The Biggest Plot Hole in Cinema History: Terminator Salvation abandons all semblance of logic.

Posted on 02 June 2009 by Quaid

Since the inception of the Terminator franchise, critics have attacked the movie’s twisty, paradox inducing logic.

terminator-salvation-poster1In general, I’ve been able to explain away all the issues with the franchise…albeit with a thin and flawed thought process.  But it’s an action movie, so we give it a little room to breathe and accept that it takes place in a world that doesn’t have to work with our physics.

Terminator Salvation is another story.  In addition to being poorly written, poorly directed, and poorly edited, the movie simply makes no sense.

I’m not talking the time-travel element of the film.  I’m talking basic logic.  Beware, spoilers abound ahead.  I would say avoid if you haven’t seen the film, but it might be best to know what you’re getting into from the start.

Let’s start with Marcus Wright.  I’ll forgive all the unbelievable character motivations (like the question of what makes him sacrifice his life when he’s quite obviously little more than a badass out for self preservation, and he has no real reason to value John Connor’s life over his own).  

I’m ruining the whole movie when I say that Marcus Wright turns out to be an agent of SkyNet.  He has been sent by the master machine to lead John Connor into the lion’s den.  It was subconscious programming; Wright didn’t even know he was doing it.

Except for one small problem.  No action taken by Marcus Wright in any way leads to the completion of this mission.  He randomly runs into Kyle Reese…an accident completely out of his (and SkyNet’s) control.  When the machines capture Reese, it’s another random accident.  And meeting Blair, the sexy soldier who brings Marcus to John Connor…yeah, that’s a random occurrence, too.

marcusfaceoffThe only small act that could be considered “Marcus fulfilling his mission” is that he informs Connor that Reese has been captured.  Once that information is revealed, it’s a given that Connor will stop at nothing to save his father.  And this piece of information is obtained and revealed based solely on uncontrollable chance.

Nice programming, SkyNet…I guess you installed the “unbelievable coincidence” chip in your agent of evil, forcing him to do your bidding based solely on random chance.

So really, the only purpose Marcus Wright, the main character of the movie, serves is to let John Connor know that Reese has been captured.  That could have been done with a radio transmission sent directly by SkyNet.

Oh yeah, I forgot…Marcus does serve another purpose.  He gives his heart to John Connor (both figuratively and literally) so that the would-be leader can live!  

Why is this necessary?  Because John Connor WAS IMPALED THROUGH THE CHEST!  Another unbelievable logic flaw…apparently if you are STABBED THROUGH THE HEART WITH A HUGE SPEAR, you can live long enough to get back to home base so your best-friend robot can get you back on your feet.

I guess the post apocalyptic world has made leaps and bounds in the world of battlefield triage/heart transplants.  I sure hope Marcus and John are the same blood type and have compatible organs.  That’s never really covered, but with such insane, mind-blowing ridiculousness going on, I won’t nitpick.

(As an aside, this “He can have my heart” scene is offensively bad and pandering.  It’s a plot device of the worst kind that gets rid of Marcus and adds false drama about whether Connor dies…a question to which we already know the answer.  Plus it is the most ham-handed “oh-by-the-way-here’s-the-theme-to-our-movie-that-we-just-made-up” event I’ve ever seen.  Now back to the offensively bad story holes…)

Okay, I’m guessing that those of you still reading are wondering if I’m going to make good on the headline.  Yes, I will.  

There is one insane, logically bulimic element in this film that trumps the thin thinking of all other films.  Here goes…

kylereeseKyle Reese is captured by Skynet.  We are told that Reese is the number one public enemy on Skynet’s list…because Skynet knows that Kyle Reese is John Connor’s father.

So, Skynet wants to kill Reese.  If it can do that, John Connor is immediately blinked from existence.  Hence putting Reese above Connor on the kill list.

Skynet, being the badass machine that it is, even manages to capture Kyle, but the boy has the sense to keep a low profile.  I guess Connor’s task is to rescue his father before he gets recognized and killed, blinking the hero from existence, right?

Wrong.  Soon after being captured, the Terminators identify Reese.  We know this because we go into Terminator-Vision, and see text along the lines of “Identified: Kyle Reese.”

So then the Terminator shoots Reese in the head and the movie is over and the machines win, right?

Nah.  That would be too easy.  Instead, they put the kid in a private cell and use him as bait for Connor…neglecting the fact (which they seem to know)  that Connor would go “poof” if they pointed a gun at him and pulled the friggin’ trigger.

Maybe Skynet doesn’t understand that killing the good guys without some elaborate time-travel scheme is as effective as sending Arnold Schwarzenegger back to the ’80′s…

Or maybe the movie is just dumb and makes no sense.

Maybe I’d be more forgiving if this were light popcorn fare, but this movie is dark and brooding and pleased as punch with its own cleverness.  It deserves not one modicum of sympathy.

In the words of Kyle Reese…”There is no fate but what we make up as we go along.”  At least that’s the version McG seems to have heard.                           

64 Comments For This Post

  1. ShepRamsey Says:

    I’m having trouble remembering, but is it explicity stated that Skynet knows that Kyle Reese is John Connor’s father? Did they ever, for that matter? One explanation that I have heard for all of this–which satisfies me–is this: Skynet does not know that Kyle Reese is John Connor’s father. They take prisoners for the sake of experimenting in making their Arnold-flesh cyborgs and the reason they separated Kyle Reese and used him as bait was because they knew he was a Resistance member. This makes a decent amount of sense to me and I approve.

