I must admit that when I first heard they where making Terminator 3 my initial thought was that it would be set in the future, during the war. That is I hoped it would be set in the future. Obviously it wasn't and T3: Rise of the Machines was the result, a rather lacklustre last hurrah for a franchise. Upon hearing that Terminator Salvation would be set in the future and be directed by the guy behind Charlie's Angels I though: "Oh shit."
I'm not the only one, I'm sure.
Call me pleasently surprised. Of the big three effects movies I've seen this summer, Terminator Salvation is easily the best. It may take some liberties with the franchise (i.e. mankind doesn't seem to be doing much hiding. Why hasn't Skynet used infra-red to track down their heat signatures? Or am I just being a bit too geeky?) but it ultimately succeeds where T3 failed: a worthy successor to James Cameron's original two films.
Obviously it's a set up for further entries into the franchise: Christian Bale's John Connor doesn't seem to be the leader of the resistance after all; Kyle Reese seems more a stereotypical smart-arse teen than the battle-weary scarred veterean we saw in the original; there was no mention of time travel equipment, nor the fateful encounter where Kyle and five terminators are sent back into the past, nor do we see Connor ultimately die... I wonder if McG will be brave enough to change that unhappy ending?
The future is not set, after. No fate but what the writers make...