Tag Archives: Terminator 2

My Terminator Sequel Movie Pitch

So Terminator: Dark Fate is a flop at the box office, with some claiming it could mean the end of the franchise. Not really surprising given how awful and disrespectful it is to long time fans of the franchise. Now, I’ve been pretty vocal on the film myself, the short version is that it’s not very good at all, the much longer version can be read right here.

Now it’s all well and good sitting at my laptop yakking on about how bad the latest Terminator picture is… but it’s not very constructive is it? So after a while, I began to think how I personally would’ve pitched an idea for a new Terminator film. So here it is, my pitch for a new film in the long running and failing franchise.

Before I do get into this, I just want to clear something up. Terminator: Dark Fate had six people involved in the writing… six people, I’m only one person. The story would’ve also gone through weeks, months even years of work before filming began and finished, I’ve just come up with this after a couple of hours of thinking and even throwing in some stuff on the fly. The writers of Dark Fate would’ve been highly paid for their effort, I’m doing this for free… and fun. Then finally, Dark Fate was written by professionals working in Hollywood for years, one of them the creator of the franchise, I’m an amateur writer with a blog. Yet despite all of my short comings, lack of experience, money and talent, I’m still confident I can come up with a better Terminator film idea than Dark Fate. Oh and finally, this is a pitch just to get a story idea across not a script, so won’t be fully detailed.

The Terminator Logo

Okay, so the first thing to make clear is that Terminator: Dark Fate was a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day that ignored all the other films in the franchise. For my pitch, I’ll be doing the same… but I’m going a step further by also ignoring T2. Yup, my idea will be a direct sequel to the original 1984 picture, The Terminator. No friendly T-800, no super advanced T-1000, no blowing up Cyberdyne and no stopping judgement day.

So my film picks up with the end of the first film, 1984 where pregnant Sarah stops off at a gas station and pays $4 for a picture of herself (pretty good hustle kid). The ominous and effective “there’s a storm coming” and all that as Sarah and unborn John drive off toward the Mexican sunset as the storm clouds form. A narration begins with Sarah as she explains that Kyle was right, Skynet did become self-aware at 2:14 am and launched nukes at Russia which and kick-started a war on the 29th of August, 1997. The resulting nuclear war claimed three billion human lives and The War Against the Machines began.

The Terminator End

The film then flashes forward to 2010 in the war ravaged future. Not quite as bad as shown in the first film circa 2029, but still a very rundown future. Classic Terminator future battle stuff with (early model) endoskeletons, HKs, etc all our war shenanigans against humans. Cut to a slightly quieter part on the outskirts of the battlefield where a small family, father, mother and their 6 year old son are scavenging for supplies as they struggle to stay alive. As they look for anything they could use, a terminator kills the parents while the child is distracted looking through scrap. The terminator spots the boy and raises it’s M-27 Phased Plasma Pulse Rifle, taking aim at the 6 year old right between the eyes (a quick throwback to the Tech-Noir scene in the first film). Just as it looks like the kid is going to be terminated, a small group of rebels open fire on the machine and manage to destroy it. A 25 year old, battle scarred man steps forward and picks the youngster up (come with me of you want to live reference?) and takes him away from the horrors of the war to a secure settlement full of human life. Overseeing the settlement is an older Sarah Connor and that 25 year old, battle scarred man is her son John. After a little discussion, it’s agreed they they will look after and raise the 6 year old themselves. Sarah asks the newly orphaned and terrified child his name, he replies “Kyle Reese”, Sarah has a tear running down her face.

Flashback to 1995 with a younger Sarah (de-aged CGI Linda Hamilton, it’s all the rage right now) raising her 10 year old son (doesn’t have to be Edward Furlong cos T2 didn’t happen). She is a tough but fair mother as she trains him for his inevitable future as the leader of the resistance. They are hiding out in Mexico and Sarah has made a few ‘contacts’ over the years to gain weapons, etc to help train John. The youngster never resents his upbringing because it’s all he’s ever known. Firing guns at paper targets and learning how to use grenades is normal behaviour for this 10 year old. John asks about his father, who he was, where is he now. Sarah gets a little emotional (“in the few hours we had together, we loved a lifetime’s worth.”) but decides to tell John all about Kyle as she said she would in the recording she made at the end of the first film/start of this one. She tells John how Kyle was sent back in time from 2029 to 1984. Sarah quickly recaps the original film and tells John how his father sacrificed himself to save both Sarah and the unborn John against the killer T-800. We follow Sarah and John for a couple of years as the training continues and Sarah tries to warn people about judgement day but they think she is crazy. Sarah is shown as a very loving mother with the weight of human existence on her shoulders. It’s now late evening of the 28th of August, 1997, just a few hours before Skynet becomes self-aware. Sarah and John head toward an old and disused underground bunker (with a handful of people who believed Sarah) as the nukes begin to fly, judgement day begins. Taking from T2 (that didn’t happen in this film) to show the horror of a nuclear explosion as millions upon millions of people die.

T2 Sarah

Back in 2010 and the human settlement is attacked by a terminator, Sarah sacrifices herself (just as Kyle did for her) so John, Kyle and others can escape. Throw in a vehicle chase sequence cos you know, Terminator. They go on to set up an new human settlement. It’s now 2020 (looking more like the ravaged future shown in the first film) and Kyle is 16 years old (a very de-aged Michael Biehn), a highly trained and skilled soldier too. The settlement has grown over the years and become a haven for humans looking for shelter and to train and fight. The whole place is teeming with life, it’s reputation has grown over the years along with that of John… so much so that the settlement and John has been put on Skynet’s radar, who just observes, scrutinises and learns from the humans from afar… for now. Kyle begins to ask questions about Sarah, he kind of remembers someone from when he was found as a 6 year old but as she died before he grew up, his memory is hazy. John gives Kyle a picture of Sarah… that picture. He tells Kyle how Sarah was a brave and strong leader that helped him become the man he is now, but John leaves out little details, like Kyle going back in time and being his father.