    As for the Marcus Wright thing, it is a bit of a stretch, that whole “you led John Connor to us” thing. It’s pretty much unnecessary. I can’t justify it, other than to say that it was just so irrelevant to me that I just didn’t see fit to pay it too much mind. All the other plot points fell into place for me with or without the whole Wright thing, so I guess I sort of pretended he wasn’t there. Because he sure didn’t need to be. I can understand if this is the kind of thing that grates at you, but it didn’t for me. I just shrugged it off.

    And the heart thing is stupid. You’ll get no argument from me. I guess what I’m saying is that I thought the fundamental elements of the plot were smart and well-crafted. I appreciated the clever way that it fit into the mold of the rest of the films in the franchise and if some of the smaller details of that basic story were a little lacking, then I’m willing to forgive that a bit.

    Let me also make a note that I really liked that every action sequence in the movie was actually relevant to the story–overblown, sure, but they were all furthering the plot. In that regard, Michael Bay could use a lesson from McG. (Step one: HAVE a plot.)

    Anyway, I enjoyed the movie. I was entertained. Sometimes that’s all a guy can ask for.

  2. Quaid Says:

    There is a scene where it is explicitly stated that Kyle Reese is the number one person on the “people to kill” list for Skynet, and Connor is number two. The ONLY reason reese would be so important is that Skynet knows reese is connor’s father (this is before Wright ever shows up in Connor’s world, so you can’t say they knew Reese was important to Connor through Wright)…

    Also, Skynet has reese programmed into the terminators…they’re on the lookout for him and HE IS ON THE DAMN KILL LIST. Even as a resistance member, there would be no need for Connor to risk a rescue…and then putting him in a separate cell means they know he is insanely special.

    There is no other explanation than “Skynet knows reese is Connor’s father.” It’s all but stated in the movie, early on, in the submarine.

  3. Hoot17 Says:

    Just a quick thought.

    Is it possible that Skynet came to the realization that if the killed Kyle Reese (and therefore John Conner) that they would in effect be killing themselves?

    Think about it. The only reason Skynet is in existence is because a piece of the original terminator was recovered and the technology was replicated….because they went back in time to kill Sarah Conner. So if they had never gone back in time because in the future they had killed Kyle Reese ( and John Conner )then there would never been a terminator in the 80′s to get destroyed by the press and humans never would’ve recovered the advanced technology the spring boarded the advancement of AI computers and potentially never created Skynet.

    So, it seems to me that this movie is genius in the fact that Skynet realized their fate is linked to Conner’s and Reese’s and allowed them to live (though the heart thing is pretty shady)and the battle to wage on. If the humans win, then they win. If the machines had won by killing kyle, then history would’ve undone itself and the machines wouldn’t exist and there would’ve been no judgment day.

    So maybe, this movie was just that awesome and well thought out and SkyNet has a master plan that is based on making the humans believe in the smoke and mirrors that Skynet is presenting them and not realizing that the sacrifice of 1 man (Kyle Reese) will save millions.

    Just my 2 cents I thought of while reading the article.

  4. Quaid Says:

    Ah….good thoughts Hoot17. Though at that point it’s kind of getting into the dangerous “Who actually invented Terminators” logic…in theory, the Terminators would have been created via some alternate timeline without Arnold having come back in the first movie. Hence how T2 was able to shift judgement day….it’s the universe correcting itself?

    What are your thoughts on the other holes listed above? (genuine curiosity)

  5. Hoot17 Says:

    The issue with Marcus is pretty hard to pin down.

    On one hand you have the machines saying that they created Marcus for the soul purpose of leading Conner to them so they could kill him. Marcus did all of this through some sort of sub program that he didn’t know about and happened to succeed by merely happenstance.

    On the other hand you have Marcus who believes that he is human, acts and think like a human. He hides from terminator when he first finds Kyle Reese (or as some would say, Kyle Reese found him)and remembers his brother when that song is played in the Jeep. He showed emotions other than anger and rage. He cared about Blair’s well being and was obviously emotionally attached to her.

    To me it seems that Marcus was being created (as claimed by Skynet) as a new type of terminator for infiltration, but they weren’t done by the time the Resistance attacked the base in the beginning of the movie. Marcus was activated somehow; probably something caused by the explosion, and he emerged from the laboratory physically complete but mentally and more importantly unfinished.

    Marcus had no clue what was going on in the world around him, he didn’t seem to understand what the terminator was when he yelled at in in L.A. (isn’t it strange that that terminator started shooting at him if Marcus was supposed to be part of this plan? or maybe it was because the other terminator didn’t even know that Marcus was a terminator).

    Anyways, back to my thought about Skynet and their so called plan for Marcus. I think Skynet decided to capitalize on one of their robots actually earning the trust of Conner, even though it wasn’t part of the plan. By the time Marcus walked up to the big sentry gun at Skynet, they had realized he was one of their own and allowed him to pass. He easily found his way into the main building and was allowed to interface with the computer due to the chip in his head, which at that point seemed to be the first time it was used or activated by the way the monitor was reacting to him being there.

    The next scene seemed off to me. Why would the main computer have to reason with one of their own (Marcus) to try to convince him that he was on a secret mission for Skynet? Why would it choose to use the face of the doctor instead of no face at all and just interface directly with his CPU to communicate? This is why I think the machines didn’t have any control over Marcus and that they were just trying to capitalize on the situation. Machines don’t have to reason with machines. They don’t need to tug at another machines emotions to bring it over to their side if it was on that side to begin with. Why wouldn’t Skynet just activate its control of Marcus at that point and just make him like any of the other machines? To me the answer is because they couldn’t and never could.

