Well, Arnold said he’d be back, and he kept his word… But was it worth it? Timothy Jackson and I discuss the latest installment in the Terminator franchise. Obviously there will be some spoilers below.
Timothy: So… Initial thoughts. What was your overall feel of the movie?
Zach: It was definitely a Terminator film though it failed to top the first two movies. There were some fun moments, but it was a bit busy and lacked clear direction. What did you think?
T: This one felt like a Terminator movie… However, it was jumpy. It lacked focus and seemed like a rehash of Terminator 2 and Terminator 3. Let’s stop Skynet from being created! Like we haven’t seen that one before.
Z: Yeah, it tried to do what other franchises have done in recent years by acknowledging its history while charting a new course. Jurassic World, for example did a better job of this. Terminator managed to take its own fairly complex time travel mythos and muddy it further.
T: I was fairly confused midway through the film because of all the time travel elements of alternate timelines and such. I eventually figured it out, but I doubt all movie going audiences will be able to sort it out. Here’s a question, did we really need a revisiting of the 1980s Terminator movie?
Z: Not only did it re-tread on itself, but it re-explores territory of science-fiction without saying anything new or relevant. I think the biggest issue I had was the fact that I struggled to care about any of the characters or the outcome of the film. And this is supposed to be the start of a new trilogy?
T: Agreed. I was not worried during any of the perils our characters had to face. That’s an unfortunate problem if you don’t care about them when they could die… Maybe it’s because I knew they wouldn’t kill them. As for a new trilogy, I think that the next film could be better if they take more risks and don’t rehash. In other words, Judgement Day needs to happen. Our world needs to fall. That will be the only thing that will keep my interest.
Z: Agreed. Perhaps the apocalypse will look much different than what we’ve seen in previous installments. Reese is still alive, maybe he and Sarah get pregnant, but this time it’s a girl? Or maybe they don’t have kids. Maybe the second film is just Sarah and Reese out on a date talking about how happy they are to not have the extra responsibility. Terminator John shows up and whines about the fact that his parents refuse to create him. His limbs will start fading away like Marty McFly’s did in the first Back to the Future film and then when he disappears John and Sarah have a good laugh. Then Terminator “Pops” forces an awkward smile before getting really serious and saying “No, seriously… don’t have kids.”
T: Hmmmm… A girl. Joanne Connor, perhaps? But wait, Kyle Reese is still alive. Wouldn’t it end up being Joanne Reese? Or maybe Sarah Connor wants to express her independence and make her kid have her last name. Overall, how would you rate this film? Is it worth watching?
Z: I’d give this film one awkward Arnold thumb’s up (complete with cheesy grin). Worth seeing, despite being largely forgettable. It was an enjoyable ride for a holiday weekend. What do you think?
T: I’d say two and a half teaser trailer spoilers out of five. Like you said, it’s worth a watch but it’s just passable. I expect more from my cinema experiences.
What did you think of Terminator? A worthy installment in the franchise or a forgettable mess? Let us know in the comments!