28 October 2019

This Franchise Absolutely Will Not Stop, Ever, Until You Are Dead

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Podcasts
The Terminator franchise has always seemed a little far-fetched to me. It’s not that I don’t believe that the robots will one day rise up and destroy us, because I’m 100% behind that idea. Only this week did I meet my friend on the train and discover that he had no eye-brows because of a robot, in fact. Apparently he’d been shaving them down when the electric razor had developed a life of its own and decided to take them off completely. The rise of the machines starts now. Imagine what a robot could do with a gun if a simple razor was able to turn my friends head into a giant fucking thumb. My issue with that first film is actually that I just don’t believe in the mission of humanity's saviour, John Connor. Could a soldier lead the resistance and bring down the robots? Maybe. But would he be prepared to send his mate on a mission through time with the primary goal of hooking him up with his Mum? No. And even if he did then that’s not a future that I’d want to live in. Be shot dead by robots or rebuild society in the image of a man whose main agenda was to get his own Mum laid? I think I’ll take being shot in the fucking head if you don’t mind. 
It’s still a classic, though. With Back To The Future’s plot focusing on a Mum trying to bang her own son and The Empire Strikes Back having a brother and sister get off with each other I suppose we just have to accept that the sci-fi writers of the 80’s were a little bit fucking creepy. Terminator 2: Judgment Day followed almost a decade later with an increased focus on action and a reduced inclusion of creepy boner missions. Although this time the robots sent a machine back to murder John as he was on the cusp of puberty when a sex-bot would ironically have had a better chance of killing him. It wouldn’t even have to be a particularly sexy one to get up close to him to do it really. I reckon a chainsaw with tits would have done it. He was a young boy. They’ll bang a fridge door if they don’t think that anybody is looking. I mean fuck it if, you want a robot to kill the little shit then just send him free tickets to a rock concert and get one of Daft Punk to choke the bastard out. Still, it was another action classic, and with the red light shining from behind his sunglasses, Arnie’s character became a cinema icon. I guess nothing screams ‘cool’ like a man that’s suffering from a neon case of pink-eye. This is also where the franchise should have ended too because all of the subsequent films have been fucking terrible. I don’t know if you saw Terminator Genisys but it’d be worth sending a real life soldier back in time just to try and stop that fucking movie from happening.
Luckily Terminator: Dark Fate is here to erase all of the post-Judgment Day sequels with it being positioned as a direct follow-on to those first two movies instead. Sarah Connor was casually killed off in the original Terminator 3 and so this marks her return to the franchise after almost thirty years away. She’s exactly what you’d want her to be here too having spent the last three decades fighting, running, drinking, and going a little bit crazy. I don’t know her views on Jewish people but after dedicating her life to fighting the Terminators it seems that she has essentially turned into Mel fucking Gibson. This film focuses on three women though with her only being one of them. The other Dani Ramos, is a young woman being hunted by a machine that considers her to be a key to humanities triumph in a new future war. I guess she’s basically what Sarah was in that first movie. The other woman is Grace, a cybernetically enhanced human sent from the future to protect Dani at all costs. I guess she’s basically what Sarah was in that second movie. Grace is also played by Mackenzie Davis who I’m full on in love with. Most people have a list of celebrities that they’re allowed to shag but I’m single so a celebrity with a list of normal people that they’re allowed to shag would be more useful to me. This caused me some concern during this film because I would cut my left nut off to end up on her list despite the fact that here she’s definitely been made up to look like Justin fucking Bieber. 

How can I fancy a woman that looks like Justin Bieber and not fancy Justin Bieber himself? I’d like to think that if I was gay that Bieber wouldn’t even be the kind of guy I’d go for. If a camel is a horse designed by a committee then Bieber is what happens when that same committee attempts to design a pop-star before merging it in the teleportation device from The Fly with a wet fucking noodle. But would I fancy Bieber if they made him dress up as Grace from this movie? This is the kind of moral question that the greats of sci-fi films should be presenting us with and it sends a shudder down my spine to ponder. 'Maybe?' I guess is the answer. But I’d definitely feel conflicted about it afterwards which is exactly how I feel about Terminator: Dark Fate now that I’ve seen it. In the heat of the moment I convinced myself that I was really into this new film and I actually thought it was pretty good. Maybe I’m the kind of guy who can like girls and this new Terminator film I thought. But by the time we’d gotten to the final third and I’d spotted the big flopping dick of it’s CG reliant climax I realised that I’d made a huge mistake. I didn’t know what was going on. I was confused and I began to question if I’d even been that into it to start with.