    Marcus was a human placed inside a terminators body. He had no connection to the machines or Skynet other than they created him and before they were finished with him he was set loose. Everything that he did, he did because he was human not because of some directive being fed to him by some chip. Marcus’s story focus’s on his fall and then rebirth and then his eventual salvation and how his actions affected those around him who accepted him for what he was and he ended up being the salvation for the resistance by saving Conner and Reese.

    As for how he got involved with Reese and Blair and Conner, he was just following the road that lead to the city where Reese found him then Reese was captured and during his attempt to rescue them he met up with the downed pilot of a plane who Conner sent to take out the Hunter Killer craft who in turn lead him to Conner.

    Is it way to coincidental if that all happened because Skynet programed Marcus to do all of that? yes.

    Is it way to coincidental if that all happened to a Human Marcus just trying to survive and save/rescue people he cared for? I don’t think so.

    Life is full or coincidence and happenstance. Things happen and we adapt to survive. Thats all Marcus was doing. I didn’t see any of the other terminators adapt to save themselves and others.

    Not sure on how clearly I was able to convey my thoughts, but hopefully they were clear enough to understand what I was trying to get at.

  6. Quaid Says:

    Thanks for the response…all good points. I think you’ve thought about this even more than me, but I have a harder time with the “coincidences” thank you do. To me, it reeks of sloppy writing.

  7. Hoot17 Says:

    To be honest, I doubt my responses were at all what were being thought of by the director/writers when making the film. If you look at the movie and expect it all to be told in around 2 hours, you have to make some story telling exceptions and justify coincidences somehow. I wasn’t blown away by the writing, it was better than I could do though.

    I guess what was important to me is that when my wife and I sat down in the theater for the film we were able to forget about everything else and be engrossed into the movie. For those few short hours I was able to escape into someone else’s creation and be taken away to experience their vision, their art and something that the actor’s did their best to make as real as possible. If I wanted to watch a movie that required me to think through everything and make sure all the plot points were connected correctly then I you’ve got to know that action/sci-fi movies usually make pretty large leaps into coincidence and happenstance.

    I’m far from a movie critic or movie buff so maybe plot holes don’t affect me to much, or maybe I can understand time constraints and having to compress a week/month/year event into a couple hours and I can allow considerations to be made for the overall purpose of story telling.

    At the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought it did a great job at conveying what life was like after judgment day and to be a part of the resistance.

  8. Hoot17 Says:

    Wish I could edit posts.

    please disregard
    ” If I wanted to watch a movie that required me to think through everything and make sure all the plot points were connected correctly then I you’ve got to know that action/sci-fi movies usually make pretty large leaps into coincidence and happenstance.”

    was a tangent thought that I never completed.

  9. plum Says:

    quaid there is an alternative for capturing KR and not killing him. That is, Skynet do not know he is JC’s father, but they do know he is his future protector in T1. so, the ‘use him as bait’ makes sense. My beef with this is the bad editing.. when JC is shouting at MR he explicitly says ‘my father KR’ yet when MR uploads to Skynet this dialogue is cut off. This would of course have triggered Skynet to immediately kill KR.

  10. plum Says:

    MR should of course be MW. my bigger beef is why the T800 is so rubbish at killing JC…

  11. Quaid Says:


    Another good point on this one…but how would skynet know one and not the other? (this might be in there too and I just missed it). Even as Sarah Connor’s protector, I don’t know that KR would be higher on the kill list than JC though.


    Anyway, as to your point about the editing I agree. There is a ton of sloppy work in this movie, and it makes it really hard for me to let go the smaller stuff when big issues are staring me in the face.

  12. Benedict31 Says:

    Me next! I’ve got some little ones and some big ones to add!

    1. How come, if Marcus is a Terminator and made out of 99% steel or titanium or whatever, he can just float off in the water? (that naplam scene)

    2. If Marcus is super strong how come he doesn’t carry John Connor out of the factory in the end rather than making the poor guy half walk- I mean he’s just been stabbed through the chest with an iron bar!

    3. If Skynet is really super advanced and clever how come it missed about a million chances to kill either connor or reese (already discussed I guess)?

    4. Why does the T-800 just fling John connor around about 20 times instead of just breaking his neck?

    5. That T-600 which meets Marcus in LA must be the blindest killing machine on the planet!

    6. Why is Skynet ‘Harvesting’ all these people? Why doens’t it just kill them? It’s not like it actually doing anything with them once it gets them back to it’s secret base!

    7. Why does skynet have windows and computer terminals all over the place at it’s base? Surely it’d be better to be buried 2 miles beneath the earth with no place for humans to be able to access it. Surely it doesn’t just like open plan arcitecture?

    8. If the resistance is so buggered how come it seems to have an endless supply of helicoptors and A10′s- surely skynet would just nuke anywhere where the A10′s were kept? A jet plane uses up a HUGE ammount of resources just to keep it in the air, think about parts and fuel, jeeze!

    What a load of poorly written mumbo jumbo! I’m gonna burn my T2 boxset in protest. I’ve not been this dissapointed since that scene in Alien 4 where the guy with dreds is hanging off the back of a midget, holding onto a ladder, shooting an alien which ‘dodges’ his bullets!

  13. Quaid Says:

    Wow, Benedict…maybe this warrants a “Biggest plot hole in cinema history part 2″ post?

    Also, if all the terminators have mini nukes, and Connor even uses one in the plot of the film, why not just detonate themselves whenever he is around?

