You know, say what you will about McG (and, granted, there's not a lot nice to be said about him and his body of work thus far), but it seems to Me that the innumberable terrible reviews for his romp in Cameron's shoes are by and large thoroughly unfair. I'm fairly confident that these bad reviews were primarily inspired by the one aspect of the film that had Me groaning about it from the beginning of its production, that being the appointed diretor himself.
That said, I watched the film this weekend with gritted teeth and low expectations and was, for all it's worth, completely taken by surprise. A small variety of the complaints in any number of reviews I've read include:
- no indication of how John Conner gets his famous scar
- Kyle Reese not receiving the photograph of Sarah Conner
- no story that makes any sense
- Christian Bale basically phoned it in, weakest performance of his career
- terrible writing/dialog
Okay, that last one was true. Holy crap, was it ever true. The dialog is TERRIBLE. and yet, I didn't find it so terrible as to detract from the overall film. In fact, for the primarily action oriented nature of this film, the cheesey dialog almost felt appropriate. A movie such as this cannot take itself too seriously, and I think even with that cheese factor, it still found a balance.
Christian Bale's performance wasn't anything to gripe about either. And to complain that this was his weakest performance? Come on, people, this is a fucking Terminator film! This isn't Empire of the Sun or The Machinist. It's a g'damn summer action flick! What do you want, John Conner as portrayed by Sir Laurence Olivier?! You're throwing that complaint at the wrong movie.
The story doesn't make sense. What? I followed it fairly easily. My deaf mother with her cyber-ear seemed to understand what was going on. And we didn't bother having ourselves a Terminator Marathon prior to viewing! Seriously, where did you movie-snob-film-reviewers get lost?
Scar/Photo. Ok. What. The. Fuck?! Did we not watch the same fucking movie? Or is it simply that I took a different strategy than you guys when viewing this film by simply watching it with My eyes open? Those recurrent themes from previous films were indeed handled in this one, though technically it didn't even need to since it is never established in the previous films exactly when these iconic moments are supposed to have happened.
My opinion of the film: it was fun and enjoyable. It wasn't a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but by simply being enjoyable, it marks itself as a first as far as McG's resumé is concerned. I went in expecting to hate it. In fact, the only reason I even went to see it in the first place was because My mother wanted to! Once the film started rolling, I was shocked to find Myself laughing without derision, and actually getting reasonably involved in what was going on. It captured My attention and held it for the duration. I'd recommend that people put aside their well-earned McG Hate, if only just for this film. It's worth the price of admission.
I only have one real complaint, and that's the ridiculousness of one scene/concept. As I hate to step into spoiler territory, however, I will refer to it as simply "Desert surgery." I think that made Me actually mutter aloud in the theater, "ok, now, gimme a fucking break."