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"TERMINATOR SALVATION"
(2009) (Christian Bale, Sam Worthington) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Mild Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Mild Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: More than a decade after sentient robots have annihilated most of the human race, small bands of resistance fighters continue to battle their ever-changing opponent with the future of humankind hanging in the balance.
PLOT:
It's 2018, fourteen years after a networked computer system became self-aware, determined humans were a threat, and nearly wiped out all of them through nuclear annihilation. Yet, bands of human resistance fighters exist, battling the ever-evolving robotic terminator machines built and programmed by Skynet to capture or kill the remaining humans.

While the official commander is General Ashdown (MICHAEL IRONSIDE), most of the resistance follows the orders of John Connor (CHRISTIAN BALE), the legendary leader prophesized to save humankind. After all, and in the future/past, his father, Kyle Reese, time-traveled back into the 1980s to warn John's mother of the pending disaster, only to have to protect her from a T-800 series Terminator sent back to kill her and her yet to be conceived child -- fathered by Reese -- who would one day grow up to become the resistance leader.

New to this bleak world is Marcus Wright (SAM WORTHINGTON), a convicted murderer who was executed in 2003 after being convinced by terminally ill Dr. Serena Kogan (HELENA BONHAM CARTER) to donate his body to a scientific corporation for research. After being rescued by teen resistance fighter Kyle Reese (ANTON YELCHIN) and his younger mute companion, Star (JADAGRACE BERRY), Marcus wants to meet John.

Following a violent encounter with Skynet forces where Kyle and Star are abducted along with others, Marcus encounters resistance pilot Blair Williams (MOON BLOODGOOD) who escorts him back to headquarters. But Connor and others, including Barnes (COMMON), are suspicious of Marcus after a surprising discovery about him.

From that point on, and as the resistance fighters prepare a new all-out assault on Skynet and the terminators, John must contend with this new presence, as well as trying to rescue his future father from a Skynet camp before General Ashdown's forces attack.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of any of the first three "Terminator" films and/or anyone in the cast, they might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHRISTIAN BALE plays the prophesized leader of the human resistance movement who takes his role with solemn seriousness. He wants to destroy Skynet and its creations, and thus is wary of Marcus once he learns what he is, but won't accept the sort of human collateral damage General Ashdown is willing to tolerate. He also uses profanity.
  • SAM WORTHINGTON plays a formerly convicted and executed murderer who donated his body to silence, only to find himself in a strange new world 15 years later. Initially unaware of what's been done to him, he battles the Skynet robots and cyborgs and uses some profanity.
  • MOON BLOODGOOD plays a jet fighter pilot who meets Marcus and sees something in him that Connor and the others don't, meaning she risks her life to save his after a startling revelation about him.
  • ANTON YELCHIN plays a teenager who unofficially runs the L.A. division of the resistance, battling terminators with just a shotgun and Star's help. After meeting Marcus, he ends up accompanying him to meet Connor, unaware of their future connection.
  • JADAGRACE BERRY plays Kyle's younger mute friend who assists him in dealing with the terminators.
  • COMMON plays one of Connor's foot soldiers.
  • MICHAEL IRONSIDE plays the general officially in charge of the resistance moment who isn't happy that Connor has more sway with their followers. Eager to destroy Skynet, he doesn't care that humans held captive in the facility will also be killed via their attack on it.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action-based sci-fi film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. A human-looking cyborg (muscular like a bodybuilder) is apparently fully nude as he battles humans, but due to shadows and camera angles, no explicit nudity is seen. There's also some brief kissing and brief cleavage.

    Violence consists of battles between humans and cyborgs/robots in a post apocalyptic world where those in the former group are wounded or killed, and the machinery in the latter is damaged or destroyed in very big and/or noisy ways. While there's some blood (as well as views of human skin missing and revealing metal/robotic structure beneath that), it's apparently not enough to warrant an R rating. There's also a briefly seen capital punishment execution via lethal injection.

    Those scenes and various moments of potential peril, along with the sight of the ghastly looking and/or towering robots might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers. The action, stunts and more might be enticing for kids to imitate, while bad attitudes are present, as is some tense family material and thematic elements.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, various scenes in the film feature that (from flashing lights, fire flicker, etc.) to varying degrees (but never to the extent of appearing as full strobes).

