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Schwarzenegger Too Busy for "Terminator"

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It seems that Arnold Schwarzenegger just couldn't find time in his inordinately busy schedule as California's governor to star in the "Terminator" fourth installment, which opens in theaters on Thursday.

Schwarzenegger, who became a household name following his starring role in the first three films, relinquished the top billing spot to "Batman" star Christian Bale.

According to Reuters, the Golden State's governor wasn't entirely left out of the film.

"Schwarzenegger did make a brief cameo, even though he never set foot on the movie's set. Through computer-generated special effects, his fearsome visage was taken from a previous movie and superimposed on a deadly Terminator robot," Reuters reported.

This latest chapter in the apocalyptic motion picture series was directed by McG, who also directed 2000's Charlie's Angels as well as its 2003 sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

Yet, it seems some critics believe that Schwarzenegger's absence will be a key factor as to how well the movie does at the box office and also how it is received by critics.

"In Arnold's absence, an important ingredient of the 'Terminator' iconography—namely, the fun factor—is in short supply," said the Hollywood Reporter of the new film. A New York Times article gave a similar comment. "On the plus side, 'Terminator Salvation' has lots of action. But it has no soul," it said.

As for the film's plot, Terminator Salvation begins right where Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines left off. Moviegoers are thrust into the year 2018 where Bale plays John Connor, the leader of the human resistance who is fighting against the machines, created by the artificially intelligent computer system, Skynet, that are trying to wipe out humanity.

Other important roles in the movie include : Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright, a troubled man who at first clashes with Connor then befriends him. There is also Anton Yelchin who plays Kyle Reese. "Terminator" devotees know that Reese is actually Connor's father and actor Michael Biehn played the role in 1984's The Terminator. Finally, the role of Kate Connor, Connor's spouse is played by Bryce Dallas Howard. That role was played by Claire Danes in the 2003 film.