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Terminator Salvation (2009)
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language.
Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Moon Bloodgood, Common
Michael Ferris, John Brancato, Paul Haggis, Jonathan Nolan, Shaun Ryan, Anthony Zuiker
In the highly anticipated new installment of "The Terminator" film franchise, set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row.
Terminator Salvation (2009) | Review
Man vs. Machine
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy&ellips; prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
These sound like words of advice from John Connor as he encourages the soldiers of the resistance. They were actually given to another resistance movement, one that had its beginnings long before the 21st Century. At times, Simon Peter, brother of Andrew and a disciple of Jesus, stood strong in his faith, living up to the name Christ gave him (Peter is the Greek word for rock). At other times, however, Peter wavered in his faith, so much so that on being questioned about his relationship with Jesus, he denied him three times. As he sought answers to the toughest questions facing him, Simon's faith grew, and as we see in his letters to early believers of Christ, he was a great encouragement to others in times of struggle and suffering.
It is the year 2018. In a post-Apocalyptic world, Skynet continues to work toward complete annihilation of the human race. Only a select group of humans stands in its way. John Connor discovers plans for a new breed of T-800 cyborg terminators. As he continues to live up to the expectations of his mother and lead the resistance against the self-aware Skynet, a stranger named Marcus Wright is also on a journey. Both men's paths will ultimately converge on Skynet, and both men's destinies are intrinsically linked to Kyle Reese, Connor's father and protector of his mother Sarah. Is Wright hiding a secret that will destroy the resistance? Or can he help Connor deliver the fatal blow that will end Skynet's domination?
"We've been at war since before either one of us existed," Connor acknowledges. He understands that the war he is fighting is much bigger than him. And yet, he also knows that somewhere deep inside is the courage, tenacity, and sheer will power he'll need to save humanity. He thought he knew his enemy, but the enemy keeps changing shape and form.
Who is the enemy? It is sometimes not who you think it is. The Apostle Paul had a similar take on this when he reminded the early church about who they were really fighting against: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6: 12-13, NIV)
As we witness the brutality of Skynet's control, we realize along with the characters that the biggest thing the resistance has going for it is its humanity. Humans are not robots or machines. We are not, as some assert, products of evolutionary happenstance, programmed by unguided natural selection. We can feel, we can change, we have free will and we can save ourselves and others, not because we have to, but because we want to. While the terminators view our heart as a vulnerability, we view it as a strength.
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