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, all sorts of camera movement (sometimes fairly bouncy, as well as some spinning camera shots) occurs throughout the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some dead bodies and emaciated looking people in a Skynet facility, followed by some views of dead resistance fighters up on the surface.
  • Marcus accidentally cuts his arm while working on a car and we see a tiny, bloody scratch.
  • Marcus has some bloody cuts on his body following an explosion.
  • We see that Marcus is part-human, part-robot, with some of his flesh missing (chest, back, arms, etc.), revealing mechanical/robotic inner workings.
  • Marcus has a little blood on his jacket after being shot.
  • Connor sees that a pilot or another man is presumably dead (noted by the blood in the water), and then spots Marcus with some of the skin on his head missing (revealing metal structure in there).
  • We see a new terminator cyborg that's human in appearance, albeit with the look of a nude bodybuilder, but nothing explicit is seen due to shadows and camera angles. He battles Connor while in this state until most of his human skin and muscles, etc. are gone, revealing his metallic skeletal structure.
  • Connor's face has bloody slices on it from a terminator scratching him with its fingers, while Marcus has an open chest wound that shows metal parts below the surface.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We hear that Marcus killed his brother and two cops sometime in the past.
  • Marcus agrees to donate his body after death to Dr. Kogan, but only if she kisses him before his execution. She does, and he states that's what death tastes like (she has terminal cancer).
  • The Skynet controlled robots and cyborgs kill or abduct humans throughout the film, using the latter to create experimental cyborgs.
  • Several men surround and harass Blair, with one holding his handgun on her.
  • General Ashdown informs Connor that there can be no rescue mission of humans held captive inside Skynet headquarters due to the pending attack on the facility.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We see a needle being inserted into Marcus' arm (in close-up) as he's prepped for execution via lethal injection. The actual death is represented by his point of view going blurry and then to black.
  • The various encounters with and views of the various terminators (some looking skeletal in appearance) as well as the bleak, post-apocalyptic world setting might be unsettling for some viewers.
  • Others hold down a large, centipede like robot that thrashes about and tries to bite them with its "mouth" as they and Connor run a test on it.
  • Connor frees prisoners held inside Skynet headquarters, and frantically looks for Kyle to save him.
  • We see a needle being inserted into an arm for medical care.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Machine guns/Shotguns/Handguns/Missiles/Various explosives/Laser type blasters: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound and/or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • Some prison guards wear sidearms.
  • Suspicious of him, Kyle holds his shotgun on Marcus who easily disarms the teen.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Holy sh*t," "I don't give a sh*t about you," "Sorry bastards," "Get your ass topside," "What the hell /are you doing here/was that thing?" "Pissing me off," "Hell yeah," "Shoot that son of a bitch," "Where the hell you going?" "I'll be back" and "You son of a bitch."
  • All of the stunts, fighting and other action might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Some humans have various styles of tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A partially damaged terminator suddenly grabs Connor from behind.
  • A huge robot claw suddenly grabs Kyle from a group of people and yanks him away.
  • As a man in a hovering chopper peers down into a body of water at night, a large robotic centipede type thing suddenly leaps out and grabs him.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous, action-oriented and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (and another possible one), 5 "s" words, 4 hells, 3 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 1 damn and 2 uses of "God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Marcus agrees to donate his body after death to Dr. Kogan, but only if she kisses him before his execution. She does, and he states that's what death tastes like (she has terminal cancer).
  • We see a dead, shirtless guy.
  • Blair shows a little wet cleavage in the rain.
  • Blair shows some cleavage while bound in a chair.
  • Connor and his wife passionately kiss as they say goodbye before his perilous mission.
  • We see a new terminator cyborg that's human in appearance, albeit with the look of a nude bodybuilder, but nothing explicit is seen due to shadows and camera angles. He battles Connor while in this state until most of his human skin and muscles, etc. are gone, revealing his metallic skeletal structure.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Marcus killed his brother and two cops sometime in the past.
  • Connor informs Barnes that the latter's brother didn't survive the latest battle.
  • Connor's wife worries about him as it appears he's not going to make it from a serious wound (but he does).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The notion of second chances.