That final third really is a huge problem though with Arnie frequently being replaced by his computerised double. The 80’s was known for it’s beefcake actors because it took place in a pre-CG world. These huge men with their steroid addled muscles and their presumably shrunken nut-sacks were the special effects of their movies. But here we see Arnie slide down the side of a huge dam in a sequence that’s so reliant on CG that you can see it dating before he reaches the ground. One of the coolest things that I’ve ever seen was in T2 in which he climbed across one moving vehicle and onto the front of the one behind. He then starting blasting the driver with a machine gun before tipping the vehicle and jumping to safety. Of course there were stunt-men involved with this, but the very fact that it was all done for real is what counts. Arnie is his own special effect and so if you then have to replace him with a pixelated-double then you don’t understand what made him so special in the first place. I also felt somewhat conflicted about the state of his character here who is living in the woods with a secret family. Admittedly Arnie having a secret family was one of the more believable aspects of this film. But he’s a machine. We’re told that, without a mission he began to learn, but that’s not how things work? If I stop using my calculator to add shit up with then it won’t get bored and adopt a fucking puppy to give its life purpose. 

I think that one of my other main issues in retrospect is in how it Alien 3’s a certain character that has previously been quite important to the series. If you’re watching this having just seen all five previous movies then perhaps that’ll feel like less of an issue but as a direct sequel to T2, I have to admit that I did feel considerably cheated. Almost as cheated as I would feel if I thought that I’d gotten onto Mackenzie Davies’s shag list only to discover that I was actually balls deep in Justin fucking Bieber. We’re also told that although Skynet, the original robot makers, were destroyed in T2 - another company just carried on and made some more of their own anyway. But we don’t know that we can win a war against these new Terminators from this new company in the way that we knew John Connor would win the war against Skynet. So it’s possible that although Sarah saved three billion people in the last film she has ultimately condemned humanity to a worse fate in the long run. Nobody seems to mention that, although if I was Sarah Connor I’d probably keep my fucking mouth shut about it too. Nor does anybody seem hugely shocked by how casually a new company decided to make it’s own killer robots after Skynet was destroyed. Isn’t this a pretty nihilistic idea that our species is destined to wipe itself out and that all resistance is futile? Because the gang seem to waft this idea away with about as much concern as a fart in a breeze. 

People are claiming that this film has gone back to the basics of the first two instalments, but Dark Fate’s story is far too convoluted for that to be true. There’s too much going on to match the simplicity of the first film and it moves way too fast for the characters to develop in the way that they did in the second. Imagine forcing a kid to repeatedly watch the first two films until they blend into one and then asking them to describe what they saw whilst on crack and that’s kind of what this one is like. Pretty sure I’ve just come up with a cool new podcast idea there too. I bet that if you forced a drugged up kid to watch all of David Lynch’s films until they merged into one then they might sum them up into some sort of meaningful and coherent narrative and we might all suddenly reach enlightenment. Maybe. But that’s not to say that there weren’t pleasures to be had here because I really did like the three central women despite the fact that they weren’t allowed to evolve beyond their archetypes. Plus it has officially erased the shitter sequels from the canon and so in the words of our modern day philosopher Justin Bieber, “For a big bang to create all this is more wild to think about than thinking about there being a God. Imagine putting a bunch of gold in a box, shaking up the box, and out comes a Rolex”. Well this film might not have been as good as a Rolex but nor was it as shit as the bollocks that Justin Bieber apparently comes out with. Thanks for reading motherfuckers, and see you next time.

No comments :

Post a Comment