Ok, I can see how some may expect a Terminator movie to revolve around Arnold and/or John Conner. However, I don't see that as the end of the line for what a terminator movie can cover. I thought Salvation was a decent flick in that we got to spend a lot of time with "Terminators", in general...older models, newer unanticipated models, and a secret infiltrator model. We got to spend some face time in J-Day land. That is something whose time had come for us to finally see, imo. Ok, I thought the water-bots were kind of stupid, though.
Those T-600's were brutal and badass, imo. I felt it put the scare factor (as far as being imposing and threatening) back into the Terminator role, after becoming so accustomed to seeing the other model (T-800 series) be the "friendly" protagonist all of the time. They were big, menacing, and crude...not even trying to pass as a human. No fancy techno-liquid crap. Just an unstoppable machine to be the "postman of death" carrying a giant rotary gun.
Also loved seeing those HK's flying around, and the big "Transformer" mech was cool, too. When I watch Salvation, I am just in Terminator world tech heaven, I guess.
I don't know about others, but the movie delivered to me in a big way!
The casting of Michael Ironside seemed odd to me, though. I liked him in Total Recall, for sure, but in this one, it just seemed off to me. I also thought the CG Arnie was a bold achievement in a movie.
Aside from all of the tech and eye-candy, there was even a strong emotional component to make the movie "mean something"...at least it did to me. Yeah, so it revolved around Marcus Wright, but I believe he did have an important story to tell. It was not of being a machine, but one of being a Human
, as it deals with a "second chance", Redemption, transcending beyond
the context of your "parts", and finally, final Sacrifice of your heartiest part (no pun intended) to be donated in a manner that Marcus deemed righteous and fitting, as opposed to what Cyberdyne Systems did with his parts the first time around.
The most memorable line I take from the movie, after Dr. Kogan patronizes Marcus that his donation will go to great use. He tells her, "I don't care...just cut me up into pieces until there is nothing left."...something like that, but you get the point. The line just resonates in me like a tuning fork, as far as my own feelings to this world and society.