Starring: Christian Bale and Sam Worthington.
Story: It's the future... but the future of an alternate past where nuclear war has already happened. Or something like that. Anyway, everywhere is covered with dust and burnt-out cars, and the machines have taken over large chunks of the world. The human resistance is surprisingly well-equipped with submarines, fighters and helicopters, and has a plan to take the fight to Skynet, the computer leading the robots.
Meanwhile, John Connor, the prophesied leader of humanity, struggles to make anyone listen to his stories of time-travelling cyborgs and explanations of how he's older than his own dad. For some reason, no one agrees to put him in charge...
Comments: Right. Let me get this straight: in the original Terminator, a cyborg travelled back in time to stop the victorious leader of the post-Apocalyptic humans from being born. In the process it both brought about his birth and the Apocalypse. In Terminator 2, a couple more temporal tourists cancelled nuclear Armageddon. Only for it to be reinstated in Terminator 3 and bypassed again in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Then they put the cyborg in charge of California. Or was that before? Possibly. But was it before the original now, the actual now or one of the alternate nows? I'm not sure.
Who am I again?
I dunno. I've lost track of which Terminator timeline is the official one. It doesn't really matter for this new sequel, however. All the time travelling has already finished (even though it's yet to happen), Judgment Day has come and gone, and it's down to a straight fight between humanity and the machines. Cue lots of explosions in the desert.
Paradoxes aside, Salvation has all the established hallmarks of the Terminator series - a friendly cyborg, a robot that won't die, a strong female character (who just happens to be hot), someone saying 'Come with me if you want to live', an endless fight in a factory and lots of stuff blowing up. It's a fun return to a fondly-remembered franchise. That said, the generic wasteland setting and the lack of time travel does make it a little bland in its own right. It's all action and no plot and gets a bit silly by the end, finishing with an almost comically literal take on "it's what's in someone's heart that counts." Bale's performance is totally forgettable. Thankfully, Worthington manages to display enough charisma for the both of them.
Still, if you're in the mood for explosions and killer machines, this is one of the better choices available. (After the first three movies, of course... and the TV series... and The Matrix... and, oh, never mind...)
Conclusion: Booms, guns, robots, planes, bikes and Moon Goodblood. Turn it on and break out the beer.
Explosions: Loads. If it's on the screen, then it's liable to go up in a ball of flame at any moment.
Time travel: None.
Talk about time travel: Lots.
Impossibly tough robots: Dozens.
Will it be back?: Almost certainly. Going on past form, expect more time travel, a female cyborg and a detonation every three seconds.