Picks and Pans Review: Terminator Salvation

updated 06/01/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/01/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard | PG-13 |

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Want to feel old? The first Terminator came out 25 years ago. Now, after a six-year absence, the franchise is back and looking remarkably spry, given its advanced age. Terminator Salvation, a solid fourth entry in the series, is set in 2018 and sticks to the established mythology. An adult John Connor (Bale, better than he has to be), now a leader of the human resistance movement against the ruling Skynet machines, must find Kyle Reese (Yelchin), the teenager whom Connor will send back in time to father him (see the original Terminator). Confusing? You bet, but it makes a wacky kind of sense. The film has a gritty futuristic look, rousing action and a ruggedly appealing costar in Worthington, who plays a hybrid man-machine. Even original metalhead Arnold Schwarzenegger returns—making good on his "I'll be back" vow—for a nifty digital cameo.

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