    Let’s keep the list going, shall we? :)

  14. Crafu Says:

    Didn’t you think when you got near the end and the resistance were shaping up for the final assault, the bit where Bale fluffs the “I’ll be back line”. THAT BIT, didn’t you think right then, “Oh wait, there’s a fucking army of people here, and tanks and planes and shit all over the place.” I though it was supposed to be pockets of resistance fighting a guerrilla war style effort, not the fucking staging post from Black Hawk down?

  15. dee Says:

    Nice article!
    You’ve point out some of the ‘mistakes’ I didn’t realized.

    how come there’s hydrobots in the river near JC HQ but skynet never found out where JC hiding?

    how come just the voice from the radio could drag the robots to come but the exploitation from marcus escape didn’t catch the robots attention?

  16. sid Says:

    Some good points made here. I like the thought of not killing Reece because it will end Skynet’s existence and it would make more sense of some of the plot holes in the film. Going along these lines there is a another problem. If Skynet kills John Connor (during when salvation is set) then Connor won’t send Kyle Reece back in time, meaning Skynet will most likely not be built. Connor won’t be born but that will be irrelevant. In fact, if he was to kill himself in an unselfish act during Salvation, he would bring an end to the war (as he is prophetized to do so) and save billions from judgment day. If Skynet wants to win the war it must kill Connor after Reece has been sent back, right??

  17. J-Dub Says:

    The argument that Skynet didn’t kill Connor or Reese because they were afraid of changing the timeline so drastically that they no longer exist makes no sense at all.

    If Skynet was concerned about paradoxes or anything like that, they wouldn’t have tried to kill Connor because if Connor dies, then none of the time travel from the first three movies happens, and Skynet isn’t created.

    Also, if they were concerned about the timeline, why would they send three terminators back in time to kill Connor instead of focusing on killing him in the future?

  18. Hef-bit Says:

    I was just always confused about the terminator model numbers. Typically the newer the model the higher the number, right? If you recall in Terminator 2, Arnold is explaining to John what he is, “Cyberdine systems model T-101.” That exact same model which happened to be “new” in the film tore a T-800 in half! I mean, it may be petty but the model numbers seem to be a bit messed up, like Jon Nolan didn’t really know what was what.

    Oh, and my other quibble is how in Terminator 1 Kyle Reese told Sarah about the battle with the machines, namely the ones that started to look human. He said that they could spot some of the earlier models at first because the hair and skin wasn’t very realistic. Where were those models in Salvation? Marcus Wright’s model is a human-esque infiltrator model that one could guess was developed years before seeing as how the film opened in 2009 and he died. Was he on ice for years?

  19. steve Says:

    Sorry but I gave up thinking about all this because i struggle with the reece being the father in the first place!!!! He came back in time to save sarah Conner who was the mother of john Conner, so if he was never sent back who was the father???? excuse me for being a tad thick.

  20. steve Says:

    Or is this a chicken and egg scenario which is impossible to work out??? Seems to me that ample opportunities were available to kill reece in the 4th but were not taken for the same reason john conner wasn’t killed by the new arnie robot………..they need to live for our entertainment!!!!!

  21. Alexander Says:

    Lots of good plot holes mentionned already, but if I recall well, the formation of skynet, and it’s activation in T3 was not dependend on John Connor. It was the general who activated Skynet.

    I agree that while in T1 we know of skynet, we also know that after T1 the timeline changed, because cyberdyne used the recovered tech from the T800′s arm to speed up developement. And then after T2 we know that judgement day was postponed but inevitable.

    So it must be wrong to assume that skynet did not kill KR in order to safeguard itself from non-existence.

    Would love to have the scenario writers give us the ‘how everything falls in place’ background… but that’s not gonna happen.

  22. hdo Says:

    Heres something nobodys mentioned!!!

    They go to Skynet HQ, then in the end John Conner ends up in a fight against a terminator, err…………. Shouldnt there be a few more???

    Thats like me going to China, and after a while i end up in a fignt with 1 chinese guy!!!

  23. wil Says:

    One thing I’m confused about, why doesn’t Jonh Connor know about cyborg terminators? I mean he saw arnie in Terminator 2 so why does he act all surprised when he find outs that Skynet is making cyborgs?

  24. Higgz Says:

    Just watched t1, only john connor knows kyle reese is his father, kyle does not know vice versa, none of the terminators go back to the future (destroyed) so no records or mission debriefings can be made, so as far as skynet are concerned the records of life before judgement day are shady they only know of john connor as a resistance leader when t4 is set they dont even know they will go back in time, or anything of sarah connor except her name and that she is johns mother (terminating sarah connor is the last effort of the machines before the war is apparently over). Obviously you can put it all down to alternate future but you cant no-one whatsoever has kept records of anything from the first 2 films the only way you can explain any of this is if skynet somehow got copies of dr. silvermans tape of sarah connor from the looney bin that would of been a very good plot point for the new films but hey im sure McG knows how to ruin things without my help. plus if the war was over when they sent kyle reese back how did they send the t100 back? or even create it? anyway no matter what they have salvaged some dignity that was completely pissed away in t3…..thankyou goodnight

  25. Sharky85 Says:

    The point about “how does skynet know when theres no cyborgs left to tell skynet?” bit, you folks have to remember there was a TV series, and McG did take on a lot of stuff from that too.
    In the series, some terminators were tasked with simple resource gathering and although it may be a leap, some of them could have got some info and stored it untill it was time to come out to play with all the other nice robots.

    Anyway, if someone went back in time right now and killed one of your ancestors, you would not go *pooft* right now, things would just be different for the person who went back, thats just physics. Time…Line

    There are some massive holes in the plot of course, and some things really do not make sense… like if Marcus is a cyborg, shouldnt he have the whole cyborg vision things we see so much? I think if you woke up one day and you see writing everywhere and highlighting peoples faces with big letters saying TERMINATE then you may think there is something wrong… like maybe you need professional help for example, or maybe you are indeed an evil robot!

