Sunday, 1 November 2009

Grumble grumble time travel

I watched Terminator Salvation this afternoon. I could have gone to an art gallery or done some writing or weeded the garden or seen a friend or read a book. I could have done a lot of things. But I watched Terminator Salvation.

As I expected, I basically quite enjoyed it, just as I basically quite enjoyed the last film in the franchise (watched it twice on one - admittedly poorly catered for by entertainment - flight). Batman and Robin excepted, I tend to basically quite enjoy inferior sequels, just so long as the heart's in the right place and the budget is solid enough.

Anyway, accepting it was basically just a remake of the third Matrix film, I thought it was okay. BUT I HAVE SEVERAL QUESTIONS, none of which will make any sense to you whatsoever if you haven't seen said film, but I'm going to write them here anyway because it'll make me feel better.

1. Okay, Skynet/the Terminators are attempting to wipe out the human race on grounds of it being a kind of 'us-or-them' scenario. It's a fair point, and it's a high priority. Still: assuming they win, what the fuck are they actually going to DO? I mean, they've churned out millions of death dealing uber machines all united by a single intelligence; is that FUN? They seem to have absolutely zero hobbies bar killing the increasingly scant number of humans on the planet. Even if they do have something else to be getting on with, then presumably the gargantuan number of robots awful at doing anything other than blowing shit up is going to lead to major unemployment problems. What are they going to do? MELT THEM DOWN INTO TROWELS?

2. So there's this dude Marcus, who Skynet has brought back as an experimental infiltrator clone or something, the logic being he'll lure John Conner out to get killed. This is total crap; Marcus is under no programming or control whatsoever - all he really succeeds in doing is saving John's life on various occasions. The logic possibly being that this assists him in walking into the 'trap' of a dangerous mission during which the machines intend to kill him, but, um, yeah, duh...

3. John is totally freaked out at Marcus, the part human Terminator with a (literal and metaphorical) heart. Fair enough Marcus is actually quite a bit more human than the Arnie-brand model, but still... John, did you not see this coming? When you were 13 you spent a magical summer hanging out with a robot that looked like a human and sort of learnt to feel things, being chased by a blob of mercury that could look like a variety of humans, and exhibited a pretty nifty emotional range. Being all like "oh god, this is insane, I can't believe they did this, it changes everything" is a bit histrionic.

4. John sits there listening to his mum's cassette tapes detailing how one should wage a war against robots. Okay, she was pretty tasty in a fight, BUT, I mean she was never actually in a war, she just managed to kill two measly robots; the first time she cried like a girl; the second John was there anyway and she needed another bastard hard robot to help her. She spouts all this guff about the psychology of Skynet when she BASICALLY HAS NO IDEA.

5. Everyone's very sanguine about the fact that time machines are liable to be developed in the next couple of years, y'know?