3 writers John Brancato and
Michael Ferris, who received full screenplay credit.
Paul Haggis rewrote Brancato and Ferris’s
script,[47] and Shawn Ryan made another
revision three weeks before filming.[48] Jonathan
Nolan also wrote on set, which led to McG
characterizing his work on the script as the most
important;[45] he chose to contribute to the film
after Bale signed on and created Connor’s arc of
becoming a leader.[49] Anthony E. Zuiker
contributed to the script as well.[50] So extensive
were the rewrites that Alan Dean Foster decided
to rewrite the entire novelization after submitting
it to his publisher, because the compiled shooting
script was very different from the one he was
given beforehand.[51]
In the
was a
secondary character. Producer James Middleton
explained “Ben-Hur was influenced by Jesus
Christ, but it was his story. Much in that way, this
[new main] character will be influenced by John
Connor.”[53] The original ending was to have
John killed, and his image kept alive by the
resistance by grafting his skin onto Marcus’
cybernetic body.[54][55] However, after the
Internet leak, Warner Bros. decided to completely
change the entire third act of the film.[56] McG
and Nolan did continue the Christ element of
John’s character though, in which he has some
followers who believe what he knows about
Skynet, and others who do not.[57]
McG described the film’s theme as “where you
draw the line between machines and humans”.[3]
The friendship between Marcus — who was
executed (for murder) when humanity still ruled
the world — and Kyle Reese illustrates how war
and suffering can bring out the best in people,
such as when they worked together to survive
during the Blitz.[52] The title was derived from
this second chance given to humanity and to
Marcus, in addition to John’s efforts to save
humanity from the machines.[58] The film’s
original title was Terminator Salvation: The Future
Begins, but this was dropped during filming.[52]
Throughout writing, the cast and crew would
watch scenes from the three films to pick
moments to reference or tribute, including “I’ll be
back”, which is uttered by John in this film. McG
found himself having to decide which ideas for
references would be included and which would
not.[59] An opening scene has John fighting a
Terminator on a crashed helicopter, which was
storyboarded as a homage to the climax of the
original film, where his mother Sarah, having
broken her leg, is chased by a crippled
Terminator. McG did this to reflect the skills John
learned from her.[9]
Filming and design
Shooting of the film started on May 5, 2008 in
New Mexico.[60] Filming also took place at
Kirtland Air Force Base in the state.[61] The
filmmakers had originally intended to begin
filming on April 15 in Budapest,[62] but a twenty-
five percent tax rebate and absence of an interest
rate cap and floor made the filmmakers seek the
cheaper New Mexico, because of their $200
million budget.[63] To avoid delays caused by a
possible 2008 Screen Actors Guild strike in July,
all exterior scenes were completed by then, so
production could restart easily.[64][65] The shoot
ended on July 20, 2008,[29] though some pick-
ups took place in January 2009.[66]
In addition to Bale breaking his hand and
Worthington hurting his back, special effects
technician Mike Menardis almost lost his leg
filming an explosion. The sequence required a
manhole cover being blown into the air, which hit
Menardis and partially severed his leg. McG noted
it was testament to the gritty style of the film. “I
say with respect, I didn’t want that Star Wars
experience of everything’s a blue screen, tennis
balls, and go for it. I had Stan Winston build all
the machines. We built all the sets, the explosive
power, the explosive power so you feel that wind
and that percussion and that heat blowing your
eyebrows off. And with that you get a couple
bumps and bruises on the way, but you get it in
an integrity and a realism that hopefully echoes
Apocalypse Now. You couldn’t say, ‘Let’s just
shoot Apocalypse Now in Burbank, I think it’s
going to feel just as good.’ “[58]
The film used Technicolor’s Oz process during
post-production. This is a partial silver retention
on the interpositive, similar to bleach bypass,
which will be used to lend to the sense of
detachment from the modern world McG was
looking for.[6] Industrial Light & Magic developed
shader programs to make the desaturated
lighting of the CGI realistic and well-integrated to
the on-set footage.[67] The filmmakers consulted
with many scientists about the effects of an
abandoned world and nuclear winter.[44] McG
cited Mad Max 2, the original Star Wars trilogy
and Children of Men, as well as the novel The
Road, as his visual influences.[3][44] He instructed
his cast to read the latter as well as Do Androids
Dream of Electric Sheep?[29][45] Like Children of
Men, McG would storyboard scenes so that it
would be edited together to resemble a seamless,
continuous shot.[68] It took two weeks to film a
two-minute shot of Connor getting caught up in a
bombing on the Skynet base where he discovers
plans for the T-800.[69]
The majority of the machines were designed by
Martin Laing, a crew member on Cameron’s
Titanic and Ghosts of the Abyss.[70] McG
described many of the machines as having an H.
