Terminator it became one of the most important franchises in science fiction. This is due to his reflections on destructive human nature. The film positioned Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton among the greatest references of the genre. The same for its director, James Cameron as one of the great creatives of all time. But not everything has been perfect, as it is also one of the sagas most affected by the continuous transfer of its rights.
From original classics to movies that fell short of the exterminating legacy, we ranked every Terminator movie.
Terminator: Salvation (Dir. McG, 2009)
Upon receipt of The rebellion of the machines, The Salvation it was seen as the perfect opportunity to return the franchise to the top. The film would take the story to directions never explored, leaving behind time travel to focus squarely on the war against machines; reflections seemed guaranteed with Marcus Wright. An interesting cast consisting of Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard and Helena Bonham Carter seemed to give life to the saga beyond Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But his efforts failed miserably with a story that sacrificed reflections by leaning toward action (and spoilers) during the promotional campaign. There was an inability to detach from fan service with an excess of tributes. The T-800 digitized to replicate the appearance of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger is a perfect example. We must also comment on the scandal of its wasted protagonist with a member of the crew, being the last stone that buried the film.
The first and last exploration of the war against machines led nowhere. Rather, it seemed to leave the franchise in an indefinite stalemate.
Terminator Genesis (Dir. Alan Taylor, 2015)
The disaster of The Salvation forced the franchise to return to its original bases. This involves new temporary trips from Kyle Reese. With the peculiarity that this time he would be accompanied by a young Sarah Connor who was well aware of the threat thanks to an exterminator who took care of her from an early age.
As expected, the nature of the story involved numerous references. Some sequences virtually identical to the original film were included. All this was useful for the fan service, but not to capture the essence of the first installments. The action sequences were exciting but lacking in real impact; the production again destroyed the twist by advancing the conversion of John Connor; Jai Courtney portraying a soulless Kyle Reese; while Emilia Clarke’s efforts to portray Linda Hamilton’s coldness failed, the reason? His relationship with the exterminator ‘Pops’ could never emulate the fatherly chemistry achieved by Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger in T2.
A funny film whose greatest merit was to move the franchise back to its bases. But it fell far short of the brilliant reflections achieved by James Cameron in 1984 and 1991.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Dir. Jonathan Mostow, 2003)
The absence of James Cameron and Linda Hamilton, as well as the replacement of Edward Furlong led him to be considered the beginning of the debacle for the franchise. It is inferior to its predecessors in every way. The addition of Kate Brewster feels forced, as does the absence of Sarah Connor. As for the Terminatrix, it never feels as threatening as previous Terminators, its annihilation almost seems too easy. Even more serious was that the reasons why the day of the trial could never be avoided were never explained. Keep in mind that only the survival of Schwarzenegger’s battered robotic arm had to be remembered in The final judgement (1991).
However, a lot of his negative reviews really stem from his less than hopeful plot, with a T-800 turning John Connor’s humanity into a weakness to get rid of. An unexpected outcome that eventually led to the dreaded war against machines. Time has done it justice because, although these decisions remain controversial, they are also considered logical for a plot that ran the risk of becoming repetitive.
More importantly, they are seen as a reflection of a world that changed dramatically in the twelve years since the second installment and that was mired in constant fear of annihilation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Terminator: Dark Fate (Dir. Tim Miller, 2019)
It took almost two decades for the Terminator to meet again with James Cameron, whose main goal was to rescue a franchise in free fall. Beyond the obvious similarities to the first installments, this reinvention of the canon works thanks to its understanding of the original essence. Which can be felt in the characters of Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Linda, a woman whose constant fight “for John” will give him the opportunity to rescue his humanity. Arnold, a murderous machine whose pursuit of purpose enables him to understand the complexity of our species. The plot unfolds to continue the dilemmas started in The Last Judgment. The addition of Mackenzie Davis as an augmented woman opens up new debates about human nature in an increasingly technological world.
Finally, recurring criticism of a species whose innate violence seems to condemn it to annihilation no matter how many times the future is changed. If the film falls short of the first two installments, it is due to the lukewarm work of Natalia Reyes, who never manages to catch up with her three co-stars. It is also necessary to point out the untapped issues with migration, an issue that afflicts the contemporary world so much. It fulfilled in many respects, but it is still far from the original greatness.
Terminator 2: The Last Judgment (Dir. James Cameron, 1991)
Few sequels can boast a similar or even higher level than the original film, with The Last Judgment being one of them. This was possible thanks to the fact that, although the original premise was repeated with temporary trips that would define the course of the future war against machines. James Cameron altered the mission of the T-800 by making it the eternal guardian of young John Connor, a decision that in addition to being moving, resulted in important reflections on human nature.
To this we add the spectacular visual effects, which left behind the artisan stop-motion of the original to lean towards the revolutionary CGI for the creation of the T-1000 metamorph. A decisive decision for the popularization of the technique and that it was so well orchestrated by the always perfectionist filmmaker that it remains convincing several decades away. It would be number one on the list, if it were not for the fact that it faces a true classic that marked a before and after in the cinema.
Terminator (Dir. James Cameron, 1984)
Time travel and the rebellion of the machines are common premises in science fiction, which acquired new verve when they were merged in Terminator. The film explores a fierce hunt started from the future and with which artificial intelligence tries to prevent a woman from conceiving the son destined to become the leader of the human rebellion in the coming war.
An elaborate plot that could have been disastrous in the wrong hands, but was brilliant in James Cameron’s, resulting in one of the great movie classics of all time. Thus becoming one of the most important franchises in recent years, with one of the most iconic characters in sci-fi. Also of note is the most iconic role of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was originally cast for the role of Kyle Reese.
Special mention for his phrase “I’ll be back”, which was almost eliminated due to the difficulties of the Austrian to pronounce it, ended up becoming one of the most emblematic of celluloid and a recurring promise of a franchise that has managed to stay on its feet. despite recent stumbles, being as invincible as an exterminator.
The entry Terminator: movies from worst to best was published first in Cinema PREMIERE.