I was expecting to be a bit let down, with this being 4 deep in the series, and the first with a PG-13 rating. This flick, of course, has a lot to live up to. Following up a classic Sci-Fi/horror (Terminator) and arguably the best and original Action-blockbuster (T2) is a hard act to follow. That said, Salvation holds its own very well.

Maybe its because I've been immersed Fallout 3 for the last 2 months, but I was totally feeling the post-apocalyptic wasteland. The atmosphere of desolation and destruction was great in the sets, costumes, and music. The designs of the new machines was fantastic as well. You've got giant "crushinator" harvesters, hunter-killer airships, motorcycle chase drones, and several different terminator-style machines as well.

The hype for the movie is Christian Bale as John Connor, but I felt his acting was a bit wooden. He didn't seem to carry the messianic feel Connor is supposed to represent, the last hope of humanity. Instead, the scene stealers were Sam Worthington's Marcus, and Anton Yelchin's young Kyle Reese. Marcus actually feels like the main character of this movie, the theme seems to be "redemption" or "second chances". You don't really get much background on him aside from him being responsible for the death of his brother and 2 cops, but he gives his body to science (and the Cyberdyne Corp.) after he is executed. Now the trailers all ruined this following plot point, but Marcus has actually unwittingly been turned into a terminator, not revealed until about halfway through the movie. No fault of the movie itself, but they really should have left a huge reveal like that out of the damn trailers and ad campaign for the movie, it really cheapens the experience.

The action is what most people care about, and Salvation totally delivers. The chase scene, which goes from wheels to feet to air is awesome. The whole scene I was like "they should make a video game of this." Then I remembered they did. The most epic moment takes place in the Skynet facility, where T-800 himself with fucking 1980's ARNOLD's face rendered in super realistic CG/puppet kicks John Connor AND Marcus' ass all over the place. Seriously, the whole fucking audience marked out and went apeshit when Arnold appeared on screen. ITS OVER. The camerawork during all the fight scenes is refreshingly stable. You can always tell whats going on, and can see all the action. The robots themselves are a mix of gritty CG and actual puppets/animatronics, giving the effects a classic, realistic feel.

One thing I really have to complain about is the ending, it feels like they forgot the movie had to end and just slapped some shit together. Marcus makes the "noble sacrifice" which seems like a cop-out, and they use some movie magic to transplant his heart into a dying John Connor to save his life. Apparently originally the ending is supposed to involve John Connor actually dying, and Marcus taking his place (and his skin) as the leader of the human resistance, since they need John Connor as a leader and icon of humanity's last hope.

Cool movie, bro.