There were a lot of stupid things in Terminator: Salavation. Mark’s review was, in fact, too kind. But there is one really stupid part that bothered me from a gadget perspective. SMALL SPOILERS AHEAD.
I’ll keep the spoilery bits to a minimum.
The two shots here with Marcus are snagged from the trailer. They’re from the most ludicrous scene in the movie—which is ludicrous for many, many reasons—where Marcus strolls into the central Skynet control centre. The white, glossy room—the standard motif for the heart of the machine—hosts a computer system with an advanced user interface (a lot like Iron Man‘s) displayed on massive glass monitors. Which makes no sense whatsoever.
Why the hell would Skynet’s control room be designed with an ultra-polished user interface for people to use? Or have a comfy chair for Marcus to hurl at the computer? They’re machines! Even though some of them are built to mimic poeple, they don’t need multi-touch, superslick graphics, floating heads to explain the entire plot or monitors the size of a wall like meatbag people do. They can just plug in, or as seen in the movie, sync via the optical terminal Marcus and other terminators use, which actually makes sense. Or communicate wirelessly. In binary. Or whatever.
You could argue, I suppose, that the entire setup was constructed just for Marcus—it has to have been built after Judgment Day, since the rest of the city is ruins—but even the prison blocks are designed with interfaces for humans to interact with. Wouldn’t Skynet want to make it as hard as possible for people to figure out how talk to machines, so John Connor can’t hack them in 30 seconds with his Sony Vaio?
Skynet’s not as advanced as The Matrix, sure, but you’d think it’d realise designing and building things around people paradigms is pointless and inefficient, since um, there shouldn’t be any people around. That’s one thing The Matrix gets more right than Salvation: The machine world, architected and built by machines—who are slavishly devoted to logic and efficiency—would be just for machines. Not people.
I know on one level it’s stupid to complain about things that don’t make sense in a science fiction movie, but added on top of everything else going on in Terminator: Salvation, it’s one of the major points that shit all over my suspension of disbelief. [Giz’s Terminator: Salvation Review]