Why It's Okay The Terminator Movies Are So, So Bad
It's finally happening, you guys. After more than two decades since the classic original duology, our beloved Terminator series is getting a new installment! Arnold's back, and he's older than ever! And after all these years, we're finally going to know what happened after the events of T2.
Yep. It's just The Terminator, Terminator 2, and this brand-new film. Nothing more to see here. Please ignore any other variations you might falsely remember, because they absolutely don't exist.
OK, so mistakes have been made. But at least this time, James Cameron himself has sworn to personally delouse the soiled heap left by Terminator Genisys. That's new and special, right?
OK, maybe that's not new and special. Maybe -- just maybe -- we have no good reason to trust the Terminator franchise after being offered a ridiculous amount of "do-over" films. It's almost as if this story about a time-travelling robot assassin isn't really a repeatable premise. But of course, if that were true, then why would Hollywood keep insisting on making more? Surely the entertainment community would never needlessly stretch out a franchise solely to make money. Surely they greenlit this new Terminator film because they had a really good idea for a sequel. Surely Hollywood would never decide to make something before figuring out whether it's worthy of making. That would make them stupid idiots desperately clinging to a decades-old success, like a child savoring a long-eaten Skittles bag by eating their own shit for a week.
Alright, so after careful analysis of the previous photograph, I'm willing to entertain the possibility that Hollywood eats its own shit. How do we deal with such a revelation? How do we accept that the Terminator series officially has more bad movies than good? The answer is simple: by remembering the roots of the franchise.
The above Cameron quote is often forgotten by fans, and says that the entire series was inspired by John Carpenter's Halloween. It makes perfect sense that the original was meant to be a slasher. The hero is a helpless young woman, the villain is an unstoppable killing machine, and both films even feature the late Dylan Shephard -- a famous horror film electrical and camera grip.
The time travel and future war were supplemental to the core purpose of the film. But we, the innocent audience, were thrown from this when Terminator 2 introduced an action element. When you start to recalibrate your mind to accept Terminator as another cheesy '80s slasher series, suddenly it all clicks into place.
Both Halloween and Terminator got gritty reboots ...
... both got attempts to revive the classic characters ...
... and now, years later, both series are making headlines for bringing back their lead actresses and original directors (as producers).
Because this is what slasher films do. They bring back old actors, introduce gimmicks, and get useless gritty reboots before ultimately fizzling out ...
And that's how it's always going to go. Historically speaking, slasher films aren't repeatable premises. They are about a single individual going on a killing spree until they're stopped. And so every sequel is required to shoehorn some terrible reason to resurrect the villain, usually while promising that it's the "final" installment.
This isn't even Jason's final "final" Friday.
It's like how every Terminator film "finally" stops Skynet. But in our hearts, we know there's never a "final" Terminator film, the same way there's never a "final" Friday The 13th. We know that every new installment can't exist without completely negating the previous film. Which is why after Terminator 2, there was no such thing as a good Terminator 3.
The only problem is that James Cameron and Hollywood don't seem to realize this, and keep trying to write some kind of worthy conclusion (as if T2 wasn't already that). But if they really wanted to save this howling fart train of a series, they would lean into my words and put Schwarzenegger in space or make him terrorize "the hood."
That's the Terminator sequel we deserve. And the moment we accept this is the moment America can begin to heal.
If you're James Cameron and want Dave to write "Terminator In Da Hood That's Also In Space On The Moon," please contact him on his Twitter.
Pour a glass of wine into this Terminator Hand Goblet that is frankly awesome as hell, and ponder the paradoxes of time travel and bad movie reboots.
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