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YMMV: Terminator Salvation
  • Contested Sequel: While generally not considered up to the standards of the first film and definitely not as well-regarded as the second, the fanbase is split as to whether this is a Surprisingly Improved Sequel to the third film, whether that film was at least trying to be significant while this one comes across as largely inconsequential, or whether the third film and this film should both be buried in a deep, dark vault and never spoken of again.
    • In the same way, some fans loved it for its thematic departure from the previous installments, while other fans hated it for exactly the same reason.
  • Faux Symbolism: Marcus is deliberately tied up in a cruficified position while receiving his lethal injection in the film's opening foreshadowing him as a sacrificial savior by the story's conclusion.
  • Gary Stu: A strong case can be made for Marcus being one, especially if the original ending was used (see below).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Considering who the star of The Dark Knight Saga is, and Schwarzenegger's role in Batman & Robin, this film is therefore the second time Arnie's tried to kill Batman.
  • Internet Backdraft: The fan outcry over the leaked ending of T4 prompted the studio to completely change the movie's third act. It was originally going to have John Connor die, with the Resistance putting his skin on Marcus's frame so that humanity wouldn't lose hope due to the loss of him.
  • Moral Event Horizon: General Ashdown cements himself as an immovable object when he relieves John Connor of his command after the latter insists on saving Kyle Reese. To be fair, Connor knew that Reese was his father, and he didn't want to break it to Ashdown for fear of being totally disbelieved (given that Reese is actually younger than Connor and became his father thanks to a temporal paradox), but Ashdown, 404 as he may be, reacted rather callously to Connor's persistence. He even goes so far as to do it in front of his subordinates! To drive the point home, said subordinates stick with Connor anyway in solidarity, because they somehow have a hunch that Connor's further in the right than Ashdown.
  • Uncanny Valley: The T-800 at the end has a digital rendering of young Arnold Schwarzenegger's head. Justified, because the real Arnold has aged noticeably since 1984 just like everyone else, and the CG effect is actually pretty appropriate for a robot.
  • What an Idiot: Resistance HQ broadcasting the shutdown signal from its own location, rather than a buoy or an airplane.

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