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This week:
Terminator Salvation

Filthy says:
"If only the machines hadn't won."

Wasn't the last Terminator flick the one called Rise of the Machines? Why the fuck is this one called Salvation? This turd should be the Machines one because it was made by them. There can't possibly be any human being that would say, "Yeah, I wrote (directed) that! I'm the guy who didn't bother to give an audience a reason to care about anyone in it." Some Lenovo Thinkpad somewhere is responsible for the lameass plot, and some huge, fancy computer somewhere else did all the directing and making up the Transformers' leftovers special effects.

I'm one of about eight people who liked Terminator 3. None of the other seven speak English, three are blind and two died of stupidity since. I hardly remember what it was about anymore, but I do remember a really clever chase scene involving a big rig and a firetruck. I probably wouldn't give it as high a review if I watched it again, but it must be better than Salvation.

It is the year 2018 and the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Not a very original one. Mostly it's a lot of low light, blue filters and desertscapes with burnt wisps of trees and toasted car carcasses, like every other unimaginative futuristic wasteland movie. I bet T.S. Eliot would be pissed. There aren't a lot of humans left in 2018 and very few of them are interesting. The world has been taken over by machines who do a hell of a good impression of monochromatic Transformer knockoffs like you' find in the $1 bins at Big Lots. They are actively trying to destroy the human race, much like the beef jerky you find in those same bins.

Christian Bale plays John Connor, a man ordained to stop the machines from taking over the world. In previous versions, I think Connor was supposed to be a reluctant hero. Now he's a cocky asshole who speaks gravelly because that is Bale's only way to show he's tough. Seriously, this Connor is the exact same dude as his Batman, all gritted teeth and squinty eye bad boy bullshit.

Bale has to rescue the boy (Anton Yelchin) who will travel backward in time to be his father. If Bale doesn't save Yelchin, the kid won't be able to drop a load of semen in Bale's mom, plus he will die a future-time virgin instead of a past-time playah. Baby Bale will never be and the machines will kick everyone's ass.

Terminator Salvation also a half-man, half-machine hybrid not referred to as a cyborg. But, come on, let's call a spade a spade. He's a cyborg, 50s style, but way fancier with piston and wiring under his skin. This character, played with Sci-Fi Channel-Saturday-night badness by Sam Worthington, is supposed to be the wild card in the script. The movie wants the audience to wonder if he will side with the machines that created him or the humans, whose womankind he's like to stick his robot boner in. What a fucking crock. There's no mystery to it, no matter how much time the movie dedicates. Considering, it's supposed to be one of the "emotional" hooks of the story, it's pretty fucking weak and uninvolving.

The movie's central plot device is the stupid-ass time-travel nonsense. As though we haven't had enough of that bullshit this summer. Maybe this is shitty-screenwriter's new knock-on-the-head amnesia gimmick. Whatever, it's nowhere near as clever as these hacks think it is. It's just a lame device we've seen before.

Terminator Salvation is full of slick but generic special effects. Mostly, the machines feel like director McG (still a really fucking lame, contrived name) wanted to make a Transformers movie, but with worse lighting. There are giant robots that stomp around and make a lot of mechanical racket. One has motorcycles that pop out of its thighs to chase the good guys. There is a giant robot factory that looks and sounds like a place humans would work, not a joint built and run by robots. There wasn't a single robot or weapon in the movie that made me think, "That's sort of cool." There wasn't anything that made me believe anyone involved had tried to rethink the future.

The humans are powerfully uninteresting. Christian Bale bugs the shit out of me with his phony-baloney intensity. I've got a real strong urge to skip anything else he's ever in now that I know his idea of serious acting is a lot of growling and pretending he's really pissed about something. The rest of the actors have very little to do. There is dialog but it is almost entirely on-the-nose exposition to set up a bunch of robots smashing shit up. Sam Worthington's character has some scenes with Helena Bonham Carter that hit the trifecta of being really poorly acted, made entirely of exposition and not being interesting. The plot is convoluted, and there ain't a single character worth giving a shit about. Hell, they aren't even people, really, because humans tend to be more complex than having a single need and doing only what is needed to get that.

Terminator Salvation is bad for its mediocrity. Nowadays, any movie can look slick and professional no matter how stupid and worthless. It's just too damn bad that the grassfuckers think slick is good enough. Two Fingers.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Bonnie Laufer of Tribute Canada

The Hangover is "The funniest movie you'll see all year!"

Terminator Salvation is "Action-packed!"

The first quote means she's prescient, the second means she's a crap writer.

Filthy's Reading
Harvey Pekar - Another Dollar

Listening to
Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One


Wild Rebels