Top positive review
253 people found this helpful
Director's Cut Differences
on November 24, 2009
The director's cut runs approximately 3 minutes longer, and inserts a few new scenes, but no major plot points. This is NOT the major unrated cut that McG has referred to in past interviews, where he suggested that 30-40 minutes of additional footage would be added. We'll probably see that in a future edition.
Here are the major differences between the theatrical version and the director's cut (spoilers follow).
1) In the opening action scene, when John Connor is leading his unit into the flooded underground Skynet base, a T-1 terminator (nice touch from T3) suddenly appears behind them. His men destroy it before it can do any damage. I'm glad this scene was cut; it inadvertently breaks the tension too quickly.
2) When John pulls his little "frogman stunt", he is seated before the Resistance Command generals, and General Ashdown (Michael Ironside) berates John. Ashdown says, "I don't believe in prophecy, not when one can re-write the future", pulls out his gun and points it at John's head. I liked this scene, because it illustrates John's present and minor role in the Resistance, especially with Command being skeptical of his "predictions".
3) Blair Williams/Moon Bloodgood's topless scene; really just a side shot as she washes herself in the rain in a non-sexual manner, and Marcus glances at her briefly.
4) Marcus/Blair Williams/redneck fight; the action is a little longer, and a little more brutal. Marcus stabs one of the attackers with a screwdriver, and we see the impact, as well as the victim painfully removing the screwdriver. Also, Marcus uses another one of the attackers as a human shield against another's shotgun blast.
5) Marcus/Blair Williams campfire scene is slightly longer with additional dialogue between the two.
6) Captured humans at Skynet; when one of the prisoners attempts an escape and is shot, we see the bullet impacts.
7) John Connor's speech to fellow Resistance members to not obey Ashdown's orders to attack is extended with a few sentences about his mother. I liked this scene, not sure why they cut it. It ties T2 in, and shows the impact of Sarah Connor. (Is this where Christian Bale had his stage lights tantrum?)
8) Marcus/T-800 fight scene is slightly longer, shows Marcus getting pummeled a bit more by the T-800. Also, John tries to revive Marcus an additional time, before collapsing in exhaustion.
I would like to add that I enjoyed Terminator 4; much better than the campy T3, and just a shade under T2. The action was definitely there, and McG included a lot of thoughtful touches from the past movies, e.g. photograph of Sarah Connor, the origin of John's scars, John's like for Guns N'Roses, Sarah Connor's taped voice recordings (actually Linda Hamilton's voice), use of and of course the Arnold cameo. Who can say no to Michael Ironside? What I didn't like was Blair Williams' geisha makeup which she wore during air combat. It made no sense, and was probably one of the deleted portions. Bryce Dallas Howard was believable as Kate Connor, but her screen time was too short. Hopefully, a future cut will show more of her relationship with John.
Some have said that Christian Bale's performance was wooden, or that John Connor's role was overshadowed by Sam Worthington's role as Marcus Wright. I disagree with both counts; Bale played Connor as he should have been; grizzled, scarred, gruff. Given that we know so much already about the future and John's role from prior Terminator movies, it makes sense to have another character portray the center protagonist role. I also liked the idea of the audience first seeing John as a minor Tech-Com officer, steadily rising through the ranks and gaining influence.
Additionally, the movie's opening and closing scenes had a poetic touch to it, which I appreciated. Marcus begins the film about to be executed, giving his body to a cybernetic program. The film ends with the same shots of needle plungers being depressed, albeit for a different reason. Marcus leaves the world as a cyborg, but giving his body to a human cause.
I did have one concern about the movies; how come the Arnold T-800 didn't die when John Connor shot the molten steel onto its head? Turns out there's a perfectly scientific explanation (McG consulted a metallurgist).
Here's McG's answer: "There are different characteristics of molten steels, and that was an earlier steel process after it had been separated from the coke. We went over this with a metallurgist, discussing which metals burn at which degrees. And also, if it had stayed on [the T-800], perhaps it would've melted him, but it was frozen quickly enough by the [liquid nitrogen]. Plus, we make the transition from the molten metal to the cooling property so quickly -- as a function of the T-800 being on [John] Connor -- that it wouldn't have had time to melt the existing titanium exoskeleton in time."
In conclusion, if you're a diehard Terminator fan, go ahead and pick up this version. Otherwise, wait for the (hopefully) longer extended cut.