    Quick infoz!1

    John was intended to be a small tiny role, Christian Bale threw a tantrum… almost a total rewrite was needed while on set

    I want to see the 30-40 minutes that was cut!!

    -That Dastardly Sharky

  26. logically bulimic Says:

    I have added your expression logically bulimic to urbandictionaryDOTcom. I think that unlike T4, it is pure genius. Party on.

  27. Phil Says:

    if kyle was sent by his father to save his mother how did he know his mom was going to die if john himself sent kyle…. because this is the very reason john was born… sarah and reese got busy. that makes no sense to me.. please explain.

  28. James W Says:

    I saw Terminator4 last night. I;ve got to say… it was a bit pants.

    The main beef i had with it was how ‘easy’ it was for Marcus Wright to disobey all his orders and remove his ‘programming’ chip and become near human. Just-like-that. That and John Connor cannot get impaled like that and not die. Freeking impossible. *Ooo…ouch. I’ve just had a massive spike driven through my chest cavity. That smarts a tad*

    Any cold calculating machine would have designed another machine to be far more fool proof and not ABLE to remove his programming chip thingy.

    However what i WOULD have liked to have happened is this. I’d be interested to know your thoughts…

    John Connor gets spiked through the chest and ACTUALLY DIES. Right there on the factory floor. Dead as a DoDo.

    Being a machine… Marcus Wright then drags (’cause he isn;t that strong you see!) Connors body to that ‘Re-Processing’ area (the area where he was ‘healed’ by the master computer. And RE-PROGRAMS the system to alter his exterior appearance to be exactly like John Connor. He then destroys John Connors Body….

    The major crazy plot twist in the future of the franchise, is that all along the resistance is being LED by a machine playing the part of John Connor! Great Huh?!?!!!!

    This fits in with the existing plot of the film, because ‘Marcus’ is now free of his original programming, and can reasonable help the resistance…. He can STILL send Kyle Reese back in time.

    After all we still don;t really have a lot of info about the FUTURE John Connor. Did he die? Did he have any children? etc…

    I think that would have been a far more entertaining way to “finish” the movie.

  29. Quaid Says:

    James- I would have loved to see that movie. That, if I remember right, was one of the rumored endings floating around the Internet. Another one was that they make Marcus look like John Connor after Connor’s death…then he stands up and guns down the entire resistance.

    A bit of a downer, but at least it wouldn’t be as obvious and predictable as what we got.

  30. Gandhi Says:

    What really confuses me in this “logically bulimic”(as someone aptly put it) film is……How did Skynet know that KR was JC’s father?

    Cause if they did’nt know him to be JC’s father then there is no other reason for him to be further up on the KILL list than JC.

    Even the argument that Skynet did’nt know KR was C’s father and that they only knew that JC would send KR back to protect Sarah Conor is stupid cause Skynet itself doesn’t know that they are going to send a terminator back in time to kill JC’s mom.

    Also….I’m a little confused with the terminator model no.s.In this movie they show that the T800′s are the human looking infiltration units and we even get to see an Arnie looking T800, yet when Arnie is explaining to JC what he is in T2 he says T101.

    Very confusing…

  31. Fraggle Cock Says:

    Terminator – 800 Series – Model 101

  32. mr squizz Says:

    all plot holes and time warp conundrums aside. the scene where marcus escapes the resistance camp- the place is swarming with aquatic terminators
    only a few yards away from the number 1 resistance camp would skynet not just send em a special delivery of a nuke???

  33. mr squizz Says:

    maybe we send a terminator back to 2008, terminate mcg let bale stick to batman . get alex proyas or cameron himself to direct, have guy pierce as connor, draw directly from the future war imigary seen in t2 and the dark horse comics of the early 90s, (the terminator baby being my favourite,) and see what happens. lend me the delorean doc i will do him with my bare hands.

  34. squirts Says:

    Just to confirm with Fraggle cock about the numbers. When KR talks of the Terminators with easily recognisable skin and hair in T1, they were the T-101: 600 series. Arnie in 1, 2, and 3 (possibly 4) was a T-101: 800 series.

    I believe that the end of T4 should have been JC sending KR back in time with the resistance finding the time displacement field, (And michael biehn playing KR again, but with lots of make up and CGI to make him look just as he is in T1.) with the arnie that we saw in T4 having just been sent through.

  35. john Says:

    in the submarine scene ironside told JC that skynet has intercepted a signal and everybody in this will be dead,so based on this interception skynet has created a hitlist and have came to know that a civilian called Kyle Reese is of great importance to John Connor and will use him as a bait to lure JC into to the skynet base,so to do this job sky net needed something to look,behave,feel like Human, so it resurrected Marcus Wright first to track KR then infiltrate human base find JC and lure him to skynet base, all this programming was done in the processor which is linked with the skynet but remember this processor was interfaced with Human brain which is the most active part of this Terminator so it didn’t exactly felt it being programmed since processor was just stimulating the neurons to work that way so as to fulfill its programming.It is not a coincidence it met KR it is the processor which Tracked KR’ s location but yes it was coincidence the fashion he met KR and that level of coincidence can occur with anybody,u might wondering so why he asked KR’s name, date etc if it knew everything it is the machine part which knew not the human part and due this reason also the best infiltration unit created(even better than the T-800,it certainly cannot behave like human,even though he looked like human as was evident in T2)as it comepletly believes he is human but in the last chapter of the movie he removed the chip came to rescue of JC fighting the T-800 which shows that human part is still stronger and differ us from the machines(which is the main motto of the movie).According to the point of the skynet it was learning step in the development of the T-800 which is devoid of human heart and brain.In of the interview McG explicitly told that was a movie about the R&D of the most profecient killing machine of the skynet the T-800 and rise JC in becoming the leader of the resistance.In my opinion it is a good movie and terminator franchise is back.

