I'd read my flist's reviews so I was spoiled about some stuff ahead of time. In hindsight that was probably a good thing because it's definitely the kind of film that gets worse afterwards when you start thinking about it. Knowing a lot going in eased the WTF? post-viewing factor quite a bit. Even so, the man and I ripped it apart on the walk to the ice cream cottage.
Here's what I flat-out hated: The super-transformery Godzilla-sized harvester robot, Kyle's traps conveniently set at the exact spots the endo stands, that mute rat-girl sidekick of his, the resistance leader we all know will be bad news from the second he appears on screen because he's played by Michael Ironsides, the Max Headroom scene where Helena Bonham-Carter reveals the entire plot to Marcus, and of course, the heart transplant. Other than that, the movie really wasn't as bad as I expected and there was certainly enough to enjoy that neither of us regretted seeing it (following it up with a scoop of Hershey's Cappuccino Crunch helped a lot too).
I think the biggest problem is that Terminator Salvation just tried to be too many things and didn't really succeed at any of them. It was primarily about Skynet's development of a new hybrid infiltrator: Marcus. Sam Worthington was good, but honestly, I didn't give a shit about Marcus. Some murderer who got to live again (sort of), so he was going to do good now? Meh. I didn't have a good enough sense of his motivation. And aside from the heart transplant being completely ludicrous, it felt like a forced way to give him some importance in the Terminator universe. Sorry. No. Didn't work for me at all. We've already got our heroes and John Connor already has plenty of reason to be a bit more trusting of machines than the average person. So we didn't need that.
What we did need was Kyle — lots more Kyle. I loved that he was the LA resistance. I loved that he rescued Marcus. I loved that he was excited when he heard John Connor on the radio. I loved everything about Kyle. If I had my way, I would've gotten rid of the Marcus story all together and there would've been a much more in-depth story of John Connor becoming the leader of the resistance. That's such an important thing yet it was the weakest part of the film. I wish it had focused on Kyle's journey to find John after hearing him on the radio, them finally meeting (in a Skynet prison camp, of course), and John leading the revolt. That's a future war story I might actually care about. That's a story that could have heart. Terminator Salvation? Not so much.