Hello and welcome to my final part of my Terminator retrospective.
Here I will just highlight the (as yet) unreleased Terminator Genisys and just offer my personal views on the films so far.
Terminator Genisys: So here we are, the fifth film in the franchise and of course a fifth production company. Seriously, what is with this franchise and bankrupting production companies? Now, Skydance Productions productions throw their hat in in an attempt to resurrect the franchise. Only they have the advantage of bringing iconic star Arnold Schwarzenegger back…well he did tell us.
The premise sounds quite interesting. With the idea being that the film is set in an alternate timeline. A previous attempt was made on Sarah Connor’s life by sending back a terminator to target Sarah as a child. But the Resistance also sent back a protector in the form of a T-800 Model 101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) which has raised Sarah when her parents were killed by the terminator sent back to kill her.
With Kyle Reese being sent back to find himself in an altered past due to the previous attempt on Sarah’s life. This film is part sequel, part reboot, part remake with the original T-800 from The Terminator (1984) making a return along with the older version of a T-800 that raised Sarah and even the return of the T-1000 as well as a new enemy…John Connor himself who has been turned into a nanotechnological human-cyborg hybrid, the T-3000.
The film seems to be mixing The Terminator with Terminator 2: Judgement Day all with a new twist.
My expectations of the film are quite low however. But I’m just looking forward to seeing an enjoyable action romp…or it could be a beautiful train wreck. With an all new cast playing the old parts with the exception of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’m not sure what to expect.
I’ll find out come July this year when Terminator Genisys is released.
Poking around I also found out that Terminator Genisys is intended to be the first part of a new trilogy (Hey, so was Terminator Salvation and look how that turned out), but along with two other films in the pipeline a new TV show is also in the works. With everything expected to be released by 2019 which is only 4 years away. But why 2019, why the big rush to get three new films and a TV show? Well after digging around I found out that copyright law after 35 years has to return to the creator. Which means by 2019, James Cameron (or should that be Harlan Ellison?) will become sole owner of the Terminator franchise, hence the rush to get out as much Terminator content as possible in 4 years.
So that is every film in the Terminator franchise so far. Despite my low expectations, I’m still looking forward to Terminator Genisys.
That is manly as my overall expectations of the franchise is low to begin with. As a franchise, I really do not think much of Terminator…
As I sat through all four films to do this retrospective. I may as well offer my personal views of the films today.
The Terminator: Still one of my all time favorite films. It was low budget and made by very inexperienced people from it’s actors, writers and even director. But it was and still is one hell of a great ride. A near perfect melding of Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller, Action and even a Love Story. The Terminator is a wonderful, dark and yet beautiful journey and in my personal opinion, this film should have been the beginning and end as everything important is covered.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Often cited as “the best sequel ever” with many even claiming it far superior to the original…not me. I honestly find T2 to be a lazy and superfluous mess of a film and marked the downfall of the series for me. It’s overblown with very little heart and a perfect example of “style over substance”. Yet I adored this film when it was first released, even recall the first time I went to see it at the cinema with my oldest friend Paul (big truck) and could talk of nothing but T2 for weeks, even brought some offical T2 sunglasses. But watching the film now as an adult, I think the film is a horrible sequel and should never had been made…yes I said it. T2 is the reason my expectations for the franchise are so low now. “Best sequel ever”? Not for me.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: Pretty much a carbon copy of T2. The “cat n’ mouse” chase is back as is the now more advanced terminator going up against the reprogrammed older T-800 (or T-850 in this case). T3 also had some just plain terrible “humor” from the “talk to the hand” bit to the T-800 wearing those star-shades. T3 did a hell of a lot wrong… but it also did quite a lot right. The nice twist of the T-850 that is sent back is not there to protect John Connor really, but is sent back to protect his future wife Kate and even reveals that it was in fact that exact same make and model terminator that eventually kills John in the future. I also very much loved the bleak but appropriate and emotive ending. T3 was also a disappointment, but I have to say I enjoyed it more than T2…or I enjoyed it more because of T2.
Terminator Salvation: Could have been so much more. In all honesty, if I really wanted a sequel to The Terminator, I would have much prefered something more in the same vein as Terminator Salvation. With it being set after the war and telling the relationship between John Connor and Kyle Reese. If they had made this back in the late 80’s early 90’s with James Cameron attached, it could have been amazing. Being part sequel and prequel at the same time. But Terminator Salvation as it is, it’s a chore to sit through, while not a terrible film at all…but it really feels very “TV” and offers too little too late. The only part of the film I really enjoyed was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “pseudo-cameo”.
Terminator Genisys: Obviously yet to be released. But as I have said, my expectations are low for this one. But as long as I’m entertained by an inane action flick I’d be happy as the franchise for me died with the release of T2 anyway.
So there is are my views on the four Terminator films and the cinematic franchise.
I know there was also a TV show called; Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But I never really got into it. There is also a comic book series that has terminators crossing paths with Robocop, Alien and Predator and even Superman…yes Superman vs The Terminator exists in the form of Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future. Along with several stand alone comic book series as well as a series based on and inspired by T2 & T3.
There have also been novelisations of the films along with many, many videogame tie ins.
The Terminator is a big franchise indeed, but for me there is really only one film.
Thanks for reading my retrospective look at The Terminator franchise.