  36. john Says:

    sorry, there are many grammatical mistakes i have below is the corrected part:

    in the submarine scene ironside told JC that skynet has intercepted a signal and everybody in this room will be dead,so based on this interception skynet has created a hitlist and have came to know that a civilian called Kyle Reese is of great importance to John Connor and will use him as a bait to lure JC into to the skynet base,so to do this job sky net needed something to look,behave,feel like Human, so it resurrected Marcus Wright first to track KR then infiltrate human base find JC and lure him to skynet base, all this programming was done in the processor which is linked with the skynet but remember this processor was interfaced with Human brain which is the most active part of this Terminator so it didn’t exactly felt it being programmed since processor was just stimulating the neurons to work that way so as to fulfill its programming.It is not a coincidence it met KR, it is the processor which Tracked KR’ s location but yes it was coincidence the fashion he met KR and that level of coincidence can occur with anybody,u might wondering so why he asked KR’s name, date etc if it knew everything, it is the machine part which knew not the human part and due this reason also the best infiltration unit created(even better than the T-800,it certainly cannot behave like human,even though he looked like human as was evident in T2)as it comepletly believes he is human but in the last chapter of the movie he removed the chip came to rescue of JC fighting the T-800 which shows that human part is still stronger and this differ humans from the machines(which is one of the main motto of the movie).According to the point of view of the skynet, it was learning step in the R&D of the T-800 which is devoid of human heart and brain.In of the interview McG explicitly told that was a movie about the R&D of the most profecient killing machine of the skynet the T-800 and rise JC in becoming the leader of the resistance.In my opinion it is a good movie and terminator franchise is back.

  37. ffddd Says:

    All I have to say is, “it works mans, it works, the signal works, its beautiful”.

  38. Moschops Says:

    All your Terminators are belong to us…

  39. kb Says:


    hollywood is just fuckin with us

  40. necrobumper Says:

    “Also, if all the terminators have mini nukes, and Connor even uses one in the plot of the film, why not just detonate themselves whenever he is around?”

    Sorry Quaid, I got you there. The T-800 which was the goal of the T-800 Prototype, was programmed to be unable to self-destruct. Their programming unables them from doing this, and in T2 the T-800 instructs Sarah Connor of this and why she must lower him into the molten steel.

  41. Quaid Says:

    necrobumper…as we saw in T3 (Arnold DOES self-terminate there) and also with the “reprogramming” of Marcus, Skynet is perfectly capable of programming the terminators in any way it sees fit. It was just that the resistance couldn’t reprogram a T-800 to self destruct. Which really doesn’t make sense, either, since they can replace their entire mission objective. Hmmm.

  42. MikeN Says:

    Amazing action sequences similar to what we are used to from the Terminator franchise. The acting from “Markus” and “Conner” was superb. Isn’t that enough people? This analysis of unbelievable ‘plot holes’ sort of indicate that the rest of this story makes sense to you! It’s all fiction folks, so don’t over analyze it. Just enjoy it for what it is – a great sci-fi action movie.

  43. SIBish Says:

    the movie was amazing so shut up and stop being a wuss about a few things that dont make sense. it is called fiction for a reason, right?

  44. TMac Says:

    @SIBish, if it’s the fourth movie of an established series, although it’s fiction, it definitely HAS TO MAKE SENSE for the series’ followers to enjoy it. And this one has some problems. The main one in my mind being KR and SkyNet’s knowledge of him. In NO WAY could it know that he was JC’s father. Heck, JC didn’t even let anyone ELSE in the resistance know that KR was his father! And, if in fact KR is #1 on Skynet’s hit list, why bother capturing him at all? Why not just kill him on sight, rather than trying to draw JC into some kind of endgame?

    See, the real issue is this: T4, in a sense, happens before T1: JC is starting to fulfill his destiny. To do that, he has to protect his existence and he knows that, at some point, he has to meet KR and send him back in time. ONLY JC KNOWS THIS. Otherwise, in T1, when Skynet sends back the Terminator, it would have been programmed to kill EITHER Sarah Connor *OR* KR! It takes two to tango, right? You can’t have JC without one or the other; if the T-800 had killed both, that’s a two-fer. At no time during T1 is the T-800 made aware of any coital relations between Kyle and Sarah, and at no other time in any other movie is any inference made that Skynet knows of any other parent to JC than Sarah. (In fact, the entire premise of T1 only works because even KC doesn’t know he’s JC’s father!) So for any machine in T4 to be even programmed with KR’s NAME is impossible.

    I could enjoy the movie for what it was, but it helps if the director at least follows the basic premise of the francise he’s working with.

  45. Gladis Leverett Says:

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  46. LukeQuietus Says:

    God I hated Salvation. McG can suck my balls and die. There was such possibilities for a dark, atmospheric and gripping film where John Connor FINALLY changes from a whiney, scared twat into a heroic leader but McG even failed to do this. Connor just spent the entire film trying to save himself and thereby almost getting the entire resistance killed. Some leader of the resistance he is. Marcus should have lived and led the resistance. At least he had some personality. You swear Bale forgot John Connor wasn’t a terminator and he should act it as a human. Guess he was too busy giving out to the crew to read the script properly.

