Terminator Salvation is the thrilling story of the journey of a once valuable franchise. When the intellectual property rights lapse after a disappointing third movie, they're snatched up at well below their estimated market value by a wacky mismatched duo of producers. The petulant star they bring on board demands to play a role that wasn't actually in the script, massive rewrites ensue, and the novice director is forced to fall back on the skills he honed directing Sugar Ray music videos. Will the franchise rise to the occasion, renewing our enthusiasm for its once beloved characters? Or will the resulting film be a cynical, calculated exercise in maximizing profitability with little regard for story or coherency?
Terminator Salvation firmly casts its lot with the latter. Christian Bale, apparently unaware that The Dark Knight had wrapped shooting, alternates between his raspiest "Harrison Ford in Firewall" whisper and barking like a mandrill/harbor seal hybrid. Fortunately, the movie turns out to not really be about him. It's actually about the guy from Avatar, the guy who played the new Chekov and a mute eight year old girl. Thrill as the resistance discovers the secret weapon that could save mankind: a specific radio frequency! Bonus points if you can identify which scene Christian Bale was taking so seriously that he unleashed the most humiliating caught-on-camera rant since Hall of Famer George Brett discussed soiling his pants. Google it.
As a result of having to endure repeated viewings of Terminator Salvation, Mike, Kevin and Bill are all done professionally with each other.