Thanks to the visionary directors with an excellence in the technical side, there were movies in Hollywood since 1980s that took the visual effects and computer graphics ahead by miles. Production houses had second, third and ‘n’ number of sequences to a movie, making one movie into a movie franchise.
It is all appreciable but when the movies reappear with different directors or crew and merely with the backup of a star cast and production house, the soul of the movie would be lost.
Recently, this idea has taken over Hollywood- to create sequels for movies released 20 years back with new directors- Omen, Jurassic Park, Star Wars and now to complete the picture that production houses find a gap in the supply chain when it comes to new ideas another movie was added to the Terminator franchise- Terminator Genisys.
It would be a bit far-fetched argument to call The Terminator and Terminator 2 greatest movies of all times. But what those movies contributed to animation, CGI and visual effects is unique. It was a giant leap to science fiction movies. The Terminator (1984) established Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron as promising actor and director and became a sleeper hit. It fetched positive reviews from critics and masses.
In Terminator 2 more advanced technology was required. It took seven months to create a working model of the cyborg which was then plated and modified according to various poses and expressions of the actor. For the scenes involving a skeletal frame, a stop motion model was invented and used for the first time.
All this happened in an age when animation was yet in its natal stage and creating a character mimicking the motion and doing full justice to the character was impossible- an age without motion capture camera or animation so good that it looked better than a real life camera like the ones we see in Narnia series or Lord of the Rings franchise.
The expenses were huge and so were the risks involved. Terminator 2 (1991) did full justice for the first movie and was created after an extensive research of seven years. It was the first movie to showcase the use of natural human motion to create an animation. The movie bagged Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Make-up.
The movies after Terminator 2 were not directed by James Cameron and none of the three directors since have shown full justice to the effort he had taken or the magic he performed. Terminator 2 did not execute as per the expectations of James Cameron which is why he backed out from all further Terminator movies.
Terminator fan base was built and well exploited in the third and fourth part. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had a female antagonist T-X played by Kristianna Loken. The story was almost the same with a bit more traps added to the maze, and the story taken to the next generation.
In Terminator Salvation, even the eponymous hero Schwarzenegger was not present and a body double was used to portray T-800. Both the movies had negative reviews and made a box office collection just because of better marketing techniques and fan base.
The third part and fourth part was bearable but Terminator Genisys is a blow to the franchise. The movie just built on the good work and popularity earned by its predecessors especially James Cameron while Genisys did not have any innovation in technology, content or presentation.
The filmmakers and producers chose to play it safe serving the age old wine of formulas in new bottles, a bit of emotional drama with no strong plot or story line and it was a disappointment to any Terminator fan or movie lover. Even for a die hard fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the new version of the hunk he once was, would fail to impress.
The movie ends with a tail end/epilogue suggesting there is another sequel coming. This time both the audience and critics would prefer to bid Hasta la Vista to the Terminator and jump out of the window before they assume we are excited to see the Terminator say “I’ll be back.”
Have you seen the movie yet? Tell us if you agree/disagree with us. Comment away!
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.