AICN has what appears to be the first review of the completed Terminator Salvation. Sam Worthington is said to provide the best performance in the film whilst Christian Bale’s performance is described (and in my opinion the trailer clips bear this out) as ‘over the top’; Linda Hamilton’s voice-over is present and correct and the reviewer – ‘Gandalf The Grey’ – mentions a ‘cool’ appearance by a (presumably semi-CGI) Arnold Schwarzennegar.
“As for the directing, I find that the action is well executed. However the smaller moments, in which we get to know our characters, isn’t all well done. I believe the best performance is by Sam. The guy playing Kyle Reese, doesn’t do a bad job either. In general the acting is good. I however felt Christian Bale’s performance to be a little over the top at times. I must say he was propably also the one I had the highest expectations of, and so was the one that would have the biggest job of pulling this off. I cant say if it’s the way John Connor is written or acted, or maybe just the way it all was cut together, but Ive seen better from Bale.”
Gandalf reports that “Action is the keyword for this movie”, even perhaps to the point of overkill. “I found that it had a little too much action, so that our characters wasn’t told in a way that we could really bond with them. It lacked some more small moments of quiet interaction.”
However, the reviewer praises the effects and the ‘barren’ post-nuclear world depicted, and notes that the Terminator franchise departs from its love affair with the night in Salvation:
“It contrasts nicely with the future we see in Terminator 2, where it is all night scenes. In this movie, there are not that many night scenes, and it just feels right, to show the world in this battleworn way, in full daylight.”
Of Danny Elfman’s score, Gandalf comments “usually am very fond of Danny Elfmans work, and thought [the score] at times was too loud and big for the movie. Sometimes less is more, and for me, that would have been preferable this time around.”