Granted: it was a movie that should not have been made; it is doubtful that a comfortably post-Batman Begins Christian Bale would have appeared in it; Sam Worthington, witness the acting, may actually be a robot.
Also granted: it is predictable; it is a little bit hackneyed; it is a complete lie that Anton Yelchin will grow up to be Christian Bale's father.
And, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger is not actually in it, so there's not much point.
It should have been better. Terminator was ground-breaking, Terminator II was mind-blowing, and Terminator III was brain-repairing. And hilarious. Terminator: Salvation is none of these things; it is merely preachy and shot through the kind of filter that makes everything look dirty all the time.
But it also wasn't terrible. It's not terrible in the way that makes you want to turn it off, and it's not terrible in the way that makes you keep watching because of the sheer, epic folly of making such a film. It's just indifferent. And heavy-handed.
I really wanted it either to be actually good, which was improbable, or tragically, amusingly awful, which was likely. Damn you, Terminator: Salvation, and your catharsis-denying mediocrity.