The Terminator Sarah Photo

The settlement mange to get some intel on Skynet and the battle begins to turn in the humans favour, more settlements begin to be created, more soldiers trained all lead by John. There is still a good few years of fighting to go yet but there is a ray of hope that Skynet can be defeated. 2028 and Kyle is now a grown man (still a de-aged Michael Biehn now looking like he did in the first flick) and John’s right hand man, the resistance are winning the war, many, many human lives have been lost, but they are winning. Skynet has replaced it’s “easy to spot” rubber skinned T-600 units with the much more advanced T-800s with living tissue, one of the many things Skynet has learned observing the humans over the last few years. John Connor has been away and putting a plan together to attack Skynet itself, a bit like the Death Star attack in Star Wars only a lot better. The plan takes a while to perfect as the fighting continues. While trying to enjoy some very rare downtime, Kyle returns to one of the human settlements after being on the battlefield. You know Kyle’s nightmare scene in the first film where a terminator attacks and that photo of Sarah burns? Well this is that bit only with a bit more meat on the bones. More humans die, Kyle escapes and meets up with John. This is where John reveals he has perfected his plan to attack Skynet directly and launches his attack a few months later in 2029 after asking for volunteers. Taking a group of soldiers, Kyle included, they attack Skynet and smash the defence grid, Skynet has lost.

Skynet

Skynet has nothing left, but while John was coming up with his plan, Skynet was piecing together one of it’s own. It had secretly built a time machine, unbeknown to John and his intel. and planned on sending back an army of terminators to kill young Sarah Connor, in 1984, killing John before he’s even born. But with the humans gaining the upper hand in the war and Skynet losing so much, it decides to launch it’s plan early and without an army of units. Only one T-800 is available as most have been lost on the battlefield or currently fighting. As John and his soldiers attack, Skynet sends the T-800 back to 1984. John learns of Skynet’s plan and Kyle volunteers to go back to protect Sarah, wanting to meet the legend who sacrificed herself to save humanity.

The Terminator T-800 2.

Everything is bought full circle as the events of The Terminator begin…


 

Okay so that is my Terminator sequel movie pitch. It’s rough, needs a lot of work and to be honest, I threw it together after only a couple of hours. Of course this film will never be made, this was just done for a bit of fun… and to prove to myself that I could come up with a better film than Terminator: Dark Fate and it’s six writers. If I’m allowed to say so myself, I think I did a half decent job.

Just to finish, I’d like to apologise for the lack of any curtain hanging T-800s, not killing off the most important character in the franchise and rendering Kyle’s sacrifice completely redundant. I guess I just don’t know how to create and craft a film like highly paid Hollywood writers do.

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Terminator: Dark Fate… Don’t Come Back

Well it happened, I watched the new Terminator film. I love the original The Terminator. It’s a beautiful blending of sci-fi, horror, action and even a bit of a love story. It’s mega-successful sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a flick I have lot of issues with… outside of Americans not being able to spell the word judgement correctly. The plot holes are ridiculous, it’s writing is inane and it’s basically an insult to the first film… but it’s a pretty decent action romp none the less. Then we get onto the other sequels and they range from average to pretty damn bad at best.

For me, there is only one Terminator film and that’s the first one. Yet I have still sat through all of the other films in the franchise… so may as well endure the sixth and latest film in the franchise, Terminator: Dark Fate. I said after watching the last film, Terminator: Genesis (I’m not spelling it ‘that’ way), that I was done with this franchise, it’s just been downhill since 1984. But Terminator: Dark Fate is currently being called the best sequel since T2, so it has to be good right? Due to the high praise the film has been getting, I just had to check it out.

Right off the bat here, I’m going to warn on massive and gargantuan SPOILERS. I am going to go through the plot and story of the film as well as looking at characters that will give away major plot points, even in the opening. So again, there will be major SPOILERS from this point onward.

The Film

So the flick opens with a nice reminder of one of the better scenes in T2, showing the scene from the film where Sarah Connor is being interviewed and kind of flips out as no one believes her about the future war and the rise of the machines.

Sarah Interview

It then cuts to a future war scene as several terminators emerge from the sea while Sarah delivers a narration about a hopeless future before cutting back to 1998 where Sarah and John are enjoying some sun on a beach in Guatemala. Sarah’s narration continues as she explains that the future of the machines talking over, Skynet and all that never happened because she stopped it. You know, all that blowing up Cyberdyne from T2 and the death of Miles Dyson and all that gubbins. As she sits in a bar looking over John, a T-800 casually walks in and kills John Connor, dead. Couple of shotgun blasts and the future leader of the resistance that will stop Skynet is dead. The main focus of the entire plot of the first two films is dead. It’s not even been four minutes into the film yet (three fifty for those counting) and John Connor is dead… I have more to say about this later but for now, on with the rest of the film.

Sarah laments over the death of John with a tacky line about how she is ‘terminated’ and it then cuts to present day as the arrival of the new protector and main character of the film is shown, Grace, played by… Justin Bieber. Seriously, when I first saw Grace (Mackenzie Davis) in this, I thought the new protector character in the film was played by Justin Bieber, so from now on, it’s Justin Bieber. Anyway, so Justin Bieber has been sent from the future in typical Terminator franchise fashion… naked. But John Connor is dead, so who has she been sent back to protect? There’s a scene where Justin beats the crap out of some Mexican police, cos the film is set in Mexico. Justin steals some clothes and off she goes in search of her target.

