Start with Dawn of the Dead. Make your zombies robots. Give your zombies guns. Realize that your zombies aren’t mindless, but are actually being controlled from behind the scenes by a malevolent force. Welcome to Terminator Salvation; you’re fucked.
Termination Salvation takes the Terminator to franchise to the next level. The previous movies were set in modern day where robots from the future came back into the past to assassinate future leaders of the resistance. These movies worked fairly well in their narrow scope, and remained grounded in the real world. The new movie kicks us a few years into the future, 2018. By this time the war between humanity and Skynet has been raging for years. Things are looking bleak for humanity.
The movie turns out to be somewhat of a mix between survival horror, drama, and action flick (in that order). As a whole it was entertaining, and paced well. There are not really any memorably good or bad parts in the film. Christian Bale was good as always. Unfortunately, this film plays second fiddle to Star Trek in much the same was that Hulk was second to Iron Man early into last year.
Based on my initial impression I will be ranking this movie a 3, which makes its a recommended title. However, having said that, if you haven’t seen Star Trek yet you should probably see that first. Both are good movies, but this isn’t quite a good.
Update 22 May 2009:
The more I think about it, the more I dislike the discontinuity between the different acts of the movie and the ending is just miserable. So I am down grading this film to a 1.5.