TERMINATOR SALVATION:

You know that a movie really stinks when the actors are outperformed by a bunch of mute robots. But neither men nor machines have much in the way of dialogue which appears to be obligatory interludes between the visual effects of Charles Gibson that overwhelm this film like Tabasco sauce on frosted flakes. As a result, thereís not much evidence as to how futuristic resistance-fighter John Connor (Christian Bale) inspires the kind of charismatic leadership (Itís no accident that his initials are J.C.) that would cause others to follow him into battle. John D. Brancato and Michael Ferrisís screenplay doesnít give any of the players much of anything to work with except for a convicted murderer (Sam Worthington) resuscitated from a cryogenic sleep who winds up being the filmís main character. There is a plot involving Baleís (THE DARK KNIGHT) attempt to save a teenaged Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) thatís somewhat intriguing since the latter will ultimately turn out to the formerís father. However, because anyone whoís seen THE TERMINATOR (1984) knows how this all turns out, the storylineís potential impact is significantly diminished. Once a narrative arc, like the one in this film, returns to its starting/ending point, there literally isnít any other place for it to go since it has boxed itself in. Beyond that, the most telling example to me of why this work failed came from the young guy a couple of seats down from me who couldnít suppress several yawns during any number of scenes. For that to happen during an action movie is like the dude who realizes what a bore he is when someone in traction asks him to leave because ďIíve got a million things to do.Ē

MOVIES TO WATCH FOR IN JUNE: AWAY WE GO (June 5), THE HANGOVER (June 5), LAND OF THE LOST (June 5), IMAGINE THAT (June 12), THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 (June 12), THE PROPOSAL (June 19), YEAR ONE (June 19), TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (June 24), MY SISTERíS KEEPER (June 26)