Page 26 THE VILLADOM TIMES I & III • June 3, 2009 ‘Terminator Salvation’ attempts to revive franchise by Dennis Seuling The first two “Terminator” films were first-class productions that combined a neat sci-fi tale with plenty of action. The third, “Rise of the Machines,” was far less successful in terms of script, performances, and audience interest. “Terminator Salvation,” the fourth installment, attempts to revive a dying franchise without its greatest asset, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The year is 2018. John Connor (Christian Bale) has timetraveled back to this year to provide strategic information to help the humans defeat the so far unbeatable machines. During his stay in the past, he encounters teenager Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), who will become his ally against the machines and figure importantly in the destiny of mankind on earth. Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a criminal who has been made over into a blend of man and machine, is a puzzle. The viewer wonders about his role in the cataclysmic drama, where his loyalties lie, and how he will affect the war with the machines. Though part machine, Worthington’s character is far more expressive than Bale’s Connor and manages to nicely steal all of his scenes. A serious problem is that director McG does not provide enough recap of what has come before. The three previous movies were made in 1984, 1991, and 2003, so a bit of a refresher would be helpful. While the basic story is clear, Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) joins John Connor in the battle against the machines in ‘Terminator Salvation.’ the greater significance will be lost to all but the most avid “Terminator” fans. McG reportedly had to work hard at persuading Bale to take on the role of Connor, the man destined to save the remnants of mankind from SkyNet, the evil organization created by the machines when they realized they had the power to eradicate humanity. Bale’s acceptance was a mind-boggling decision, since the actor is capable of much better films. If it was star power the director wanted, he need not have bothered. Bale offers little more than green-screen histrionics, a guttural growl of a voice, and an intense expression that never changes. Bale’s Connor is standard-issue action flick warrior and looks like an action figure come to life with his battle fatigues, elaborate weaponry, and rugged jaw. This type of character has been seen so many times before that his exploits, no matter how amazing the computer graphics are, fail to impress. Yelchin has a fairly small role as Kyle, but makes a solid impression, as he did in the new “Star Trek.” This is an actor to watch. Though he does not have a lot of dialogue, his character is integral to the entire Terminator mythos, so pay close attention. Yelchin has great screen presence and connects with the viewer, overshadowing Bale, the film’s nominal star. When this young actor is on screen, the movie comes to life. It is regrettable that McG did not feature (continued on Crossword page) State Line 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner The Best Got Better! Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 K A S S C H AU MEMORIAL SHELL ������������������������� ������������������������������� Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino $ 00 On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 51 Years of Free Summer Entertainment Under the Stars ������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������� � ������������������������� ��������������� � ������������������������� �������� � ���������������������������������������������������� VT � ������������������������������������������������������������������ ����������������� � ����������������������������� � ������������������������� � ���������������������������� ���������������� � ���������������������������� � �������������� ����������������� � ���������������� � ��������������������������� ���������������� � ���������������������� � ������������������� � ��������������������������� � ������������������������������������������������������������� � ����������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������