"Salvation" is more respectful of the franchise than "Rise of the Machines", and it does try to take the series in a promising new direction. Nonetheless, it's not a very good film. The look is generic, the performances are bland, and the dialogue is horrid. Plus, the over-abundant references to the first films just remind us we should be watching those instead.
While not the best action movie ever made, it is certainly a better effort than T3 - and another situation where complete snobbery blinds people from enjoying the merits. The acting was mostly wooden as McG seemingly has no idea what to do with actors, but the action sequences were fantastic and, despite the inconsistencies, it was nice to get a glimpse of the post-apocalyptic world that T2 merely touched on.
Grew on me. After "Rise of the Machines," a dopey copycat blindly adhering to formula, the filmmakers dared to take the franchise in an entirely new direction with intriguing results. There's an air of weariness and dread to the proceedings that previous films never took the time to feel out; "Salvation" does consider the rough sides of leadership and transhumanism. Worthington's character is fascinating.
This last hurrah from the franchise Terminator was taken into the good direction where special effects was designed to not overshadow the importance of present day reality. There are great blow ups and pretty darn cool sequences scene, and also the likable Sam Worthington that I sincerely hope not turn into Crowe.