The fourth instalment of the Terminator series proves to be worth the wait, writes PIERCE HUNT
THERE'S no such thing as bad press. Unless your name is Christian Bale. Before being arrested for allegedly attacking his mother and sister prior to an appearance at a launch of Batman Returns last July, the Welshman's unblemished character was never in doubt. Fast-forward to February 2009 and Bale's headlining-grabbing antics were even more embarrassing. While shooting an early scene for Terminator Salvation, Bale unleashed a foul-mouthed tirade against a hapless cinematographer who happened to walk across his line of sight on set.
The relentless tongue-lashing from the star left a most people bemused at the outburst. His cringe-worthy attack sent shivers down the spines of the masses, questioning whether Bale had gotten far too big for his boots.
But putting aside whether you like or dislike the man, you can't fault him in his quest for taking the Terminator franchise to another level.
You'd also be forgiven for thinking that the film was destined to fail with the absurdly named director McG, whose CV includes the first two turgid instalments of the Charlie's Angels films. But McG manages to pull this one out the bag, taking the reins on an incredible action-packed outing.
The film begins in a present-day prision with Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) on death row, signed up by Dr Serena Kogan (Helen Bonham Carter) to donate his body to the Cyderdyne organisation, whose intentions are somewhat unclear. The film then jumps to a post-apocalyptic world in 2018 after judgement day - implemented by Skynet. Mad Max-esque communities, desperate to stay alive and defeat the machines, punctuate the arid landscape.
John Connor (Christian Bale), heads the human resistance against Skynet and their machines.
John's determination to be free from control leads him to make some difficult decisions along the way.
A bewildered Marcus emerges from the destroyed Cyderdyne headquarters, in a world where machines are determined to wipe out the earth's human population, and soon pledges his allegiance to help John Connor find Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) who has been imprisoned with a number of other resistance fighters.
The intensity of the action scenes is amazing. You're bombarded with constant crossfire in the ongoing battles that rage between man and machine. Here McG proves that he's capable of turning his hand to creating engaging, epic sequences.
Even Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a brief CGI cameo appearance as the T-800 model, the version that was sent back in time to kill John Connor's mother (Sarah) in the 80s before he was even born.
Fanboys expecting to see everything unfold as they anticipated in this instalment shouldn't get their hopes up, as, after all, this is only the first slice of a new trilogy.
Luckily Bale's performance is solid enough to aid the film in offering up a mouth-watering, high-octane affair, which cannot fail to have you on the edge of your seat.
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Thriller
Cast: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Helena Bonham Carter, Moon Bloodgood, Michael Ironside, Moon Bloodgood
Did you know?: Josh Brolin turned down the role of Marcus Wright
Verdict: Very impressive