SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the film there are spoilers in here… YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
As the first part of a trilogy, as it’s rumoured to be, I found this film pretty good. It does the job of introducing the main characters and the setting for the story to unfold. It falls down where the focus switches between the John Connor and Marcus Wright characters. If anything, more emphasis is put on Marcus Wright which, to me, was kind of disappointing. With all the hype, I thought there would be more focus on John Connor.
Anyway, I digress; the film opens in 2003 with Marcus Wright, played by Sam Worthington , on death row signing over his remains to Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) just before his execution. We then switch to the post-apocalyptic future where a unit lead by John Connor (Christian Bale, in case you didn’t know already) is attacking a Skynet base. All of Connor’s team are killed and he escapes. This is where we see Marcus Wright emerge from the wreckage with no memory of Judgement Day, Skynet or anything since his ‘death’.
We then continue to follow Marcus as he tries to find out what has happened to the world. He meets up with a young Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin, I liked him as Chekov in Star Trek) and they attempt to get to the base where Connor is holed up. Inevitably Connor and Wright are destined to meet after Kyle Reese is taken by Skynet to their base in San Francisco. It transpires that Marcus Wright is not entirely human, more like a human-cyborg hybrid and he is being used to entice John Connor into a trap. I won’t say too much more, but needless to say, Marcus does the right thing at the end of the day…
Because much of the focus was on Marcus Wright, I found the strongest performance came from Sam Worthington. I expect that, if it does make it to a trilogy, that Christian Bale will feature more in future installments, although he was adequate in this role. I should also note that Anton Yelchin (as the young Kyle Reese) and Moon Bloodgood (as Blair Williams) both put in very good performances. There is even a very brief surprise cameo by a certain governor of California (bet you can guess who…)
As we have come to expect from modern films, the special effects and CGI were of a very high quality. They enhanced, rather than detracted from the story, which is always a sign of a good balance.
Over all, a fair to good effort, great effects which enhanced the story line, just a shame the narrative was a little weak. I await with interest parts II and III (assuming they ever get made…).
My score: 7/10