I would not normally choose to see Terminator Salvation. However, it was my 14-year-old son William’s birthday party, and, having dropped him, some friends and his brothers off at the cinema, I was aghast to find that the youngest wouldn’t be admitted. It was classified as 12A. Yes, Charlie is eight, but surely he would be allowed in with his brother?
As the answer was no, I had to go in as well. Usually, I expect to be horrified or shocked by things that my children find perfectly unremarkable, but in this case, I found the film very noisy, without being scary. It’s too computer-generated for that. I was more disturbed by the generally apocalyptic tone, which seems to reflect an increasingly common world view: that, in the words of Private Frazer in Dad’s Army, we’re all doomed.
There have been eschatologists before; Savonarola preached at a time when many Florentines thought the world would end in 1500. It didn’t then, and when I emerged from the cinema, having thought it safe to leave after half an hour, I found that it hadn’t on Saturday. The sun shone. There was a Mediterranean feel to the streets as I drove home and back again to pick them up. Just time for a swift half in a surprisingly classy pub. We’re all doomed? I’ll think about it later.