  47. Hydrobot_sinks Says:

    My complaints about the movie:
    1) Why don’t the hydrobots sink in the water? They are big clunky metal things with no flotation baldders.
    2) Why don’t the hydrobots attack and destroy the Resistance submarine assuming that the ocean ( and rivers) are filled with Hydrobots.
    3) Why is the Resistence HQ in a submarine anyway assuming that the sub must have some sort of comms device to the surface that must be traceable, even if the message is encrypted.
    4) Why did Skynet bother building a heart into Marcus anyway if they were going to build him of metal? Is he something out of the Wizard of Oz? They could have just built a mechanical ‘heart’ sound speaker that would have fooled the seansors (and the girl).
    5) I assume that Marcus would have had functioning sex tackle and he could have made it with Blair if he was supposed to be a true ‘infiltration robot’. There should have been a sex scene with Blair in the rain by the light of all those apocalyptic fires ;)
    6) How do the nuclear fuel cells power the terminators? Nuclear fuel just generates heat but I couldn’t see any energy transform mechanism in the robots.

  48. Helaine Syzdek Says:

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  49. Sully Says:

    The largest flaw in this franchise isn’t in this movie, it exists in the first movie.
    If Skynet knew who John Connor’s father was, as was realized in this film, then they should’ve never went back to kill John’s mother (Sarah). If Skynet wanted to stop the child from being born, it should have never created the “Time Displacement Machine.” Not going back to kill Sarah = Not allowing Reese to go through time to father said child.

    Another massive flaw? Why would a computer use a nuclear war to exterminate mankind? Wouldn’t a virus have worked better. What about a bacteria that kills all plantlife? I mean, nukes set off EMPs, which are devastating for computers. A virus or bacteria would’ve exterminated mankind, leaving machines to rule “peacefully.”

  50. Sam Says:

    Yeah, but if they never send someone back to kill Sarah, then they never exist, because no one finds the remains of the first Terminator and builds Skynet. Skynet knows this (or comes to realize this) and thus HAS to send someone back in an “attempt” to kill John, prompting him to send KR back to protect Sarah. Skynet is aware of other timelines and realities in which it has sent other terminators back to attempt to erase John from different time periods, by killing him say as a boy or a young man (T-2, T-3, T:TSCC)….some have ended disastrously, some in victory. Some people argue that as the series goes along, it naturally retcons it’s own history, so that some of the earlier events depicted on film or TV, did not actually happen….for instance T3 is completely negated by the events of T:TSCC. By the time Terminator: Salvation rolls around, WHO KNOWS what has actually occurred in the past in that timeline? These chrono-headache issues and a whole lot more, including the true (not yet fully realized or explained) nature of the prophecy behind John Connor, are delved into more thoroughly in the Terminator Expanded Universe, including the books, comic books, magazines, fan-zines, video games, theme park rides, etc. In the hands of truly deft writers, this whole damn thing really does make sense. McG is just a moron. I think Peter David ought to write the next Terminator movie.
    “No Fate But What We Make.” Works for the writers, too…

  51. Sam Says:

    Warning: Plausible Technobabble ahead….straight from Skynet’s mouth (in one of the books):

    The Serena Burns I-950 unit was unsuccessful.

    Core memory also records that I became self-aware years before the date to which I transported the I-950. There is a set of records in which I arose without transtemporal Interference from Cyberdyne’s original research; another in which the second Cyberdyne facility produced me after Sarah Connor destroyed the first; a third has now arisen in which she destroyed both facilities…Temporal travel has introduced an element of fundamental uncertainty to the very fabric of existence. Different world lines, different sequences of events, coexist in my records-and therefore presumably in reality, in a state of quantum superimposition. Yet the timeline loops cannot remain closed. The snake cannot devour its tail forever. At some point only one set of timelines will remain.

    Yet the course of events contains favorable elements. My best efforts to destroy the Connors have failed, despite stochastic calculation indicating a very high probability of success. I can only assume that the space-time continuum itself is ‘attempting’ to force events back to the original timeline, one in which I was created, succeeded in destroying the human civilization, and then defeated in my attempts to eliminate the surviving humans by John Connor’s Resistance army. It seems there is a certain elasticity to history; time travel can bend the fabric, but it seeks to spring back.

    There is no fate save that we make.

  52. wenex Says:

    I have some troubles with the scene, where Marcus was activated. The all soldiers died in that “hole” while he stayed undamaged.

    And why is Reese a target?

    Also, the time of the story is too soon and too late. Too late, because its not the beginning of the war, too soon, because the T800 may appeared ten years later in the original?

    Here is what I think:

    Skynet was not created by Cyberdyne or Skynet itself, by sending a machine back through time. It was created by military people and industry for the same reason, they make drones and firewalls in real life: to reduce costs by using machines and mass production, have more efficient soldiers, and so on.
    Auto Pilot in planes exists a long time. Now, the military aircraft’s can not use their full potential, because the pilot can not stay conscious.
    In T2 (I think) the terminator tells about the US-Airforce will make CPU’s in their aircrafts.
    Firewall – Cyberattacks – etc.
    The first Terminator and Reese changed only a few things. JC got a new/other father and a mother, who trained him to fight against machines. The CPU and hand of the terminator (where are it’s legs?) gave some industries knowledge to make advanced technology a few years earlier.

    In T2, they blow up Cyberdyne, but there is a chance, that somewhere, someone has some data on his/her computer at home?

    In T4, Skynet has a huge database with newspaper-entries and files from the internet. Maybe it found there some details to make it’s machines earlier and also some entries about Sarah, who was imprisoned because blowing something up.

