Terminator Salvation (2009)

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In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted? (IMDb)
Man vs. machine, with the women relegated to giving tearful goodbye kisses. Kate’s pregnant but no one cares, Blair’s action is limited to the dumb prisoner break-out that just circles back to a conclusion that could’ve been arrived at a minute after Marcus’ arrival if the men just had a damn conversation. The climax is a mess even without CGI Arnold. Functional enough as an action-thriller but with bad moments that drag it down and overshadow its better ones (see Marcus’ Skynet self-discovery).
6/10 (Mediocre)

 

Jurassic World (2015)

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A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree. (IMDb)
I’m sure the anti-“bigger and better” thematic thread was more hypocritical than cleverly self-referential, but I appreciated it all the same (Owen has a great-and surprisingly lengthy-early back-and-forth with Hoskins: “Progress always wins” “Maybe progress should lose for once”), and so help me, despite some plot contrivances, I loved the bigger, darker dino-action (see the bird snatch) and the badass final bite. It’s decently funny too (see Lowery and his failed aftermath-kiss attempt).
7/10 (Good)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

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When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. (IMDb)
The first half contains some really great sequences; the volcano adds an exciting natural-disaster element to the dino action (see the unique sound editing of the underwater drama) and the snarky Zia and fearful Franklin are welcome additions to the cast of characters. It really starts to tire in the predictable second half though, when we’re mostly left with the two bland leads, a cliche villain, and an unexceptional big bad dino. The underlying dino-rights thread never really works either.
6.5/10 (Alright)

Gold (2016)

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Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. (IMDb)
A false alarm first fall from fame and a slow FBI epilogue overshadows the unexpected and satisfying final twist, making for a bit of a messy and bloated third act–a shame because the rags-to-riches tale of the first two was a uniquely, increasingly compelling one thanks to its slightly unconventional editing, active pop soundtrack, and most of all McConaughey’s strong central turn as the passionate and erratic prospector Wells (complimented perfectly by the Ramirez’s reserved Acosta).
7.5/10 (Really Good)