R. Giger influence.[44] McG’s intent was to create
a gritty, tactile 2018 on screen, and Laing
concurred the robots would have to be black and
degraded as none of them are new. Laing
devised Aerostats, which are smaller versions of
the Aerial Hunter Killers from the previous films.
The Aerostats send a signal to the 60-foot-tall
humanoid Harvesters. They are very big and
slow, so they use Mototerminators to capture
humans, and the Harvesters place them in
Transporters. Laing was unsure of how to design
the Transporters until he saw a cattle transport
while driving through Albuquerque. Completing
Skynet’s domination of air, land and sea is the
Hydrobot, which Laing modeled on eels.[52] The
film features the rubber-skinned T-600s and
T-700s. McG interpreted Kyle Reese’s description
in the original film of the T-600 as being easy to
spot by making them tall and bulky.[3] The
Mototerminators’ design were inspired on the
Ducati motorcycles.[67]
Salvation was one of the last films that Stan
Winston, the visual effects supervisor on the first
three films, worked on. He died on June 15, 2008
from multiple myeloma,[71] and McG dedicated
the film to him, in the end credits.[8] John
Rosengrant and Charlie Gibson replaced
Winston,[70] and McG commented that they are
“trying to achieve something that’s never been
done before”[72] and will “push the
envelope”.[73] Motion capture was used to show
damage to the Terminator Marcus’ face,[46] while
a 20 foot-tall model built and detonated by Kerner
Optical was used for the explosion of Skynet’s 30-
story San Francisco-based lab.[52]
During filming, Bale became angry at director of
photography Shane Hurlbut, swearing at him and
threatening to leave the film.[74][75] Bale
apologized publicly and said he resolved his
differences with Hurlbut, and that when the
incident took place they continued to film for a
few hours.[76]
Danny Elfman began composing the score in
January 2009. Beforehand, McG had the idea to
hire Gustavo Santaolalla, who he got to speak
with, to work on the human themes, while
having either Thom Yorke or Jonny Greenwood
for Skynet’s themes.[35][49] He also wanted to
discuss scoring the film with Hans Zimmer, but
he was unable to arrange a meeting. However,
he managed to meet with The Terminator and
Terminator 2 composer Brad Fiedel. McG was not
interested in repeating the sounds Fiedel achieved
in his films but still wanted Elfman to use those
themes and ambient sounds, and give them a
“Wagnerian quality”.[46]
Reprise Records released the soundtrack on May
19, 2009, which includes fifteen tracks. While
Common had expressed interest in writing a
song for the soundtrack,[77] Alice in Chains’
“Rooster” is the only featured song.[78] Although
not included in the soundtrack, “You Could Be
Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, which was featured in
Terminator 2: Judgment Day, can be heard briefly
in a scene of the film as well. Nine Inch Nails’ “The
Day The World Went Away” is played on the
film’s theatrical trailer, but is not included in the
film or soundtrack.