Dark Fate Grace

We are then introduced to the new target, Dani Ramos who lives with her family in a crappy little apartment. After some asinine character introductions, we then meet this film’s antagonist and all new terminator, the Rev-9 (basically the T-1000, again), who arrives at Dani’s home seconds after she leaves for work. So Rev-9 sets about looking for Dani, kills and mimics her father and goes after his target. Dani works at a car factory and this is where the first big showdown happens as both the Rev-9 (disguised as Dani’s father) and Justin Bieber turn up to kill and protect Dani respectively.  We get to see what Justin Bieber is made of, she’s human but with ‘enhancements’. You remember The Bionic Woman? Well she’s a bit like that. After a small fight sequence, the main chase of the film begins.

So anyway, Justin, Dani and her brother make a run for it with Rev-9 in pursuit. You know the main car chase scenes from the trailer? Well this is that part. Cars get smashed up as Justin Bieber tells Dani that she is from the future and here to protect her. Rev-9 disables their car and kills Dani’s brother… and this is where Sarah Connor shows up proper, you’ve already seen it in the trailer anyway where she turns up armed to the teeth and shooting an RPG at Rev-9. So Justin and Dani make a run for it by stealing Sarah’s car and leave her to fight off the T-1000, Sorry Rev-9 for herself.

Dark Fate Sarah

As Justin Bieber and Dani are running away, Justin beings to show signs of a struggle and is in a bad way. She has enchanted speed and strength, but at the cost of becoming ‘fatigued’ I guess. Justin is in need of medical attention, so Dani takes her to a local chemist for some drugs. Sarah tracks them down as Justin Bieber passes out. Sarah takes them to a motel to rest up. When Justin regains consciousness, more of the plot (what little there is) is revealed as Sarah learns that Skynet no longer exists and never actually did. It turns out that Justin Bieber is from an alternate future created after the events of T2. Instead of Skynet, there is Legion… basically Skynet. Legion is still a highly advanced AI, it still starts a war between man and machine, there is still a judgement day of sorts, just not one at the hands of Skynet. As I said, Legion is basically Skynet just with a different name. So it turns out that Dani is this film’s 1984 Sarah Connor who will go on to give birth to the future leader the resistance against Legion. So the plot of this film is the plot of The Terminator with a slight name change or two.

Sarah says how after John was killed, she started getting encrypted messages. Justin Bieber decrypts the messages and it just so happens to turn out that the messages are being sent from the very same location of some coordinates that had been tattooed onto Justin’s body just days before she was went back in time… what an incredibly lucky coincidence. So the trio of ladies decide to head to the location the messages have been sent from in Texas. Sneaking over the Mexico-United States border, they finally arrive at the source of the messages, the very same (now aged) T-800 that killed John in the opening. Cutting a very boring story as short as I can, the T-800 agrees to help train Dani to fight Rev-9. I’m just going to skip to the end here…

Dark Fate Heros.png

So Justin Bieber, Sarah, Dani and old T-800 team up and fight the Rev-9 at Hoover Dam. En-route, it is revealed that Dani in the future actually found and raised Justin Bieber when she was younger during the war. It turns out that Dani is not this film’s Sarah at all, she is this film ‘s John Connor. It is Dani who will rise to lead the resistance against Legion… what a pointless twist. After a plane crash and landing at the dam, there’s another fight sequence and both Justin and the T-800 end up sacrificing themselves to save Dani and kill Rev-9. Sarah becomes surrogate mother to the future leader of the resistance (female John). End credits and teases a sequel I hope never happens.

Now the plot is is of the way, I’m just going to take a look at the characters…

Rev-9

So this new evil terminator is basically a cross between the T-800 and T-1000. It has an endoskeleton like the T-800, but instead of the living tissue, it has the liquid metal of the T-1000 and can mimic who and whatever it touches. It can also split itself into two and work independently. It can operate as the endoskeleton as well as making a human form as the liquid metal. To be honest, I kind of liked this idea and you see it used a few times in the film too. But as a character, it’s just all a bit dull. Despite it’s interesting splitting into two thing… it’s just a T-1000 and we’ve already seen it. Gabriel Luna who plays Rev-9 is no Robert Patrick. He’s not scary, not intimidating and never really felt like a threat. I have multiple problems with Terminator 2, but Robert Patrick as the T-1000 was not one of them. This Rev-9 is just boring.

Dani

Ah yes, this film’s Sarah/John Connor. Thinking back to the first film, you get to see Sarah grow as a character. She starts off as this timid waitress who ‘can’t even balance her checkbook’. Yet through the course of the film, we see her grow into the strong woman she becomes at the end and through T2. You don’t get any of that with Dani here, she is one note from start to end. There is no evolution of character, no depth of character. She’s a insipid, annoying girl at the start and she stays just like that right up to the finale.

Justin Bieber

I’m sorry, but I have to keep making these comparisons. Kyle in the first film was a tough and grizzled soldier from the future. He was a bad ass, but he also had a softer side and came across as very vulnerable too. Justin here is a flat line. There is nothing here, no character. And what is the point of making her ‘enhanced’ if she keeps breaking down as in need of drugs? They were (I think) going for a human/machine hybrid in an attempt to show how, despite a deadly war between human and machines, that they can coexist and live in harmony. Instead of this faux and vomit-enduing symbolism, I’d have preferred that they just went with either a human protector or a machine… and a character with some actual character too.

