I have to admit to never liking any McG films, so even with Christian Bale in the lead, I ended up staying away from this in the theaters and watching it on Blu-ray via netflix. And I can honestly say at least I did not see it on DVD, because this is pretty visually impressive. Sure it is a popcorn action movie, but is better than I thought it would be, and not about what I thought, especially since Christian Bale isn’t the lead here, Sam Worthington who would go on to do AVATAR is really the lead, and does a very good job here. This is an enjoyable science fiction film, and I would love to see another of these made, but with all the troubles with the rights, somehow I doubt another will be made. It is actually a shame because this is an enjoyable film, with some killer special effects. Well worth checking out.
In 2003, just before Judgment Day, cancer stricken Doctor Seran Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) who works for Cyberdine Systems get convicted death row inmate Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) to give up his body for science after his execution. A year later Skynet is activated, and most of the Earth is laid to waste, and the machines take over. Then in the year 2018 resistance fighter John Conner (Christian Bale) leads an attack on an important Skynet base and discovers data about a new type of partially organic terminator. The machines attack again, and the base is mostly destroyed, with John crashing in a helicopter, and his men being destroyed by a huge explosion. The only survivor is Marcus, who does not know how he got there, but walks he toward Los Angeles. Meanwhile John heads to the Resistance headquarters, and old Nuclear Submarine to talk tell General Ashdown (Michael Ironside) about what he found, and what happened. Ashdown does not seem to like John too well, probably because he is revered, and thought of as the true leader of the resistance because of his radio broadcasts to survivors. The Resistance has discovered a radio frequency that they think will shut down Skynet machines at close range, and they plan on using it in a big attack, to stave off an attack on the Resistant command staff they have discovered the plans for. John is also on the list, as well as Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin who went on to play Chekov in the new Star Trek) who John knows to be his father. John returns to his base to test the signal.
John meets up with his wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard) and his right hand man Barnes (Common) and they prepare to test the signal on a large scale, after seeing that it works on small Terminator machines.
Marcus walks through the remains of LA and is attacked by a T-600 Terminator, but is saved by Kyle Reese and his companion the young Star (Jadagrace Berry). Kyle tells Marcus about Judgment day. They listen to a radio broadcast by John, and decide to head and find the resistance.
The trio are attacked by machines, and think they are getting away, but Kyle and Star are taken by a large machine, along with other humans. Resistance A-10 Attack planes shoot at it, and one is shot down. Marcus finds the pilot, the beautiful Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) and they head for John’s headquarters.
When they arrive, Marcus is wounded by a magnetic mine, and they discover that he is in fact a cyborg, who also has human organs, but strangely he does believe he is human. with only Blair trusting him, as he saved her, they lock him up, but he does tell them about Kyle being kidnapped by the Terminators.
Kyle wants Marcus destroyed, but Blair released him, and they manage to escape, only to be confronted by John. John though is attacked by a snake like terminator, and saved by Marcus, so he lets him go to help save Marcus, if he can help lower the Skynet defenses. John knows that the planned human attack will kill Reese, and since then he will never be born, him as well.
To save Reese and the captured humans John defies his orders and launches a rescue mission at Skynet headquarters.
Marcus is allowed into the base, and is able to hook into the computer system and shut down the perimiter defences. John is then able to save the human prisoners and Reese.
Marcus finds that he was created by Skynet to lure him to this base, to be killed, and that the signal was a ruse, and Skynet has already used it to destroy the Resistance headquarters and all it’s leaders. It seems that Dr. Kogan is the face of the Skynet computer, and she praises Marcus for a job well done, but he rips out the part of him that connects to the Skynet computers and goes to help John who is fighting a T-800 model 101 terminator in the guise of Arnold Schwarzenegger (made digitally young again). John is badly hurt, but with Marcus’s help they manage to get out with Reese and Star and destroying the base by blowing up the Terminator’s nuclear power supplies.
Back at the base it turns out that Kyle’s heart has had too much damage, and he can’t be saved. Marcus offers up his heart, and they transfer it into John, saving him. John calls to the resistance, saying the battle was won, but the war is far from over.
Surprisingly enjoyable, though too bad they killed off Sam Worthington as he is much more interesting than John Connor here.
Great effects, a decent story. This is a good science fiction film that deserves it’s place in the Terminator Pantheon (unlike the recent TV series which totally blew).