1. “Opening” – 6:01
2. “All Is Lost” – 2:45
3. “Broadcast” – 3:19
4. “The Harvester Returns” – 2:45
5. “Fireside” – 1:31
6. “No Plan” – 1:43
7. “Reveal / The Escape” – 7:44
8. “Hydrobot Attack” – 1:49
9. “Farewell” – 1:40
10. “Marcus Enters Skynet” – 3:23
11. “A Solution” – 1:44
12. “Serena” – 2:28
13. “Final Confrontation” – 4:14
14. “Salvation” – 3:07
15. “Rooster” (Alice in Chains) – 6:14
In March 2009, producer Moritz Borman filed a
lawsuit against the Halcyon Company, seeking
$160 million. Borman, who had arranged the
transfer of the Terminator rights to Halcyon in
May 2007, stated the company’s two managers
Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek had
“hijacked” the production and refused to give him
his $2.5 million share of the production. Borman
alleged budget overruns were the reasons
Anderson and Kubicek did not pay him and that
they had $1 million in debt.[80] Nevertheless, an
“amicable” resolution was reached a month
Further complications occurred on May 20, 2009
when executive producer Peter D. Graves, who
informed Anderson and Kubicek about the
Terminator rights, filed a breach-of-contract claim
for arbitration, alleging that they owe him
The film was released in the U.S. on May 21, 2009
with Warner Bros. setting the American premiere
on May 14, 2009 at the Grauman’s Chinese
Theatre in Hollywood.[82] Elsewhere, Sony
Pictures Entertainment released the film in most
overseas territories on different dates in June. One
exception is Mexico, however, because of the
swine flu outbreak in the country, which forced
Sony to push the release date to July 31, 2009.[83]
It is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association
of America for “intense sequences of sci-fi
violence, action, and language,” unlike the
previous R-rated films.[84] The decision was
made to rate the film PG-13 after agreeing to cut
out a shot of Marcus stabbing a thug with a
screwdriver, as McG felt disallowing the young
audience due to that one shot was unfair. He also
deleted a topless scene for Moon Bloodgood
because “It was a soft moment between a man
and a woman that was designed to echo the Kelly
McGillis/Harrison Ford moment in Witness [but]
in the end, it felt more like a gratuitous moment
of a girl taking her top off in an action picture, and
I didn’t want that to convolute the story or the
characters.”[85] The producers had expected the
rating because of the modern leniency towards
violence in PG-13 films, such as Live Free or Die
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Based on 240 reviews collected by Rotten
Tomatoes, critical reaction for Terminator
Salvation tended toward negativity with an overall
33% approval rating.[86] Among Rotten
Tomatoes’ Top Critics, which consists of popular
and notable critics from the top newspapers,
websites, television and radio programs,[87] the
film holds a similar overall approval rating of
32%.[88] By comparison, Metacritic, which
assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews
from mainstream critics, the film has received an
average score of 51, based on 34 reviews.[89]
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the
film a 2 out of 4 stars, saying that “After
scrutinizing the film, I offer you my summary of
the story: Guy dies, finds himself resurrected,
meets others, fights. That lasts for almost two
hours.”[90] Michael Rechtshaffen of the
Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film isn’t the
same without Arnold Schwarzenegger and that it
misses its dramatic element.[91] Likewise, Claudia
Puig of USA Today gave the film a 2/4 and called
it “predictable” with the “dramatic elements flat-lin
[ing].” She noted that Christian Bale’s performance
was “one-dimensional,” but Sam Worthington’s
and Anton Yelchin’s were better.[92]
Total Film’s review gave the movie 4/5 with its
verdict: “The Terminator story recharges with a
post-apocalyptic jolt of energy. Frantic and full of
welcome ties to the past, it also ploughs new
ground with purpose. Fingers crossed McG will
follow Cameron’s lead and serve up a worthy
sequel…”[93] Devin Faraci of Empire magazine,
too, gave a positive rating of four out of five
stars, saying: “McG has sparked a moribund
franchise back to life, giving fans the post-
apocalyptic action they’ve been craving since they
first saw a metal foot crush a human skull two
decades ago.”[94] However, on CHUD, the latter
said “Bale’s desire to star as John Connor was
probably the most fatal blow to the film; it
completely distorted the shape of the story as it
existed.” Furthermore, he expresses that the third
