Even Arnold Schwarzenegger Thinks Terminator Salvation Was Awful

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Whatever you personally think of Terminator Salvation, there’s no denying that director McG’s return to the world of Skynet pretty much killed the franchise. It’ll be awhile before we see anything new from the Terminator now and series star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who didn’t appear in Salvation (at least not in person), knows why. It was awful.

Talking to Collider about possible sequels to some of his famous franchises Arnie had this to say, “[I’m open to] all those things, if it’s True Lies, Terminator, a well-made Terminator…the last one was awful. It tried hard, not that they didn’t try, the acting and everything. It missed the boat.”

Obvious truth is obvious. Terminator Salvation wasn’t particularly good. It’s just rare that you hear Hollywood stars actually come out and say it. Maybe it’s easier for Arnold to be honest than normal, since he wasn’t involved. The fact that it failed is kind of a feather in his cap, in a strange, roundabout way.

Technically a fifth Terminator movie is in development, but it’s not going anywhere fast, and nobody seems particularly enthusiastic about it. Justin Lin was attached to direct but left the project where it now lingers in a development hell made chiefly of gritty promises. Terminator Salvation, with its dismal 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, really was just that awful.


  1. [A] says:

    It was one of those “zero stars” movies..

  2. Brian White says:

    It was better than Rise of the Machines and had a lot of good moments. I’d like to see the series continue.

    • Jeff Sansone says:

      Rise of the machines was a damn good movie! saying Terminator Salvation was better is almost an insult

      • JT says:

        It wasn’t bad.  Critic reaction backs that up.  Rise of the Machines: 71% on RT.  Salvation? 33%.

        • Nathan Fustec says:

          I don’t really understand the critics here. Rise Of The Machines was a ripoff of the first two combined with no originality, bad acting and poor taste jokes (the Elton John glasses? Really?) that really felt like reviving something that didn’t need to have a sequel. Sometimes people should just think before they put up a new sequel, and honestly Salvation felt like a breath of fresh air to me. 

          Can someone enlighten me on what exactly was so bad about it? I really don’t get it. I mean it certainly does not sit in my top 50 most awesome films ever, but it ranks a lot higher than T3:ROTM.

          • Sammy Lane says:

            Terminator=Salvation was pretty decent,but please tell me just when in hell did John Connor start hating machines??T2 and T3 he was pleasantly cool with a killer machines protecting him for throughout both movies and yet come SALVATION he is anti machine??

          • DS says:

            Yeah..I can enlighten you. “Salvation’s” biggest issue is that it was a “Terminator” film with terminators which, by and large, didn’t actually terminate anyone. You can’t name your franchise after a model of cyborg which exists to murder Homo Sapiens then begin to merely imply said species mass destruction in the fourth film and expect that to fly. You had giant robots stomping around and armies of the skull heads walking in line, firing guns, but almost no bloodshed. And what was all of this “rounding people up in cages” plot crap? I saw that movie when Tom Cruise starred in it and they called it “War of the worlds”. In all of the original “Terminator” films, the machines executed every human being they came across human beings until the human beings figured out how to destroy them. End of story. . “Rise” was light years and away a better film than “Salvation” if only for the fact that it was at least about a Terminator that, y’know, killed it’s targets. Not to mention that John Connor as played by Bale didn’t really fit the idea of Connor we were given in the flashes of the future in the earlier films. Nick Stahl was a lot more convincing And that “joining man and machine” crap at the end of “Salvation” wasn’t clever, it was a massive load.

          • Ulo says:

            Actually, I recall Kyle mentioning some kind of human concentration camps in the first movie.

          • Ulo says:

            Actually, I recall Kyle mentioning some kind of human concentration camps in the first movie.

          • “what was all of this “rounding people up in cages” plot crap?” umm, were you not paying attention??? Skynet was researching how to put live tissue on a metal chassis and have it actually stay alive. It’s mentioned a few times plus we see the crap 600’s that were rubber skin, and we see the culmination of the research in the CGI Arnold at the end. Plus skynet “work camps” are also mentioned in T4 and the other movies as well. It makes perfect sense and fits in the terminator universe. You are right about TOTM being a world better though.

