It's the Booze Talkin', Time to say goodbye to the Terminator franchise!

Here we are, well over halfway finished with the big summer movie season. There were a few surprises, and more than a couple disappointments. We had franchises that flourished, and others that did not. Audiences went crazy for a ton of dinosaur action in JURASSIC WORLD, and many of us reveled in the madcap mayhem of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. And then there was TERMINATOR: GENISYS. This CGI fueled return to the world of Sarah Connor and her Terminator pal didn’t pack the theatre’s in the US - although it did better overseas, that’s for sure. Many had issues with the plot, others had issue with some of the performances. Either way, this flick certainly didn’t live up to the former glory of THE TERMINATOR.

James Cameron had an inspired idea with the 1984 classic sci-fi action flick THE TERMINATOR. At times this low-budget thriller was crude and clunky, yet with a menacing Arnold Schwarzenegger, the perfect damsel in distress thanks to Linda Hamilton, and a cool as hell hero in Michael Biehn, it all worked. This is a spectacular flick that is scary, thought provoking and pretty damn brutal. Looking back at this fine feature it is easy to see why this time traveling tale of man vs. machine was able to create the franchise it did. And as good as this first film was, it was only the beginning. It was the sequel that grabbed audiences by the balls and had them begging for more.

When TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT day arrived back in 1991 - a few years after the original - it was intense and groundbreaking. There is so much to love about this incredible feature, I don’t even know where to begin. The special effects were astounding and it was filled to the brim with incredible action and suspense. This was that rare occasion when a sequel not only added to the first, but was even more stunning. Schwarzenegger was awesome and Robert Patrick was terrifying as a T-1000 - the super scary terminator out to put an end to the human race. And then there was Linda Hamilton who transformed into an iconic action figure, one that has often been copied, but seldom outdone. After this, it looked as if we were in for a franchise that would continually kick our asses on a grand scale.

It would have been very difficult to make a superior third installment after T2. And while many fans enjoyed the continued adventures of everybody’s favorite Terminator, TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES didn’t quite rise to the occasion. Looking back, there was a lot of fun with this sequel. And you have to give it some credit for giving the girls a chance to be bad thanks to Kristanna Loken. One of the major problems with this 2003 sequel is that while it was entertaining once, it isn’t all that memorable. Perhaps Cameron not taking on directing duties diluted the fun, because frankly both the first two films were so captivating, they are permanently engrained in my membrane.

Speaking of forgettable, the next installment should have been incredible. Seriously! You have the great Christian Bale as John Connor! Yet the PG-13 - the first in the series to have that rating, as the three before were all R - TERMINATOR SALVATION hardly revitalized the franchise.  McG in the director's chair couldn’t even come close to living up to Cameron. The biggest problem with this sequel is that it didn’t quite feel like a TERMINATOR film. That could have worked in it’s favor, but it was a little too disjointed to really work on its own terms. This is another flick that some fans enjoyed, but with an artificial Arnold and less-than-stellar performance from Sam Worthington, SALVATION was subpar.

There have been so many attempts at returning to the glory of the first two films. This includes the short-lived, yet critically acclaimed series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which  probably had the best shot of truly bringing this franchise back to life. However, audiences didn’t seem to respond, even with the incredibly talented Lena Headey in the leading role. Aside from the series you had comics and even a Universal Studios attraction called T2 3D: Battle Across Time that may have been the best sequel to T2 ever made. And now you have TERMINATOR: GENISYS, a flick that had an interesting idea, yet for most it failed to live up to what once made this franchise great. Perhaps the time portal should finally be closed for good.

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but it’s time to say goodbye to the Terminator franchise. Sure the subpar sequels occasionally had something cool to offer, but it’s gone on too long to really be effective anymore. It could be nostalgia keeping this alive - and hey, it worked for JURASSIC PARK - but audiences may be growing tired of Sarah Connor, John Connor, Kyle Reese and the Terminator. As much as I dug Schwarzenegger proclaiming “I’ll be back,” it may be time to move on and perhaps embrace another thrilling science fiction adventure - EX MACHINA anyone?! As much as it pains me to say, we are long past T2 and for as many times as we’ve gone back, we should be happy to watch a couple of classic films - and a few mediocre ones - and let the machines do what they will… Humanity will be fine without another sequel.

Extra Tidbit: What do you think? Do you think there is still a great Terminator flick to be made?
Source: AITH



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