Sarah Connor

Far and away, the best thing about this film is Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor. She’s bitter, tough and yet still very likeable… even when she is being a complete bitch. She even has a scene where she breaks down talking to Dani about John… and Linda is sublime in it. Linda’s acting is brilliant. She has the best lines (mostly), the best scenes and more than holds her own during the action scenes too. Utterly brilliant to the point where I kind of wish Sarah was the only main character of the film. Drop the dreadful Dani and the insufferable Justin Bieber, just have the film focus on Sarah and her hatred/distrust of the machines and this could’ve been great. In fact, it would’ve been so much better of they hadn’t killed off John… more on this soon…

T-800

I’ve saved the worst for last. I love the first film and I think that the T-800 is one of cinema’s greatest villains. I really disliked how they made him good for T2… really disliked. Over the years, I held out hope we would see an evil T-800 again in one of the sequels. The closest we got was Arnie’s ‘cameo’ in Terminator: Salvation and his de-ageing bit in Terminator: Genesis (don’t care, I’m not spelling it like a six year old). Sadly, looks like we’ll never see that evil T-800 again. The small glimpse we get in the opening where he kills John is about as close as we will get. I never liked how they made him the good guy in the sequels… but this film? This film just outright takes the piss.

So the T-800 in this, after killing John developed a conscious, he felt ‘guilt’ (I guess) over his actions. He met a woman and got married, became a stepfather to his wife’s son. They live together, have a dog and everything. The T-800 also has a name, Carl. You do remember the T-800 from the first film right? This is how the franchise creator once described the T-800…

“It’s death rendered in steel.”

–  James Cameron

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. But now? Now Carl as he is called is a soft furnishings expert… I’m not joking. The T-800 hangs curtains (drapes for my American readers) for a living. There is a part in the film where Carl advises Dani on the best curtains to hang and how to do it… again, I’m not joking. From smashing through into a police station and massacring people…

Dark Fate T800 T1

To hanging curtains, this is the T-800 now. He’s married, has a kid and a dog… who doesn’t bark, which fans will now is a big no, no! Honestly, this is perhaps the biggest betrayal of the character ever. A huge FU to the fans. But to be honest, us fans should’ve seen this coming, I mean it was foretold in the first film with Kyle Reese’s famous line…

“Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, unless it decides to hang up some curtains.”

– Kyle Reese

Oh no, my mistake. That didn’t happen did it cos it’s fucking stupid. Have you heard what they are doing with Michael Myers in the Halloween reboot sequel? He’s going to work at a veterinary clinic to look after fluffy bunnies and cute puppies. He’s not because the writers of that film are not stupid. Oh and the Halloween reboot is getting a sequel (two even) which this film won’t.

The Plot Holes

This film had six writers covering the story and screenplay (one of them supposedly James Cameron himself)… six and none of them any good. Even the other sequels didn’t have to pay this many people to write something so god awful bad.

Writers

Seriously, six people had a hand in writing this mess? I could’ve done a better job and you wouldn’t have had to pay me six times either. The one is full of plot holes before it ever really begins.

So if a T-800 killed John at the start, then Skynet wins. But because of the events in T2 what with destroying Cyberdyne, Skynet does not exist. Fine… so who sent the T-800 to kill John in the opening then if Skynet does not exist? No Skynet, no T-800 terminators. Sarah says in this film that the future of Skynet taking over didn’t happen…

Why would Skynet send a T-800 back to kill John anyway when it has the much more advanced T-1000?

If this film takes place in an alternate timeline where John and Skynet do not exist, then why would Sarah be involved at all? The first two films were about protecting John. First unborn in The Terminator and then years later when he was ten years old in T2. But if there is no more John, then Sarah has no reason to be involved in this film’s events at all. As much as I loved Sarah in this film (she is easily the best thing)… she is completely redundant too.

Rev-9 arrives in the past during the day and he arrives right outside Dani’s apartment too. Traditionally through the franchise, the terminators arrive at night (Justin Bieber does), so if Rev-9 had arrived at night (as is the tradition) Dani would’ve been asleep in bed and he could have killed her within seconds. So why did Legion send Rev-9 back in time to arrive during the day?

The film points out that Sarah has been hunting and killing other terminators sent back in time over the years (sent by who or what I don’t know, Legion I guess) single-handed. How? These machines are very hard to destroy as shown in all the films, but Sarah has been able to get rid of them on her own? Yeah she’s armed as this film shows, but it also shows her struggling to even make a major dent in Rev-9. Even Justin Bieber says you don’t fight these things, you run away… and she’s enhanced remember. Sarah even admits later in the film the taking out a terminator alone is virtually impossible… but that’s what she has been doing for the last twenty odd years. So an enhanced super soldier can’t stop a terminator, but a 60 year old normal woman can?

The very second Sarah see the T-800 in this, she instantly knows it’s the same one that killed John… how? Sarah knows there are multiple T-800s from her own experiences. The killer one form the first film and the protector from T2. As she has been killing other terminators over the years, there’s a chance she crossed paths with others too. Yet the second she sees the T-800 in this, she just knows it’s the exact same make and model that killed John back in 1998? No questions are asked. For all Sarah knew, it could’ve been another good T-800 sent back to protect.

How has the T-800/Carl in this managed to get married and settle down when the authorities have his face on file from the previous two films? You know, the T-800 image was caught when he stormed the police station and again in T2 at the shopping mall. He’s a wanted ‘man’ being hunted for mass murder, but he can get a marriage license, house, set up a curtain hanging business, etc and not raise any suspicion? Did the police just forget about this mass murderer?

How can his wife not notice she is married to a machine? This is kind of covered in the film when Carl explains their relationship is not physical. So they don’t to the mattress-mambo or anything, but they must at least hug, a goodnight kiss? Something, they must have had some kind of physical contact in the twenty plus years they have been together. Not once has his wife ever hugged her husband, tried to playfully lift him. Not once in over two decades has she noticed her husband doesn’t sleep, use the toilet or ever get ill… never?

Overall

This film is awful. I have problems with T2 as a film, but I’m willing to admit that it’s still an entertaining flick. This is dull, it’s boring. Even the action sequences are nothing more than mediocre. The plot is basically T2 with a pinch of the first film thrown in. The characters are asinine and unlike-able (except for Sarah). People are describing this film as the Star Wars: The Force Awakens of the Terminator franchise. I agree, as it’s just as bad. It’s also being called the best sequel since T2… by idiots. Either that or people paid by the production studio to try and gain some favourable reviews. Again, six people were involved in the writing. How and why does it take six people to say “let’s rehash T2 and a bit of the first film.”?

