I think we can all agree that Terminator: Genisys was a low point in the franchise. Now Paramount has wiped the next installment in their franchise from their upcoming slate and I couldn’t be happier.
The first Terminator was a breath of fresh air for sci-fi fans, and blew people’s minds back in 1984. It was new and exciting and made Arnold Schwarzenegger a viable movie star, not to mention the beginning of James Cameron’s career as a director.
Cut to: 1991 when T2 was released: There was no internet for fans to vent about how absurd a sequel sounded, however that doesn’t matter because T2 broke the mold for sequels and it still stands today as one of the best sequels ever, let alone action movies. James Cameron had good fortune just six years earlier with another the sequel to Alien and we all know how great that turned out. T2 turned out to be a success but it ended the story of Sarah and John Conner by them destroying Skynet and killing the Terminator. I always thought there was no way they could make another film, let alone that they should – The story is over and there’s nothing else to tell. Sure enough, greed prevailed and Warner Bros. took up the story, now toted as a franchise. Bad move.
In 2003 when Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was released, I was excited to see Arnold again and how they would revitalize the story. It seemed like an impossible feat but Warner Bros. cooked up a story that was basically a reboot, recasting the role of John Conner and giving him a girlfriend while telling us that the Skynet apocalypse was inevitable, which sounded like a bad screenwriting cop-out. That’s where I threw up my hands and yelled, “Done!” just like Peter Griffin would have. I was skeptical going in since James Cameron wasn’t involved in a property that he literally dreamed up. I thought that this was the final nail in the Terminator coffin, but I was proved wrong yet again.
Terminator Salvation hit theaters in 2009 without Arnold Schwarzenegger, let alone any of the previous cast members and tried to give us more insight into the future we had heard about in the other films. This was the film that was touted as the reboot and it felt like it. I decided to watch it eventually, just to see what they did with the Terminator lore but this was just another dumb action movie. I did enjoy seeing the prototype Terminators as they were slow and unpolished. Seeing the CG Arnold “cameo” was somewhat satisfying but by that point, I had already mentally checked out.
I swore I would never see last year’s Terminator Genisys but I eventually did and I was glad I didn’t pay for it. Now if only I could get those two hours of my life back! Recreating some scenes from 1984 was intriguing but only in the sense that I wanted to see if they could pull it off accurately, which they did but other than that the movie was a mess. From the characters and actors to the story and effects, everything about this movie felt wrong. It was seriously one of the worst movies I have ever seen and it felt rushed and cheap. The nostalgia craze has been going strong for the last year or two and unfortunately, the Terminator franchise was a casualty. Films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens are bringing back the things we loved but are careful to not to cheapen their stories, sacrificing creativity for money while Genisys did just that.
I’ve always held true the belief that the Terminator story was done once the credits rolled in T2. The story is over and anything else that comes afterwards is like afterbirth and not needed for creative purposes, but merely for financial gain. I think Paramount finally made a smart decision by not going forward with the next film. I think most fans only enjoyed the first three films and everything else was watched out of curiosity which is why I eventually saw them. Now that Terminator Genisys has come and gone, hopefully, we won’t see any more Terminator films…for now. Within the decade, Paramount or some other studio will come up with an idea they think is great and we’ll get another one sometime down the road but the odds of it being another game changer or even a decent film is slim.
Terminator (1984) – 9/10
T2: Judgement Day – 10/10
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – 4/10
Terminator Salvation – 5/10
Terminator Genisys – 1/10