Since I have to be at home (all the time) I decided to take this as an opportunity to go through my bucket list of famous franchises that I never got around. One of those was The Terminator movies, and I do have a couple of thoughts. Instead of having a review per movie, I decided to put them together as it is much easier to analyze them by comparing them to each other. So let us dig in:
The Terminator (1984), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a robot sent back in time to kill the mother of the human resistance, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), is one of those early sci-fi movies that deserved a remake. That did not happen, because its early success got it made into a major franchise, and it is a good thing. I do not think that the first movie aged well (I totally did not fall asleep almost ...), but for the exception of the ending in the factory it was quite forgettable. I love movies from the 80s, but technology has advanced quite a lot and a lot of remakes and rebooths gave justice to the original idea, which was quite unique. There are hundreds of stories about futures where robots take over, however, had this not been unique in its style and plot, it would not have survived, as it was the case for a lot of 80s scifi movies. When it comes to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) I can tell you for sure that it is one of the best ones of the series. People loved it and I do not think that we would have had the franchise we got, were it not for this movie. I find that the best thing the script writer realized he could use to his advantage, was noticing the popularity of Schwarzenegger, and making him an ally instead of an enemy. I do not feel the need to go into a big review here, the main character is young John, who reconnects with his mother after realizing that her fear of the future is more than justified. And his good relationship with this model of the Terminator is essentially what leads to the third movie.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) you all know what I am going tosay, because we all know what is wrong with this movie: the casting. There is no excuse for this. And I do not want to be mean to the main actor, I have seen some of his work, and he knows what he is doing, but pairing him with Schwarzenegger and Claire Daines was a major mistake. It was just maddening, because frankly, this would have been my favorite movie of them all, as the evil terminator got me shitting my pants, while the good one managed to be both the hero as well as the comic relief. Something incredibly hard to pull off... my favorite scene has to be from the beginning, where he gets the clothes of a performer at a women's bachelorette (I'll link it below), and all along the movie had heart. A lot of heart. But there is only so much suspension of belief when it comes to the saviour of mankind being... capable. His recast was imminent.
Terminator Salvation (2009) was not received well and I can tell you that people are f*cking idiots. This movie was simply fantastic. While watching the first three movies me and my partner looked forward to seeing the horrible post-apocalyptic world that seemed inevitable. And we LOVED IT. It was everything you would not want your world to be and more with effing outstanding casting. I was scared but intrigued and scared some more. It was simply wonderful. Would I have liked for the real Schwarzenegger to be there? Sure. Did I still enjoy every second of a story that encompasses what makes us separate from machines? 100%. I am very upset that the timelines decided to "cancel" this movie, because it really needs to be revisited by... everyone. (Shout out to my best friend who told me that it is good, you were right buddy, you were right as always!)
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) I did not think that it was possible, but movie six was the best. I cannot think of a single mistake with the plot. I just had my mouth open the whole time and was excited and intrigued and even if I knew what the ending would be it still made it incredibly entertaining. Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor was simply f*cking badass and entertaining at the same time. Her sarcasm and devotion to a cause after having lost her son - whoops spoiler - was outstading. However brought her back to the series deserves and award, because this basically all female cast was the biggest gift I could have asked for, following such good stories as Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. To everyone in the back: YES, we do want MORE female heroes!
So watch them? I honestly think that to appreciate them all you need to see every one of them, even if the first one did not age at all well, I'm sorry, but it has to be said. And I do believe that the last one, with its strong message of women being powerful and humanity always having another figure to follow that will not give in to the despair, was also the strongest. Great casting and just... there is no amount of Schwarzenegger and Hamilton that I could say no to.
Until the next item on my list!