How Not To Screw Up Terminator: Genesis
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GET TO ‘DA CHOPPA!” I have no real context for this quote…it was just fun to type.

That familiar saying about “...everything that was old is new again” really seems to be taking shape these days. Apparently my generation is getting older (who knew that could happen?), and we seem to yearn for much of what interested us in childhood to be rejuvenated again. Actually, maybe the people in Hollywood THINK that’s what we want. From remakes like Footloose, Total Recall and Robocop, it’s apparent that some of our memories our best left in the past (as remakes often fall very short of the awesomeness that was the originals).

But does Terminator have enough power left in its fuel cell to truly re-launch this huge franchise?

The former Governator certainly hopes so. Returning to the series is the original Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 himself… Aaaa’nold. The latest attempt at reinvigorating the franchise (or some might say cashing in) comes in the form of a new stand-alone trilogy that will begin production very soon. In a recent interview, Arnold touts how happy he is to finally return, now that his stint in politics has come to an end. “I'm really looking forward to that because as you know, the last time when they did the Terminator, it was when I was Governor and so I couldn't be in that movie but now I'm back again and they are very excited about having me in the film… The script is fantastic so I'm really looking forward to this film.” Says Schwarzenegger.

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There’s no denying we’ve certainly experienced some serious ups (T2: Judgment Day) in addition to the downs (T3 and the now canceled TV show) during its 20+ year history. While I still consider myself a pretty big Terminator fan, I’m not exactly optimistic for the future. After the second film, the track record gets spotty at best. In fact, I can point to two major problems that seemed to repeatedly plague the later entries. First of all; a death machine is NOT supposed to be funny! It’s one thing for comedy to emanate out of a circumstance. For instance, many of the scenes that gave us a chuckle in T2 stemmed from the fish-out-of-water scenarios the T-800 would find himself in (as he wasn’t programmed in the subtleties of irony and human wit). Terminator 3 is a good example of this done completely wrong. Much of this sequels attempt at humor is so unbelievably cringe-worthy, it almost boarders on parody. The new movie would do well to take their cues from the original, which had zero attempts at comedy.

Secondly; have we just thrown the concept of timelines out the window here? Not to beat a dead horse, but Terminator 3 totally stepped on the whole point of T2. Changing the future was supposed to be the one thing that gave them hope (remember all that “no fate but what you make” bullshit?). Then Arnold shows up in the third entry and basically tells them it’s inevitable, thus rendering the previous events utterly useless. Let’s hope the next script straightens this mess out and sticks to a Back to the Future style mentally when dealing with time travel.

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If there is one thing that always peaked my curiosity, it was the post-apocalyptic future that both the Terminators and Kyle Reese originate from. Until Terminator Salvation, we had only seen brief glimpse of it. And while many folks didn’t care for the Christian Bale flick, I didn’t mind it so much. However, conflicting reports suggest this will either be a “reimagining” of the originals, or somehow spin it off into a different alternate universe (much in the way they handled the Star Trek remake). Personally, I’m hoping director Alan Taylor can finally get this thing back on track and provide us a next-gen Terminator worth dropping $10 bucks a ticket on. It’s been a long while since that’s happened.

So in closing, I’d like to say; “It’s not a tumma” and “lawl…lawl…lawl...” That last one was supposed to be the noise Arnold makes during a fight scene. I know this might seem like a weird way to end an article, but I may never get another chance to throw this many Arnold lines into one story.

Jason Messer
Jason Messer
@J8sonMesser

Contributing Writer
Date: 03/04/2014

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