What was the point of killing off John in the opening if all you are going to do is replace him with another character exactly the same? If the filmmakers really wanted to change things up… then change things up. Same goes for getting rid of Skynet only to replace it with Legion, which is Skynet just with a different name. Legion does the exact same thing Skynet did. It’s utterly pointless. It you are going to change something, then change it.

On the subject of killing John. Apparently that was James Cameron’s idea. Well I’m here to call him out on his hypocrisy, because ole James was one of the most vocal on the killing of Newt and Hicks in Alien 3, in fact he said that idea was dumb. So let me see if I have this right Mr Cameron. Killing off secondary characters like Newt and Hicks, who, in the grand scheme, are not intrigal to the plot was dumb… but killing off a central and important character, the main focus of the entire franchise like John Connor is a good idea? Making Kyle Reese’s reason for existing as a character and his sacrifice to go to the past utterly redundant, that’s a good thing is it Jimmy?

Linda Hamilton has said of the opening to this film that it will shock people. No Linda it won’t. What it will do is piss off millions and millions of fans of the franchise all over the world. You won’t get shock, what you will get is a collective “fuck you!” and continual eye rolling. John Connor is the cornerstone of the entire franchise, kill off John, you have no film(s)… as Dark Fate proves. The death of John means that everything before this film was pointless. Remember Kyle’s sacrifice of volunteering to go back in time to (his words) “meet the legend” that is Sarah Connor. The fact he knew it was a one way trip, the fact Kyle ended up falling in love and creating the saviour of the world? Nothing, it means nothing due to the plot of this flick. All that emotion, all that bravery from Kyle is meaningless now.

Other people are highlighting this film’s anti-male agenda (kill off John – male, replace with Dani – female) or it’s ‘woke culture’ banality. Honestly, that’s not my problem with this picture, my problem is how badly written it is and how dull turned out to be. See, when I watch a film, I just want one thing… to be entertained. Terminator: Dark Fate is anything but entertaining.

The other sequels have been mostly poor, maybe a few highlights, but mostly poor. Yet, they tried to do something different, at least they put some effort in. Terminator: Salvation with it’s idea to tell the story of John and Kyle in the future was a great idea, this is what T2 should’ve been back in 1991. Terminator Genesis (nope) also had a fantastic premise (badly realised and cast I admit) of another T-800 send back when Sarah was a child and preparing her for the events of the first film was fantastic. Even Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which was another lazy rehash of T2 and featured some terrible ‘comedy’ moments, at least that film had that amazing ending. But Dark Fate is bland, boring, tiresome and an insult to Terminator fans on every level.

Said to be the start of a new trilogy of Terminator films. Yeah they said that about both Terminator: Salvation and Genesis (I still refuse to spell it that stupid way) and look what happened there. Here’s an idea, how about just trying to make one good film and then see how it goes from there instead of forcing a trilogy?

Please do not waste you money on this dreck, the less money this film makes, the less likely it is to get a sequel. The Terminator franchise is dead and has been for many, many years now.

I'll Be Back

I hope not.

Update: Thankfully Terminator: Dark Fate is currently bombing at the box office. My faith in the public as been renewed. Hopefully Hollywood might take notice and realise they can’t keep churning out shit and expect people to lap it up.

Terminator 2: Plot Hole Day

So there’s a new Terminator film released today, here in the UK anyway, my U.S. cousins will have to wait until the 1st of November to see it… and I personally couldn’t be less interested. For me, the franchise was terminated a long time ago. I’ll watch it eventually I’m sure, but I’m in no hurry to get to the cinema to see the return of Arnie, Linda and Edward (who I guess will be killed off in the opening). The prospect of James Cameron back as producer hardly gets me excited, nor does the fact the new flick is a direct sequel to Terminator 2 that ignores the other films. Even the high praise the film is currently getting does not excite me. But a new Terminator film does give me an excuse to write an article.

T2 Thumb

Regular readers may know I enjoy looking at and attempting to cover film plot holes. I’ve done Die Hard as well as the whole Back to the Future trilogy of films. So I thought I’d do the same with T2. Now before I get into this, I need to quickly cover the rules, yes I have rules…

  1. So when looking at plot holes, I can only use the rules established in the universe in which the film(s) exist. I can’t make up my own rules/excuses to explain anything away.
  2. Novels, comic book adaptions and original shooting scripts are also out. Only what is seen on screen can be used for explanations.
  3. Deleted scenes can be a wildcard depending on why they were deleted. If a scene was removed against the director’s wishes due to producer interference (as an example), then I can consider using them. If a scene was removed for something as mundane as ‘time constraints’ then I can’t use them because if a director thinks a scene which explains plot points/character motivation is less important than time, why should I care about it? If a scene was in the original script, but not filmed… see rule 2 above.
  4. Fan theories are definitely a huge no. I’m a fan, I like to come up with my own interpretations of films as much as the next person… but I’m not involved in the making of the film.

Basically, if it’s not in the film(s), it can’t be used.

So those are the rules… and to be honest, they’ve put me in a rather tricky spot. See, when I do these plot hole articles and using my rules. The whole point is to cover the plot holes and explain why they are not plot holes… which I have done in the past. But what happens when the writing of a film is so bad, so full of errors that go against established rules that I just can’t cover them? Well, you get Terminator 2: Plot Hole Day

The TDE Problem

Nothing dead can use the Time Displacement Equipment (TDE). This is a rule explained and shown to be true in the first film, this is why both the T-800 and Kyle are sent back naked and why no future weapons can be sent either. The T-1000 in Terminator 2 is nothing but dead material, it can not use the TDE, it can not be sent to the past. None of the events of Terminator 2 can happen given established in-universe rules.