act was when the film began falling apart, saying
how “McG and Nolan muddied the end of the
picture, delivering action generics (yet another
Terminator fight in a factory) while never finding
their own hook that would give this movie more
of an impact than you would get from an
expanded universe novel.”[95]
Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times stated
that “[Bale’s] strengths do not serve him, or the
movie, as well here” and that “when the story
starts to crumble around Bale, Worthington is
there to pick up the pieces.”[96] A.O. Scott of the
New York Times said the film has “a brute
integrity lacking in some of the other seasonal
franchise movies” and “efficient, reasonably swift
storytelling.”[97] Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz
gave the film a “See It” and “Skip It,” respectively,
on their show At the Movies with the latter
mentioning that it “is the worst big budget
summer release I’ve seen in some time.”[98]
Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the preceding
three films in the series, remarked that
Terminator Salvation was “a great film, I was
very excited.”[99] Linda Hamilton, who portrayed
Sarah Connor in The Terminator and Terminator
2: Judgment Day and lent her voice to Terminator
Salvation, wished the film “all the best” but
expressed her opinion that the series “was perfect
with two films. It was a complete circle, and it
was enough in itself. But there will always be
those who will try [to] milk the cow.”[100]
Box office
The film’s first nationwide U.S. screenings were at
12 A.M. on Thursday, May 21, 2009, making $3
million from midnight screenings. Within this first
day, the film earned $13.3 million.[101] This
opening placed it 20th on the list of all-time
Thursday box office grosses in the United
States.[102] The movie grossed an additional
$42,558,390 on its 4-day Memorial Day opening
weekend and debuted at #2 behind Night at the
Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,[103]
performing less than its predecessor
domestically, but improving by 21%
internationally.[104] In the United Kingdom’s
opening weekend, it had ticket sales of $11
million.[105] The film’s total domestic gross is at
$125,320,855, and along with $245,999,426 from
overseas territories, its worldwide gross is
currently at $371,320,281.[1] As of September
2009, the film ranks tenth for the year
internationally and sixteenth domestically (U.S.
and Canada), putting it below initial expectations in
terms of domestic gross and first weekend, as
well as overall global take.[106][107][108]
Home media
The DVD and Blu-ray Disc of the film will be
released on December 1, 2009. The former will
contain the theatrical cut of the film with a
featurette on the Mototerminators. Contrarily, the
Blu-ray will feature both the theatrical cut and the
director’s cut, which is three minutes longer, with
bonus material including Maximum Movie Mode,
a video commentary in which director McG talks
about the film while it plays, featurettes, a video
archive, and a digital comic of the first issue of the
official movie prequel comic. Both will come
along with a digital copy of the theatrical cut for
portable media players.[109]
In addition to the novelization by
Alan Dean Foster, a prequel
novel titled From the Ashes by
Timothy Zahn was released.[110]
[111] IDW Publishing released a
four-issue prequel comic, as
well as an adaptation.[112] It
follows Connor rallying together
the resistance in 2017, as well as
examining normal people
overcoming their intolerances to
defeat Skynet.[113] Playmates
Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, Hot
Toys, Character Options, and DC
Unlimited produced merchandise,[114][115] while
Chrysler, Sony, Pizza Hut, and 7-Eleven are
among the product placement partners.[116][117]
On May 23, 2009, a roller coaster named after the
film opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain.[118]
A third-person shooter video game of the same
name was released on the same week of the
release of the film.[119] Christian Bale declined to
lend his voice, so Gideon Emery lent his voice as
John Connor. The game, however, features the
voices of Common and Moon Bloodgood as
Barnes and Blair Williams, respectively.[120]
Despite not appearing in the film, Rose McGowan
voiced the character of Angie Salter, an ex-high
school teacher.[121] The game is set in 2016, after
the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
and before the events of Terminator Salvation.


2 responses to “Terminator salvation

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