Early reviews for Terminator Salvation

Praise for Sam Worthington, but some doubts about adequate dramatic impact in these early reviews [no spoilers]….

The first press screenings have taken place of McG’s fourth instalment in the Terminator saga, and generally the film has been received favourably…with some caveats.

Variety reports:

…the obligatory borrowing from the previous movies (“Come with me if you want to live,” “I’ll be back …”) tend to upset the mood created within McG’s bleached-out world, which is very deliberate and doesn’t need the comic relief…There are great bits though: The thrashing, centipede-like, killer-snake thingie, which has the personality of a wolverine, is a neat invention. So are the biker Terminators, which molt like malignant pinecones off their towering mother ‘bot. A Schwarzenegger lookalike — it isn’t clear whether it’s the ex-actor CGI’d or a complete fabrication — is funny, but in this case apt.

The Hollywood reporter has a few gripes:

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Although director McG manages to keep the machinery humming 18 years after James Cameron’s “Judgment Day” and its liquid metal raised the F/X stakes considerably, anchoring it in any sort of satisfying dramatic context is another story…

Praise for Avatar star Sam Worthington’s contribution is fairly universal, as evidenced in this review from College Times:

Terminator: Salvation is a competent, summer action movie that, much like all good reboots, pleases the fan base while attracting a wider audience.  It does not exactly innovate the Terminator name beyond what is already accomplished as it relies on series old themes and not exactly helped by the dearth of character development for most of the characters, some odd exposition work, lack of cohesive editing, and odd ending sequence, but it does bring up some interesting ideas about where the series could go.  Worthington’s Marcus is the unexpected character that really makes the most impact, raising questions about the differences between humans and cyborgs, while ILM creates another spectacular special effects offering that add to the constant tension and fairly slick cinematography.  All in all, neither action nor Terminator fans should be displeased with McG’s work.  Anyone expecting a genre-defining, science fiction film as explosive as the first two Terminators, though, are going in with too high of expectations.

So it’s looking good for Mr Worthington (something that seemed fairly obvious from the trailers), but whether or not this post-apocalyptic take on the Terminator legend, long awaited by fans of the franchise, can satisfy all the naysayers and canon-freaks, remains to be seen…