T2 T-1000 Arrival

Now some people claim that the T-1000 can mimic human flesh and that is why it can use the TDE, except it can’t. We know it can’t mimic human flesh as we are told it can’t mimic anything complex and human flesh is pretty damn complex. Plus when you see the T-1000 get shot in the film, there is no human tissue there (like the T-800) it’s pure liquid metal. So within the opening minutes of this film already contradicts the rules established in the first film. And before people jump in with the comments of a flesh sack, etc… re-read the rules.

Another Arnie?

Why is there another Arnie cyborg in the film? Yes they are mass produced in a factory (as the teaser trailer shows)… but why would Skynet even build more T-800 (the robot) Model 101 (the skin) terminators when the reason provided in the first film for the creation of the new T-800 is due to the fact the previous machine, the T-600 had rubber skin and was, as Kyle explained “easy to spot”? Surely if Skynet is aware its T-600 units are “easy to spot” leading to Skynet creating the more advanced T-800 with living tissue, bad breath, everything. It would not make multiples of that same unit that look identical as it would be “easy to spot”, in fact easier to spot than the T-600 the T-800 was built to replace, making the existence of the T-800 redundant.

Especially when you take into account the machines are used as infiltration units. Kyle’s nightmare/flashback/forward (it’s complex) in the first film shows what these things do, they get into the human bases by passing themselves off as humans and murder everyone in sight. They infiltrate. So their effectiveness is pretty pointless if they all look like Arnie. Even if Skynet sent multiple Arnie T-800s to various parts of the battlefield, even if there was only a 0.01% chance that these Arine looking machines would be spotted, why would Skynet take the chance when it could create different looking T-800s instead?

Put Some Clothes On

Why is the T-1000 naked when being sent through the TDE (which it can’t do anyway)? We know why the T-800 and Kyle had to be sent through naked as nothing dead will go, so they can’t wear clothing. But the T-1000 can mimic clothing as the film shows us. Skynet is aware clothing is important as the first thing the T-800 does in the first film when it gets sent back is acquire clothing, that is also what it does in Terminator 2. So clearly clothing is something programmed into the machines and obviously important. So why is the T-1000 naked?

‘Default appearance’ is often the excuse, but let’s look at my next point…

He’s In The Nip!

The T-1000 is supposed to be an infiltration unit. Designed and programmed to blend in with humans. It can only mimic what it touches. So if being naked is it’s default appearance… would that not stand out when it was trying to infiltrate? Picture the scene, war ravaged world where humans fight for survival against its AI oppressors. People are dying all around and through the smoke walks a completely naked male figure that is designed to blend in. Does not work does it? Why would a naked form even be part of the T-1000s programming anyway when it’s designed and programmed to kill, in case it ever had to infiltrate a porn film?

Skynet has detailed files about humans, so much so that it can recreate nipples… but not clothing? But as already covered, Skynet is obviously aware of clothing and it’s importance because the T-800 is programmed to find some as a priority.

Skynet Lost

Lets just go back to the first film and a spot of exposition for a second. As Kyle said: “Its defence grid was smashed, Skynet had already lost” and “Its just him (T-800) and me, nothing else comes through.”. Nuff said. So why is there a sequel and why are more terminators being sent if we have already been told this can not happen?

The Terminator Kyle

Perhaps the terminators from T2 were sent back before the one in the first film… maybe? But this makes no sense when you think about it… something I’m covering in a couple more points.

Killer Cyborg That Doesn’t Kill?

Why doesn’t the T-800 kill any of the bikers in the opening bar scene? We know it’s still programmed to kill as the scene with the two guys that come to help John shows later in the film…
John: “You we’re gonna kill that guy.”
T-800: “Of course, I’m a terminator.”
See, it’s programmed to kill, but only roughs up the people in the bar? Now remember that bar scene? The T-800 is attacked, it’s very mission is being hindered, it gets stabbed! That very same make and model terminator killed for much less in the first film, remember the clerk in the gun store? He was killed just for telling the terminator it couldn’t load the gun in the shop. But in Terminator 2, the same make and model kills no one despite being stabbed with a knife, attacked with a pool cue and more?

T2 T-800 Arival

So within Terminator 2 itself, if that same machine was willing to kill the guy coming the help John later in the film, why not kill anyone in the bar that were getting into the way of it’s mission? The terminator would have left a trail that could’ve been traced if it killed people in the bar… maybe. But wouldn’t roughing people up in front of dozens of witnesses, stealing clothing, a motorbike and even guns also leave a traceable trail?

Skynet Is Stupid In T2

Skynet is supposed to be this amazing, militaristic thinking piece of highly advanced AI. So why would Skynet send the more advanced T-1000 through over the lesser (by then) T-800? Why not just send multiple T-1000s. And seeing as Skynet can send multiple units through as proven in the sequel(s), which contradicts info given in the first film, why send them to different times in the past instead of just sending ALL of it’s machines to 1984 to kill the then unaware Sarah? Skynet’s very existence is at stake here, so why not throw everything it had at the problem? Just imagine Kyle having to fight off numerous T-800s, T-1000s… hell even the lesser T-600s (can’t cos they have rubber skin so cant use the TDE… like the T-1000?), throw in some HKs too, it could send an army. Kyle and Sarah wouldn’t stand a chance and Skynet would win. Terminator 2 makes no sense!

T-1000 The Cop

Why doesn’t the T-1000 fully mimic the cop in the opening? We know it can fully mimic people as the film itself shows us. But instead of fully mimicking the cop, it just mimics the uniform (more on this issue next). Wouldn’t a person walking around in a police uniform that is numbered while also driving a police car that is also numbered not be a little bit suspicious? What if a fellow cop that knew the original cop recognised the uniform/cop car number and realised the person using them was not the cop they knew?
So instead of the T-1000 just mimicking the cop and passing itself off as him, we now have a missing cop and a strange man wearing his uniform and using his car. The T-1000 is supposed to be an infiltration unit remember.

