Domino (Tony Scott, 2005)
February 23, 2011
Legendary Assassin (Chung Chi Li and Jacky Wu, 2008)
March 3, 2011

Terminator: Salvation (McG, 2009)

WHAT IT IS: In a very imminent future, John Connor is the leader of a branch of the human resistance against Skynet, an artificial intelligence bent on wiping out humanity from existence.

HOW IT IS: Early on — as soon as exposition starts in fact, Terminator Salvation starts to fail in its attempt to create a new starting point for the popular Terminator franchise. It fails as an action blockbuster, suffering from an anemic character development. It fails as a sequel to the Terminator films that preceded it as it heavily tries (both in style and content) to reference these past films, as well as sci-fi greats like Mad Men’s dystopian highways or Blade Runner’s technological complexity. It also fails as a movie, the informed spectator unable to move past its numerous clichés and incongruities and the film’s ridiculous plot. And it fails significantly as a story, never caring enough about its characters to convince us to care about them, leaving them to meander in petty confrontations, far away from the iconic, legend-like sequences of the first two films.

Terminator: Salvation is dry, unimaginative, visually stunted, nonsensical and artistically childish. McG, the director, solidifies here his reputation as one of the biggest hacks in Hollywood, incapable of subtlety. Here’s hoping he soon decides to leave directing altogether and just stick to producing, where his impact has been somewhat more positive.

IF YOU LIKE: McG’s films and TV series like Charlie’s Angels and Fastlane.