Friday, January 22, 2016

Terminated? Or Shut Down? 'Terminator: Genisys' Sequels Pulled, State of the 'Terminator' Franchise

After Disney moved Lucasfilm's hugely anticipated Star Wars: Episode VIII, Paramount found itself making some changes to their slate.

Up until now, the sequel to Terminator: Genisys was set to open May 19, 2017. Genisys didn't go over quite well domestically, despite bringing Arnold Schwarzenegger back into the mix. Budgeted at $155 million, it took in $440 million worldwide. Now that's over 2.5x the budget, but apparently that wasn't enough to please Paramount. It did better than Terminator Salvation, but I guess they expected something bigger given Arnold's comeback?

Either way, it seems like the planned trilogy it would start will be no more... Or they'll really rethink it.

My suggestion? The Terminator, to me, is the best film in the series. Terminator 2: Judgment Day might be the most popular, but the original is the name of the game for me. The Terminator is a shining example of why sometimes, less is indeed more. The Terminator, at age 31, is still a pulse-pounding thrill ride from start to finish. All at a lean 95 minutes...

It is a pretty low budget film, as it forced James Cameron to be more imaginative with his concept. I think The Terminator succeeds because of this. With a lower budget and less big scale boom-boom-boom action, it's much more exciting. Sometimes when a story is intimate and on the ground, it's twice as tense and thrilling. The first one is almost a horror film in many ways, what with the T-800's method of finding Sarah Connor, an enigmatic Kyle Reese looking for Sarah, the film mostly taking place at nighttime, and Brad Fiedel's cold and metallic score. Sarah and Kyle's relative powerlessness makes everything work so well.

Yes, I absolutely love The Terminator. I love Judgment Day as well, but I think for the next Terminator film, they should make something like the original. Really go back to the roots. Terminator 2, to me, was the biggest. It didn't need to get any bigger than that. The minds behind 3, 4 and 5 forgot what made part uno so good, they strayed away from the bread and butter: People against a relentless and seemingly undefeatable killer robot. You kind of lose that when you involve the military, or helicopters, or big-scale city action.

With a smaller budget, they can also get away with a good old-fashioned mid 80s-level R rating. None of this PG-13 stuff, this is Terminator, not Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Not a crack at Marvel, of course.) At the same time, the future should be mysterious. The first film couldn't go all out with the 2029 setting because of the budget, so again, that made Cameron go for something better. What we see of the future in that film, and in Judgment Day, is just enough. It tells the story just fine in a few mere minutes: Everything went to hell, the machines are terrifying, it's traumatic for the humans. Reese's flashback in the car more than drives that home, too.

So should they go with time travel? Nope. This time, have it be set in the future, have it be small, have it be intimate, tense, and a little scary. Do something new with this universe. I think that would make for a true "Terminator 3", despite what Mr. Cameron had to say about Genisys.

What say you? Should they give the Terminator franchise a proper reboot? Or should it be crushed in a factory? Sound off below!

1 comment:

  1. I feel like they canceled the other Terminator films because of how bad Genisys was, kinda like what happened with Last Airbender 2 and 3. No matter what happens, the reception for the film was so bad, that making a follow-up to it would lead to some pretty bad box office domestically and potentially worldwide.

    I definitely agree with you that the next Terminator should ditch the whole time-travel thing though. T2 did it perfectly, and every other attempt has been really convoluted and lame.