T2 T-1000 Cop

It does the same thing with the motorcycle cop later in the film too.

Equal Size My Arse!

The T-1000 can only mimic things of equal size is the rule established in the film. The cop uniform is not equal size, so it should’ve mimicked the cop fully and not just the uniform. John’s foster mother is also not equal size, nor is the guard at the hospital as you see the size difference as the T-1000 morphs between them. Speaking of the hospital, it mimics the hospital floor and you can bet your arse that is most definitely not equal size. So it can mimic things not of equal size then despite the film telling us it can’t?

Swear Why?

John asks the T-800 to swear not to kill, but why? The machine has no concept of human rules and I can prove it.

John: “You can’t just go around killing anyone.”
T-800: “Why?”
John: “You just can’t.”
T-800: “Why?”
John: “You just can’t OK?”

See, the T-800 does not understand human rules to the point it doesn’t understand why it can’t kill… so why would asking it swear not to kill mean anything to the machine? John never explains what swearing means or its importance/meaning to humans, it’s learning nothing. All the T-800 does is parrot John by holding up his hand and swearing not to kill, it’s programming remains the same and it is still programmed to kill remember. So given what we have learned through the exposition of the film, there is no reason for the T-800 not to kill from that point onward or even before it (bar scene).

T2 Swear

But just to add to the pointlessness of the ‘swearing’ scene. Just minutes earlier we, the audience and John learn that the T-800 has to follow his orders, so why didn’t John just order the machine not to kill?

John: “I order you not to kill anyone.”
T-800: “Affirmative.”

See, I just wrote T2 better than James Cameron did.

More Orders

On the subject of John’s orders having to be followed by the T-800. Let’s skip to the end of the film and when the T-800 is lowered into the molten steel. What is it that John says again? Ahhhhh yes…

John: “I order you not to go, I order you not to go.”

Well there you have it, the T-800 can’t ‘die’ as John just ordered it not to go. Not once, but twice But wait, what does the T-800 reply with?

T-800: “I’m sorry John, I can’t do that.”

Wait, what? So now it doesn’t have to follow John’s orders, since when can it do that? If it can choose to not follow his orders then why did it break mission parameters by taking John into direct danger earlier in the film risking the mission just because John orders it to? What danger am I taking about? Next point…

The Stupid Plan

Why would the more mature and future resistance leader, John who knows the entire existence of the human race is on his shoulders allow the T-800 to follow his younger, immature self’s orders? What if that immature version of himself orders the T-800 to rescue his mother, who we are told is not a mission priority and therefore breaking mission parameters and take John into direct danger putting huge risk onto the mission? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the T-800 to be programmed to follow the more knowledgeable and prepared Sarah’s orders?

Forgetful T-1000

Another thing about the ending that makes no sense. The T-1000 stabs Sarah in her shoulder and asks her (quite eloquently too) to “call to John”. Why would it do this when we and it knows it can mimic people? Even more so we are told in the film that the T-1000 typically kills whoever it mimics. So why didn’t the T-1000 just kill and mimic Sarah, get close to John and then kill him? Mission complete.

T2 Two Sarahs

“It glitches, that’s why it can’t mimic Sarah” is the usual response. Yes the T-1000 does glitch… in the extended cut, but not so much the theatrical cut and the one most familiar to everyone. But even if we go the glitch route excuse. The T-1000 still manages to mimic Sarah as the film proves later anyway. So the whole “call to John” bit is inane. Just kill and mimic Sarah, you know that thing the T-1000 had been doing since it’s first scene in the film.

Good Scene, Bad Writing

About that extended cut. There is a scene included where the T-800 has it’s chip removed so it can learn. From a filming perspective, its a great scene that features a mirror image with two T-800s, two Sarahs and two Johns. The amazing thing about this scene is the fact no mirror was used nor were any special effects either. Its a great shot done so using a very simple magic trick. Brilliantly filmed… but from a plot and character perspective is makes no sense.

T2 Chip Removal

So the T-800 allows its chip to be removed and therefore is taken offline, meaning it’s no longer capable of doing it’s mission. Why would the T-800 let the happen? What if the T-1000 turned up while it’s chip was removed? Plus it’s chip is removed so a physical switch can be flicked to allow it to learn. So Skynet built a machine with a switch that has to be manipulated physically for it to learn, meaning if Skynet ever sent one of these units out not to learn but then changed it mind later and wanted it to learn. It would have to recall that unit to manually remove the chip and change the switch? But maybe there are two ways to change the switch, one manual and one remotely. Maybe there is, but if the switch can be changed remotely then why would Skynet even bother with a manual switch to begin with? Then if this particular T-800 switch is not set to learn (hence the need to remove the chip)… then how had it been learning anything up to this point in the film. Like swearing not to kill for example? It should still be killing!

Mission Failed

The Terminator actually fails it’s mission in the end. Remember it is programmed to protect John. By the end if the film, the T-1000 is destroyed but John is still in danger and in need of protection. He and Sarah are still being hunted by the police for example.

Edit: Or the opening of Dark Fate
So effectively, the T-800 abandons it’s mission at the end as John was still in danger. Mission failed.


 

Well there you have it. As much as I tried, I just can’t explain these plot holes in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This is not meant as a dig at the film either, I enjoy the flick as much as anyone… but it’s badly written and just seems to ignore established rules not only with the first film but also within itself.

Well, however Terminator: Dark Fate turns out. I hope it’s better written and respects the original film more than T2 did.

