DVD Review: TERMINATOR: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Warner Home Video

Release date: August 19th, 2008
MSRP: $29.98

Stars: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau, Richard T. Jones, Brian Austin Green

I’m a fan of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles so be advised. I like the acting, I like the stories, I like the tone and I’m pretty sure it will go down in flames shortly, not that that’s what I want, it’s not, but it is fairly rare for a show I like a lot to stay on the air

This could have easily been handled badly and I was delighted when it wasn’t. For those of you who don’t know, the series picks up after T2 and follows Sarah (Lena Headey) John (Thomas Dekker) and another T-unit (Summer Glau) sent back to protect John as they meet up and decide to go to Mexico again. Ugliness ensues and the plan changes to nipping Skynet, the computer system that was smart enough to look around and think ‘What do I need these worms for?’ and commences to wipe out humanity, in the bud. Easier said than done, happily.

Lena Headey’s performance as a woman who is strong because she has no chioce is first rate and Summer Glau’s slightly befuddled by it all cyborg is a treat to watch working it out. One of the most oddly chilling scenes takes place after Glau’s cyborg, Cameron, takes a ballet class with the sister of a Russian baddie looking for him and the fledgling computer that may become Skynet and destroy the world. She lets them both be killed when they’re no longer useful to her.

Seemingly taken with dance(Glau is a dancer)she continues practicing at home, observed from the hall by new character Derek (Brian Austin Green) Reese from the future. It is beautiful but in her cyborg persona hugely unsettling.
“In the future my son will lead humanity in a war against Skynet.” No pressure. The computer keeps sending unstoppable robots back in time, first to kill the mother, then the son, as they try to stay alive and find the unit that will morph into Skynet and pull the plug before Judgement Day. Is it the chess computer invented by the sweet doofus Andy, or the newly installed traffic computer at city hall. There’s action aplenty but I still see this as a charecter driven piece and that is its strength. I’ve already mentioned Brian Austin Green plays Derek Reese, a soldier from the future sent back to aid the Connors with guns, money and muscle. A good addition to the cast. His aversion to the robot Cameron is unyeilding.

I also want to mention Richard T.Jones as agent James Ellison. This guy (and the writers) have taken what could have been a one-dimentional bulldog and made him a force, He’s beginning to see that Sarah’s not crazy and this rocks his world. I expect some good stuff from this quarter.

The specials are pretty lame even by specials standards with the exception of cut scenes, most of which I wish they had had time for or would have used.

If you even remotely like Sci-Fi give Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles a try. It’s about as good as Sci-Fi gets on TV.

For more reviews from Lee, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.