It’s all so unnecessary. When he made Terminator 2: Judgment Day, franchise founder James Cameron delivered the ultimate action statement on his killer from the future formula. Combining then state of the art F/X with the storytelling acumen that often surpasses the subject matter, the man who made Arnold Schwarzenegger into a certified superstar provided the kind of closer that defies “easy” sequelization. Proof arrived 12 years later with Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, a wholly empty attempt at recreating the success of the first two films. And Fox has given a TV version the axe after a couple of successful seasons. Now Hollywood is back again, hoping it can resurrect the material and make it into a new commercial cash cow. Sadly, without the original artists at the helm, all we wind up with is hallow bombast - and far too much of it.
It’s 2018. The nuclear annihilation of the planet by Skynet - also known as “Judgment Day” - has occurred. There are packs of human beings left, but the machines, led by those android assassins the Terminators, are systematically rounding them up and wiping them out. Under the leadership of John Connor, the Resistance is trying to overcome the computer system that’s controlling these monsters. A shut off signal buried deep within the Skynet programming may be the key. In the meantime, someone named Marcus Wright wakes up to find himself in the future. He was originally part of a prison program helping cancer-ridden scientist Serena Kogan find a cure for her illness. Now, he’s part of a movement to keep mankind from dying out all together. Along with wannabe rebel Kyle Reese, he must make his way to Connor. Unfortunately, they all end up at Skynet, battling the faceless AI for control of the planet.