      • Hot_blood_29 says:

        what!!!!????? T3 was absolute HONK! salvation was much much better! next your be defending alien 4!!!!

        • Nathan Fustec says:

          Well on that note, I’d be defending Alien 4 any day against Aliens… (believe it or not). Might be because I’m European I don’t know (though to me the only one that is a really great film in the series is the first). 

      • Akdrendon says:

        U freakin kiddin me? Rise Of The Machines was complete trash!

  3. Chris Paris says:

    But, wait, didn’t McG already talk about doing another Terminator, despite the bad reviews of SALVATION?

    Oh, yes he did. Just like they announced a GREEN LANTERN sequel, a Devlin/Emmerich GODZILLA sequel, a JOHN CARTER sequel and sequels to a host of other bombs.

    I love it when everyone can smell the stink of death on a thing, but the creators insist nothing’s wrong, and the patient will get up from the table any minute now.

  4. Salvation was a disappointment and a forgettable movie, but I do think that T3 was way worse.

    • Sammy Lane says:

      The main reason that people hated T3 was that it was too dark of movie that ignored the “happy,opptamistic” ending of Sarah/John riding into the sunset to uncertain future.

  5. I understand why T:S was a bad movie, but I still enjoyed it (as did my wife, who is even harder to please when it comes to action/sci-fi movies).  I’d love to see the franchise continue.  Unfortunately, at this point, it’ll probably come down to a reboot sooner than later.

  6. Maranda says:

    I really liked Terminator: Salvation! I don’t know where all the negative reviews are coming from. It was a good movie, at least in my opinion. Was it good enough to win awards? No. Was it good enough for me to spend $9.50 to see it? Maybe. Was it good enough that I’ll watch it whenever it’s on TV? Absolutely. Would I go see another Terminator movie after watching Salvation? You bet.

  7. Add says:

    maybe next time they’ll put more than just one terminator on the screen at a time, but i dream.

  8. Corrosivepress says:

    “Pretty much killed the franchise”? That horse has been beaten to death, buried it, everyone has sat down for a cup of tea, then dug up the horse, and beaten it again. Can Hollywood PLEASE find a NEW idea to make into a movie, and maybe a new franchise, instead of constantly reaching back over the past decades for re-treads (the only exception is “The Hunger Games”). 

  9. Jeremy says:

    I liked Salvation a LOT more than Rise. Rise just really felt like watching TV, no sense of cinematic scale, it just plodded through the series of events we already knew, with little original to add. It had the atmosphere of a 90210 episode. Salvation was epic.. much stronger acting and bigger ideas. It had a nice gritty edge to it, too.

  10. Lifetime SF Fan says:

    I loved it and have seen it many times… I truly do not know what mass audiences want but it seems to rarely ever coincide with what I like and want. It’s beyond my ability to judge, I can only like what i like. I felt it was a very able installment of the series and was looking forward very much to the next.

  11. Let’s reboot it to another timeline(ala Star Trek) and focus on the story line brought about in “The Sara Conner Chronicles”!!!!!

  12. Marvin says:

    ts was better than t3 which is quite forgettable.  

  13. Jose L. says:

    Salvation is better than T3 and it’s hated on more, weird.

  14. dregj says:

    even arnie??really?the man who gave us batman and robin ,theres a freeze coming, oscar winning, arnie,you mean?
    What shall we do hen the final arbiter of movie taste has given his almighty critique?

  15. Ok, both T3 and T4 were very watchable decent movies but come on, Rise of the Machines was SOOOO much better than Salvation. I was looking so forward to seeing all these different skynet machines. and it was just a huge let down. Fishy robots and a man thats a machine but doesnt know it so doesnt have any amazing skills….come on…BORING. LOL Kristanna Loken built with the best of both worlds, solid metal frame with polymametic skin, and on board weapons. HELL YA. It was the obvious next step. ONLY good thing in T4 was we got to see the T-600 which was the rubber skin crap that Kyle talked about and the research that went into the T-800 series, rest of the story was crap.