New Terminator travels back in time to stop other Terminator films from being made

A poster boy of the pathology of "sequelitis" in Hollywood is the Terminator series.  Back in the day (1984), the first Terminator movie was innovative – the idea of a giant, musclebound android from the future transported into our present to kill someone who would be important in the fight against the androids in the future.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, the evil android, didn't  have much to say in this film, but he didn't need to.  (You can see all 65 words of his dialogue here, from "Nice night for a walk" to "Get out!")

Terminator II: Judgment Day (1993) was much the same, but it turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into a good android to fight an evil android from the future.

The three sequels after that were lackluster.  Terminator III: Rise of the Machines once again featured Arnold (a good android) fighting an evil android, with the only difference being that this time, the evil android was a woman, and the film, the first in the series not made by James Cameron, was like a bad fan film remake of Terminator II.

Terminator 4 ("Terminator: Salvation") was not derivative.  It tried to be original.  The problem is that it failed.  Taking place in the future, after the war with the androids had begun, it featured Christian Bale fighting the androids and Sam Worthington playing a man who is an android but does not realize he is an android.  Neither actor has any charisma, and Bale spoke in a monotonous monotone.  The characters were uninteresting and the plot ridiculous.  It was the only Terminator film not featuring Arnold, who was acting out another role in Sacramento, that of liberal Republican governor.

Terminator 5 ("Terminator Genisys") was perhaps the most derivative of the Terminator films, actually re-enacting scenes from the first two films.  It was supposed to be nostalgic, but it came across as unimaginative.  The film starred Arnold and Emilia Clarke, of Game of Thrones fame, although here she is largely unrecognizable because her character is a brunette and wears clothes most of the time.  Arnold himself is badly showing signs of age; Emilia calls him "Pops," and he wears a ridiculous white wig.  Any time a character has to be called "Pops," it's clear that the actor is getting a little too old for his role.

But wait: Arnold is coming back, again, for Terminator 6.  The film, to be directed by James Cameron, who made the first two, is said to undo the events of all films after the second one.  In effect, the film is going back in time to erase all the horrible sequels after Terminator II.

Arnold will be joined by his Terminator II co-star, Linda Hamilton.  Arnold will play an android who looks 70 years old, and Linda will play a sexy 61-year-old resistance leader.  Any time the two main leads are old enough to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, you know there's going to be trouble.

Evidently, the movie-makers recognize this, so they are introducing a newer, younger evil android and a newer, younger resistance leader.  The actor playing the resistance leader hasn't been announced yet but will undoubtedly be a very talented non-white male.  The newer, younger evil android will of course be played by a woman, Mackenzie Davis. Villains are just about the last acting roles available to white men, but in this case, the villain is fantastically strong and so must be played by a female.

The point is, this series has been done to death.  How many more stories can they write about stopping an evil android from the future who has come into our present to kill someone?  How many more stories can they write about fighting androids in the future in a Mad Max-style wasteland?

And why do they feel they have to bring 70-year-old Arnold back, given how poorly Terminator Genisys did?  Can audiences really suspend disbelief and think a 70-year-old man is an android?

James Cameron is returning to direct, and he was brilliant in his day, but really – Avatar?  Just like George Lucas, Cameron's brilliance has come and passed.

Why can't Hollywood produce an original movie with androids?  Surely Terminator can't be the only compelling story to tell.

The answer may be seen in the HBO series Westworld.  Very loosely based on the groundbreaking movie of the same name, the series takes an original direction, exploring how androids feel when they learn that they aren't human.  It's boring, it's slow, and not much happens, but it does have the requisite amount of nudity and violence HBO viewers have come to expect.

Perhaps, then, that is the real explanation for sequelitis: because Hollywood is simply incapable of coming up with original, entertaining stories.

What do you think?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.

A poster boy of the pathology of "sequelitis" in Hollywood is the Terminator series.  Back in the day (1984), the first Terminator movie was innovative – the idea of a giant, musclebound android from the future transported into our present to kill someone who would be important in the fight against the androids in the future.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, the evil android, didn't  have much to say in this film, but he didn't need to.  (You can see all 65 words of his dialogue here, from "Nice night for a walk" to "Get out!")

Terminator II: Judgment Day (1993) was much the same, but it turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into a good android to fight an evil android from the future.

The three sequels after that were lackluster.  Terminator III: Rise of the Machines once again featured Arnold (a good android) fighting an evil android, with the only difference being that this time, the evil android was a woman, and the film, the first in the series not made by James Cameron, was like a bad fan film remake of Terminator II.

Terminator 4 ("Terminator: Salvation") was not derivative.  It tried to be original.  The problem is that it failed.  Taking place in the future, after the war with the androids had begun, it featured Christian Bale fighting the androids and Sam Worthington playing a man who is an android but does not realize he is an android.  Neither actor has any charisma, and Bale spoke in a monotonous monotone.  The characters were uninteresting and the plot ridiculous.  It was the only Terminator film not featuring Arnold, who was acting out another role in Sacramento, that of liberal Republican governor.

Terminator 5 ("Terminator Genisys") was perhaps the most derivative of the Terminator films, actually re-enacting scenes from the first two films.  It was supposed to be nostalgic, but it came across as unimaginative.  The film starred Arnold and Emilia Clarke, of Game of Thrones fame, although here she is largely unrecognizable because her character is a brunette and wears clothes most of the time.  Arnold himself is badly showing signs of age; Emilia calls him "Pops," and he wears a ridiculous white wig.  Any time a character has to be called "Pops," it's clear that the actor is getting a little too old for his role.

But wait: Arnold is coming back, again, for Terminator 6.  The film, to be directed by James Cameron, who made the first two, is said to undo the events of all films after the second one.  In effect, the film is going back in time to erase all the horrible sequels after Terminator II.

Arnold will be joined by his Terminator II co-star, Linda Hamilton.  Arnold will play an android who looks 70 years old, and Linda will play a sexy 61-year-old resistance leader.  Any time the two main leads are old enough to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, you know there's going to be trouble.

Evidently, the movie-makers recognize this, so they are introducing a newer, younger evil android and a newer, younger resistance leader.  The actor playing the resistance leader hasn't been announced yet but will undoubtedly be a very talented non-white male.  The newer, younger evil android will of course be played by a woman, Mackenzie Davis. Villains are just about the last acting roles available to white men, but in this case, the villain is fantastically strong and so must be played by a female.

The point is, this series has been done to death.  How many more stories can they write about stopping an evil android from the future who has come into our present to kill someone?  How many more stories can they write about fighting androids in the future in a Mad Max-style wasteland?

And why do they feel they have to bring 70-year-old Arnold back, given how poorly Terminator Genisys did?  Can audiences really suspend disbelief and think a 70-year-old man is an android?

James Cameron is returning to direct, and he was brilliant in his day, but really – Avatar?  Just like George Lucas, Cameron's brilliance has come and passed.

Why can't Hollywood produce an original movie with androids?  Surely Terminator can't be the only compelling story to tell.

The answer may be seen in the HBO series Westworld.  Very loosely based on the groundbreaking movie of the same name, the series takes an original direction, exploring how androids feel when they learn that they aren't human.  It's boring, it's slow, and not much happens, but it does have the requisite amount of nudity and violence HBO viewers have come to expect.

Perhaps, then, that is the real explanation for sequelitis: because Hollywood is simply incapable of coming up with original, entertaining stories.

What do you think?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.