  • Capital punishment.
  • Whether computers/robots/machines will ever become sentient and if something like the underlying plot of the "Terminator" films could occur.
  • Donating one's body to science.
  • Cancer.
  • General Ashdown informs Connor that there can be no rescue mission of humans held captive inside Skynet headquarters due to the pending attack on the facility.
  • The question of what makes us human.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a needle being inserted into Marcus' arm (in close-up) as he's prepped for execution via lethal injection. The actual death is represented by his point of view going blurry and then to black.
  • We see a human attack on a Skynet facility, beginning with a missile attack on various satellite dishes that explode. We see a damaged and burning terminator on which a helicopter lands, with Connor shooting it in the head to finish it off. Chopper-mounted machine guns also fire on terminators on the scene, while Connor and others go down inside the facility and slowly make their way through a water-filled tunnel into a room containing dead bodies and some emaciated humans. Connor is ordered to exit and go back top-side, but when he gets there, he finds a dead companion as well as a dead chopper pilot. He then pilots that chopper himself, but it's hit by enemy fire, goes out of control, and crashes (mostly seen from an inside-the-chopper point of view), but he survives and exits the chopper, only to see a massive explosion (seemingly nuclear due to the mushroom type fireball/cloud). Just then, a partially damaged terminator (missing its lower half) attacks him and throws him about. He shoots it with his gun, it attacks him again, and he finishes it off with the large chopper machine gun. We then hear that Connor is the only survivor of this battle.
  • A terminator fires its machine guns at Marcus in decimated Los Angeles, with Kyle yanking Marcus to safety just in time. It continues firing, even when hanging upside down after being caught in a leg snare. It then shoots off its foot and continues its assault, blasting a wrecked building with explosives until Star lets part of a vehicle loose and it falls onto the terminator, crushing it, with its machine gun wildly firing until it accidentally shoots itself in the head. The three humans then take cover as a Skynet ship flies by, and ends up causing a damaged building to collapse near them.
  • A small Skynet probe flies after Kyle, Star and Marcus as they flee in a jeep, with Kyle (also driving) kicking at the small craft, followed by Marcus throwing a tire iron that hits the probe and causes it to crash. Marcus then knocks Kyle from the driver's seat so that he can drive (the latter slightly played for laughs).
  • Kyle slowly enters an old, damaged gas station, only to have people suddenly appear and hold various weapons on him, Star and Marcus. One man doesn't like the older woman leader giving food to these strangers and thus aims his gun at her, but just then a huge claw crashes through the ceiling and grabs her and others. The rest flee and/or try to hide from a towering robot that looms over the gas station, blasts the threesome's jeep, and then blasts a departing truck filled with escaping humans. As it captures other humans, Marcus backs a gas tanker trunk into the robot, knocking it off its feet. Unhitching that tank, Marcus drives off in the truck, with Kyle firing shots at the tank, trying to get it to blow. One pierces the shell and fuel spills out, with Marcus then backing up again and throwing something that ignites the fuel that burns back to the tank. That results in a huge explosion that engulfs the robot and the station. But the robot emerges from that and fires upon Marcus, Kyle and Star as they flee in the truck.
  • Robotic and armed motorcycles chase after Marcus, Kyle and Star as they flee in a truck that crashes through various abandoned vehicles on the road. One such bike crashes, but another gets in front of and fires at the truck, as does a towering robot from behind. That blast nearly causes Kyle to fall out, and Marcus helps yank him back in just as they pass close by a parked bus that would have smacked into Kyle. He then deploys a long cable and hook that snares the bike and yanks it along the road, smashing into things, but a Skynet attack ship then blasts part of a bridge the truck is crossing, with the bike and cable then flying forward and snagging the attack ship's engine. That pulls the truck sideways and Kyle and Star fall out, only to be caught by a towering robot, while Marcus jumps out of the truck just as the attack ship blasts it with a laser, resulting in a big explosion. Marcus falls, but grabs hold of the "cattle car" holding Kyle, Star and others, and tries to cut his way in when the robot attacks. Blair then flies her jet in and blasts the robot and attack ship, causing Marcus to fall a long way and then skip hard along the surface of a body of water. A smaller attack ship then pursues Blair and blasts her jet, prompting her to eject just before it crashes, with the wreckage nearly hitting Marcus in the water.
