Screeching onto the screen, the latest installment of the Terminator franchise delivers gritty thrills, appreciated homage, and the next chapter in this story of humanity versus mechanized assassins.
The over exposed look at the beginning of the film struck me right away; a silver retention process used on the stock to give many of the vast post apocalyptic daylight scenes of the wasteland deserts of war torn 2018 a certain visceral realism.
From the jarringly opening scenes, the narrative kick starts into one pulse quickening situation after another, following the dichotomy of humans versus machines created to terminate them; blood and bone vs. metal and killer instinct. This threat is best illustrated in the scenes of violent capture and hellish herding of humans to their presumable death by emotionless deaths head faced robots and the fearless resistance fighters struggle to keep hope and humanity from extinction.
We find of vast importance to the multifilm narrative, personified in the film’s most exciting character, Marcus Wright, the exploration of salvation. Marcus, a convicted murderer put to death in 2003, later experimented upon to become a prototype melding of human and machine; created as a being whose physiological functioning is dependent upon a mechanical device.
A cyborg made from a killer who now has been given a second chance at life, Marcus acts as a link between man and machine. This figure puts into sharp relief the film’s ultimate question: what human advantage will lead to salvation over oppressive mechanized death?
The answer may well surprise you, just as the refreshing comfort of this newest installment of the ever popular Terminator series takes it’s place next to the successful members of the previous trio of films.
From the classical theme music of Terminator 2: Judgment Day to open the film, to now adult John Connor still blasting Guns N Roses, though this time to entice a killer machine into a trap; the Homage is sparing, but feels so right.
Familiar were the scenes of a beleaguered group of armed people driving up to some deserted 7-11 station, of a bruised and beaten resistance fighter stumbling up a short flight of wrought metal stairs on a bad leg, molten construction factory sparks glowing in the background, the steam and thundering of mechanical pistons veiling a mechanical death’s head grin.
It’s a Terminator movie, that’s for sure.