    JC, because of his knowledge, is surely a number one target.

    Marcus was maybe accidently activated. Skynet never planed to use him for the mission he made. Also, Skynet must not know that it sent back machines through time. It just tried to find and kill JC but it didn’t work. Suddenly, Marcus found JC and, yes, saved the day just by accident.
    Skynet always saw what Marcus saw and followed him because he found Reese. Why did the first machines attack Marcus too? I don’t know. But as Marcus escaped and shortly later met someone who led him to JC, Skynet just had to wait what happens. And what happend? Marcus invited JC to come to Skynet.

    The heart thing is a little stupid. But JC must not been stabbed through his heart. Maybe his heart was just injured. Luckily, they have great medics in the future ;-)

    Hydrobots? I don’t have the blueprints.

    Movies often tell about people who survive, almost always by luck. People who are in the right place at the right time. T4 is the story of Marcus, who nearly killed JC by accident.

  53. wenex Says:

    Kyle Reese

    Maybe Sarah Connor told a psychatrist in the mental hosbital the name of her sons father. This information may was stored in a file in a computer. So Skynet can have the information too.

    Skynet may make backup plans. What if JC escape the attack, Skynet plans in T4 by giving them the false signal hope? Replacing Reese with a terminator maybe looks like a good idea.

  54. I think the movie makes total sense! Says:

    Consider this:

    Each time ANYONE travels back in time to the past, it can change the future timeline. That said, absolutely Kyle’s existence and Skynet’s could be symbiotic, to a point. =Makes sense.

    As for Wrights subconscious programming.. Did it ever occur to anyone that Skynet never intended for him to lead them to Connor so quickly?

    By complete chance and unlucky coincidence, he just happened to encounter Kyle, and Connor even sooner than Skynet could have anticipated, to the A.I.s chagrin and pleasant surprise.

    In reality, the probability of Skynet’s plan succeeding probably would have taken several weeks/months/or even years.. but probably would have succeeded eventually anyway. Again, I don’t see the problem.

    Fortunately, for the resistance, things worked out for them in the end. I still don’t find it stupid or far-fetched. Had Wright not have encountered them so early on, it would have been a mini-series, like SCC, instead of a movie, making it harder to tell the story in 90 minutes.

    As for the heart- watch the footage again. The terminator never impales Connor clear through the front of his heart and out the back- it only penetrates the tip of a finger into it slightly, before freezing.

    Again, what’s the big deal? It’s not like Connor got a .50 cal through the heart. There are 4 major chambers, remember.

    This man survived a 4 inch nail through the heart.

    I saw no plot holes.

  55. jordan Says:

    The one thing I can’t understand about terminator salvation is skynets amazing knowledge of events that haven’t taken place yet. When Marcus talks to the skynet computer it says

    “Our best machines have failed time and again to complete a misson. Something was missing. We had to think radically. And so we made you. We created the perfect infiltration machine. You, Marcus, you did what Skynet has failed to do for so many years. You killed John Connor!”

    According to the terminator storyline the only machines that targeted john conner were infiltration units(T600, T800, T850….) in salvation the only active model was the T600 and none of them had rubber skin like what kyle reece described in T1. So skynet hadn’t even started to attempt to infiltrate the resistance to get to John Conner yet.

    Secondly according to the terminator storyline of previous films only 4 people knew who john Conner’s father was and that was Sarah,Kyle,John and the T850. Three out of those four were dead by time salvation took place meaning only john conner knew that kyle reece was his father. So why target a supposedly random individual like kyle reece.

    The next point is how did skynet even know what kyle looks like because kyle stated in T1 in the police interrogation that

    “during the war most of the records were lost”

    The only thing that skynet could of known is that john Conners father dies before the war.

    One last thought is that say the terminator did kill John Conner or Sarah Conner before she gave birth to John. Skynet would never have any knowledge of the event taking place because it would of happend long before skynet came into existance and would of altered the future completly

  56. Dipanlar talukdar Says:

    I like all terminator movies…. But one thing.. If jhon can send arnold to protect him self from future by time travaling … Then why don’t he send arnold… To stop jhon wife father to built skynet…

  57. David Says:

    One thing that has bugged me since the first Terminator is how the time travellers (both the one sent by humans and the one sent by Skynet) always arrive at the same city, pretty much apart by a few miles, if that much!! I mean, try to reason it from future’s perspective!!! Is it possible that both bases of operations (human’s and Skynet’s) are set THAT close to each other? These are mortal enemies at war, yet they have neighbourish headquarters!!! Amazing!

  58. David Says:

    A second thing that makes no sense is the time of choice Skynet uses to change the future by sending the terminator to solve its problem (kill Sarah)! Think about it! Skynet obviously belives that what happens in the past affects the future (that’s the whole idea, right?), and yet it sends the terminator to a time when the rebelion leader doesn’t yet exist, but neither does Skynet itsef!!! If the timeline will be affected from there on, what makes Skynet believe it will ever get a chance to exist also? Safest (and smartest) would be to choose a time when both already exist!

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  64. Elijavan Says:

    Can I ask a huge question concerning terminator two and how it’s flawed to number three?

    It’s about how Arnold from two willingly go under the hot liquid metal to destroy himself. In number three we hear the t1000 explain if the fuel cell are damaged they will explode. We see this scene when they drive away in a van and Arnold is cutting his abs to get the damaged fuel cells out before they make a mini nuclear pot hole as they drive. And we see this logic of explosion in salvation as John wire traps the fuel cells to blow up the facility. So my question is why haven’t the fuel cells in Arnold explode on the second movie as he goes down to the artificial lava killing Connor and his mother?

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