November 5, 2013

What I Want to See in the New Terminator

As we all know there is a new Terminator movie on the horizon for 2015; it will (allegedly) be directed by Alan Taylor who has just directed Thor: The Dark World, which is getting great reviews. Taylor recently stated in an interview that a Terminator movie without Arnold Schwarzenegger is not one he would want to be involved in.

I have to agree and I think that is one of the reasons Terminator Salvation was considered a failure; the Terminator franchise just isn’t interesting without Arnold’s T-800 and the movie lacked several elements that made the first two movies so successful.

Only the first two movies had a feeling of impending doom and desperation; Part 3 just felt like a parody and the only really good part was the final act.

So what can they do to put the franchise back on track and what can we expect?

The Examiner spoke with writers Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry 3D) and Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar) a few months back and discussed their ideas for the new movie:

Incredibly, Arnold Schwarzenegger may not play the role of a machine in the next film, but a potentially heroic human figure in or close to the Connor family. One theory is that Schwarzenegger’s remarkable ability to protect the Connor family in the 1940s or 1950s with antiquated weaponry by today’s standards ultimately inspired the machines to develop a terminator in his likeness that was eventually sent to 1984 when Sarah Connor was first targeted for termination.

I do agree that the only way the series can logically bring Arnie back is to have him as a human and Skynet possibly uses his likeness for the T-800, however I’m not entirely sure about that concept of it being set in the 40s/50s. It might work if you have it as flashback scenes, interspersed with the final future war.

Personally, there is only one storyline from Terminator that I would like to see: John Connor’s final victory over the machines and what it is he actually does to defeat Skynet once and for all. I don’t really see how they can do the whole time travel thing and make it still interesting.

The short-lived TV Series “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” messed with the time line too much and despite it being good fun, I think they should ignore the events of it and stick with the movies. Even then, it’s all very confusing.

I don’t hate Terminator Salvation, but I don’t exactly love it either; I would however like to see a film set after it and maybe bring Christian Bale back as John Connor as he was the best thing about the movie.

The thing is, there was no depth to Salvation; it was all big effects and action but you didn’t care about any of the characters.

The first two movies actually had heart and a little humour too; the relationship between a young John Connor and the (now good) Terminator created a whole new dynamic where by the end of the film a machine has literally learned the value of human life. Connor has also found a father figure which has been missing throughout his life; meeting the Terminator is what ends up making him the warrior he was born to be.

None of that was in part 3 or 4 so it would be good to bring back the heart of the series.

I just want to see the future that we were promised in the first two movies with laser guns and humans practically living in trenches underground; bringing back a real feeling of desperation. Show us humanity’s last hours and how Connor devises a way to finally bring the machines down, perhaps a universal EMP device or something.

I also want to hear Brad Fiedel’s full theme again, which we haven’t had properly since Terminator 2. They’ve used the finale of the main theme in the TV series and Salvation but bringing back some continuity would be nice. Fiedel’s score worked so well because it sounded industrial, making it sound like it was created in a Terminator factory; it’s loud and imposing and yet sad at the same time. It haunts you, especially in the opening of T2 with the children’s playground on fire.

I think I would have to agree that the only action star big enough to play a new Terminator would be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Having him and Arnold in the movie together would be something special and with his build, he could be really imposing as an out and out villain.

Obviously I’d love it if James Cameron were to direct as no one has been able to capture the same magic ever since T2, but that’s not going to happen and Taylor seems to have some interesting ideas.

So those are my thoughts on the Terminator series and what I want to see next; are you interested in a new movie or should they let the series die?


About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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