  • Several men surround and harass Blair, with one holding his handgun on her. She hits him and another, but a third strikes her. Marcus then arrives and smashes one with a big piece of wood or something similar, followed by various hard blows to the others, including a head-butt, while grabbing one man holding a shotgun, causing it to fire into the air. Marcus then prepares to kill one of those men, but Blair shoots that other man in the leg, stopping Marcus.
  • Connor and Barnes set off a distant test explosion to draw in a Skynet attack ship. It then detects them and heads their way as they scramble to broadcast a test shortwave signal they hope will disable it. That eventually works, but the ship then crashes in front of and nearly hits them. To make sure it's destroyed, Connor then fires a missile into it, resulting in an explosion.
  • A human prisoner tries to escape, but is shot in the back and killed by a machine gun fired by a terminator guard (no blood).
  • Blair and Marcus must make their way through a mine field, with Marcus first stepping near one that vibrates in the ground, but he isn't so lucky with the second. It pops up and attaches itself to his leg, followed by an explosion.
  • We see Marcus' POV as Barnes strikes him in the face with something, knocking him out.
  • A huge robot claw suddenly grabs Kyle from a group of people and yanks him away.
  • Barnes shoots Marcus in the chest, followed by Blair doing the same (to fool Barnes into thinking she's on his side), but while Marcus suffers pain, this doesn't kill him. Later, and to free Marcus as he's bound in midair, Blair lets the cable loose and Marcus falls a long distance, smashing into the hard surface below. She then frees him and shoots an explosive she's placed on a grate to open it. Some topside then fire down on them, with Marcus shielding them with a large metal grate. He then lies on her in a tunnel to protect her from a fireball and explosion that results from a missile fired at them. Once outside, they must avoid machine guns and missiles fired at them at night as they flee and take cover. Pinned down behind a wall, Marcus allows himself to be shot through the hand so that Blair can shoot out a spotlight. They then run, with Blair being hit by gunfire, while more machine guns and missiles are fired at them as Marcus helps Blair along.
  • Marcus clotheslines a man off a motorcycle and then speeds off on that, with Connor in pursuit in a helicopter, firing his machine at him and finally downing him. That's followed by a huge and long explosion of what looks like the napalm variety.
  • As a man in a hovering chopper peers down into a body of water at night, a large robotic centipede type thing suddenly leaps out and grabs him. Another goes into the chopper and Connor fights with and shoots it, but the chopper crashes. Connor sees that the pilot or another man is presumably dead (noted by the blood in the water) and then wades through the water, shooting additional large robotic centipede type things that come at him (seen from above and below the water line). He then struggles with one, followed by Marcus saving him, but Connor then aims his handgun at Marcus, not sure if he can trust him.
  • Connor uses a rope to clothesline a robo-motorcycle and then pins it down while he removes its intelligence gear.
  • We see quick flashback images of nuclear explosions and other destruction caused by Skynet in the past.
  • A Skynet attack ship blasts a submarine below the water, destroying it (seen from outside it) and presumably killing everyone onboard.
  • A new terminator cyborg (human in appearance, albeit with the look of a nude bodybuilder, but nothing explicit is seen) blasts open a metal door into Connor, followed by Connor blasting him with a machine gun, but to no avail, much like a blow to its face. The terminator then throws Connor aside. At the same time, but elsewhere, Marcus throws something that smashes a huge computer screen panel, while Kyle stabs a different terminator in the neck area, disabling its orientation, causing it to shoot its machine gun in random patterns. Connor ends up shot in the shoulder, but hits the new terminator with various explosives, but they don't stop it either. The terminator then hits Connor and Kyle, but the latter blasts it backwards with a shotgun. That's followed by the terminator knocking Connor back who then blasts the terminator several times with a shotgun, but the terminator throws Connor over a railing and he lands hard below. The terminator then jumps down there and grabs and lifts Connor into the air by his neck. Marcus then arrives and battles the terminator with various blows, including Marcus allowing the terminator to smash him repeatedly with a huge concrete block (eventually killing him), thus giving Connor time to rig some explosives. Connor then fires his handgun into the terminator but ends up falling hard, followed by molten ore falling onto the terminator, but he emerges from that. Connor then fires a shot that releases compressed gas of some sort that freezes the terminator just in time as its skeletal hand reaches out for Connor's face, slicing him with its fingers. Connor then races to resurrect Marcus via jolts from large electric cables, all as the terminator starts to free itself from its frozen state. The terminator then rams a large pole through Connor, but Marcus then beheads the terminator's robotic head.
  • Connor remotely sets off a huge explosion that destroys a lot of the Skynet headquarters.



  • Reviewed May 18, 2009 / Posted May 21, 2009

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