For a while, it looked as though the Terminator franchise was done after Jonathan Mostow’s underrated Rise of the Machines earned $433 million at the box office in the summer of 2003, which was a reasonable enough assumption when star Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to enter politics and wound up as the Governor of California.
However, much like the cybernetic antagonist-turned-hero, the property couldn’t be bargained with. It couldn’t be reasoned with. The studio executives didn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and they absolutely would not stop, ever, until… they’d milked every last penny out of the property.
A lot of fans were skeptical about the idea of a new Terminator movie without Schwarzenegger, but that stance was considerably softened when it was revealed Christian Bale would be playing John Connor in the future-set war epic that people had been clamoring to see since 1984. Of course, doubts were raised again when the woefully mediocre McG was named as director, but Salvation was given the benefit of the doubt.
As it turns out, the fourth installment in the saga was… meh. Anton Yelchin ended up stealing the show, Sam Worthington was the cinematic equivalent of the color beige in his first major leading Hollywood role, while Bale’s contribution to the film’s legacy came courtesy of his off-camera rant rather than his actual performance. And yet, Terminator Salvation has suddenly appeared on the Netflix most-watched list as per FlixPatrol, gunning for a higher position as we head into the weekend.