GTA V: Judgement Day

Who doesn’t love Grand Theft Auto V? And who doesn’t love the James Cameron flick – Terminator 2: Judgement Day?… well me. But that is not the point, because a fan of both with a hell of a lot of time on their hands had melded the two. Using a heavily modded version of Grand Theft Auto V to recreate Terminator 2. Okay, so its not the entire film which runs at a a little over 2 hours. This fan made GTA film is just over an hour long. But it does hit all the major scenes.

Using audio taken directly from the movie to tell a more condensed take on the film. This GTA version is pretty damn impressive and even recreates the opening credits and every memorable scene from the movie right up to the ending.

Full credit goes to Kramer’s Media for this impressive feat. You can watch GTA V – T2 right here…

The Terminator Part I.

Logo

With Arnold Schwarzenegger set to return (or be back) as The Terminator, the role that made him famous in 1984, in upcoming film sequel/reboot Terminator Genisys. I thought I’d look back at the cinematic outings of The Terminator franchise.

T1 poster

The Terminator: Released in 1984 by Orion Pictures, written by Gale Anne Hurd and James Cameron and directed by James Cameron. The Terminator was a low budget Sci-Fi/Action film that nobody expected too much from, yet in 2008, The Terminator was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the American National Film Registry, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

From the year 2029, two beings are sent to Los Angeles on May 12 1984. One is a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) cyborg assassin, Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 (T-800), which is a metal endoskeleton covered in living tissue. This Model 101 terminator is programmed to kill a young woman called Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). The other one is a human soldier Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), sent back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor by Sarah’s own son in the future, John Connor.
Kyle finds Sarah and explains that in the near future an artificial intelligence defense network called Skynet becomes self-aware and initiates a nuclear holocaust of mankind, wiping out most of humanity. Kyle tells Sarah that her yet to be conceived son John Connor will rally and lead a resistance of survivors that acts against Skynet and its army of machines. With the Resistance on the verge of victory, Skynet has sent a Terminator back in time to kill Sarah before John is born, effectively killing John in a last-ditch effort to avert the formation of the human resistance.

A wonderful melding Science Fiction, Thriller, Horror and Action. The Terminator was one of the seminal films of the 80’s and would go on to spawn a successful franchise including sequel films, comic books, novels, videogames and even a groundbreaking Universal Theme Park attraction.

The Terminator was released to very little publicity as Orion Pictures really had very little faith in the film performing well. However, The Terminator grossed over $4 million in its first weekend and stayed at the number 1 spot for 2 weeks. The film went on to make $78.4 million worldwide at the box office, all from a $6.4 million budget.
The Terminator was considered a huge success and launched the careers of writer/director James Cameron and its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Reviews were positive praising the dark tone and style as well as the intriguing plot, along with praise for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performance as The Terminator which has gone on to become one of cinema’s very best villains.

The Terminator was met with controversy from writer Harlan Ellison who said the film “borrowed heavily” from a short story he had written which was turned into an episode of The Outer Limits TV show called; Soldier and Harlan Ellison threatened to sue Orion Pictures for infringement. Orion Pictures settled in 1986 and Harlan Ellison was awarded an undisclosed amount of money and an given acknowledgment credits in later prints of the film.

The Terminator had a bittersweet ending in which everything was covered, but a sequel came about just a short 7 years later.

T2 poster

Terminator 2: Judgment Day: 1991 saw the release of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (T2), produced by Carolco Pictures and reunited James Cameron with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton from The Terminator. Written by James Cameron and William Wisher and directed by James Cameron. T2 is often said to be one of the best movie sequels ever.

This time the plot revolves around a new and more technically advanced terminator, a T-1000, being sent back from 2029 to 1995 by Skynet to target the now 10 year old John Connor. This new advanced prototype T-1000 was is a “mimetic polyalloy” being made up of liquid metal that is capable of mimicry, shapeshifting and rapid recovery from damage. But to counteract the more advanced T-1000, the resistance lead by John Connor send back another T-800 they captured and reprogrammed to protect 10 year old John Connor. With Sarah Connor being held in a mental hospital due to her “delusions” of the future and her talk of a soon approaching nuclear war started by Skynet that will wipe out most of humanity. Young John Connor orders the T-800 to help save his mother after he learns that the T-1000 would typically target and kill her.
Along the way, Sarah Connor learns the man most directly responsible for Cyberdyne Systems creation of Skynet and the terminators is a man called Miles Dyson. Sarah sets out to kill Miles to prevent the creation of Skynet. All while being hunted down by the superior T-1000 terminator.

T2 was a revelation in terms of filmmaking at the time and pushed the relatively new computer generated images in films with the T-1000. T2 even went on to win four Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
Praise came in for relatively unknown actor Robert Patrick who played the T-1000 but there were several mentions of the “uneven” acting from the 12 year old Edward Furlong. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor gave the performance of her career in this film and showed a very deep and intriguing character.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had carved a very reputable career as the good guy in films by now did not want to return as a villain this time around. So it was decided early on in pre-production they would bring him back as the hero, hence the concept of the reprogrammed T-800.

The budget of T2 was $102 million which was the highest budget for a film ever at the time. Making back $54 million in its opening weekend and $204.8 million in the United States and Canada alone, then going to make $519.8 million worldwide. T2 was the highest grossing film of 1991.

However the film was very nearly never made with rights disputes over the IP pre-production. At the time Hemdale Film Corporation owned the rights to the Terminator IP and they tried to hinder any efforts to make a sequel. In a bit of bitter schadenfreude, Hemdale Film Corporation were experiencing financial problems. So head of Carolco, Mario Kassar bid for the rights and eventually paid Hemdale $5 million for the Terminator franchise in 1990, paving the way to make the sequel.

I’ll end part I here and move onto part II where I’ll cover the last two films in the franchise so far.
“I’ll come back”…

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