In 1984, James Cameron reinvented the prey thriller with the adrenaline draining "Terminator." In 1991, Cameron introduced us to the world of computer generated graphics done right with "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." On July 3, 2003, the day after "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" hit the screens, I was in the audience. To paraphrase the queen of England, "We were not amused."
T3 was your basic escape from the bogeyman thriller and not a very good one at that. There were explosions, chases and more explosions. Everything was predictable and it was hardly an involving story. It was quite obvious that James Cameron was not involved with the production of T3. It was a most ordinary movie.
Fast forward to 2009. Having tried terribly to surpress the memories of T3, I decided to skip "Terminator: Salvation" until Alan K recommended it, saying it was a good movie in its own right and head & shoulders above T3. On the weight of that recommendation, I went to see it.
Kudos to Alan for the recommendation. "Terminator: Salvation" is a good standalone movie and a worthy follow up to the first two. This story morphed into the post-apocalyptic genre, which is always iffy, but it worked pretty well. The story made sense, the tension was maintained throughout, and it didn't get bogged down in technobable or nonsense. It might be appropriate to say the movie delivered on what the commercials promised.
A couple of notes, though. While Christian Bale was perfectly cast as the adult John Connor, his appropriately taciturn character reminded me of his wooden delivery in "The Dark Knight." It seemed odd that he essentially played the same guy in the two very different movies. Some of the motorcycle chase scenes were also too reminiscent of "The Dark Knight."
One of the minor characters in "Terminator: Salvation" was played by Moon Bloodgood, who in addition to being fairly hot also has the distinction of having a 13-letter name using only one vowel six times. Know anyone else with that distinction?