Back Again and Again, by Tyler Smith
It was recently announced that the sixth Terminator film will be released in theaters on July 26, 2019. Paramount has also said that, along with Arnold Schwarzenegger, actress Linda Hamilton will be returning to play Sarah Connor. The whole thing will be produced by James Cameron, director of the first two films.
I’m sure somebody somewhere finds this news very exciting indeed. Sarah Connor is back! The original director is back! Arnold is… well, admittedly, Arnold never really left, but he’s back, too! Finally, a return to the quality of the first two films, right?
Well, maybe. But, like so many other things, all of this reeks of a studio’s desperate attempt to cash in on audience nostalgia. After Terminator Genisys failed to connect with audiences or critics, it was clearly decided that the studio should try to tap into the success of the original formula. The results might be good, or (more likely) perfunctory, hitting all the notes that audiences have come to expect (and hitting them hard).
Even in the capable hands of Tim Miller (Deadpool), it’s arguable whether or not anybody really cares about this franchise anymore. So many of the elements that made the original films so exciting – the time travel, the war with technology, the groundbreaking special effects – are no longer unique to this series. We’ve gotten interesting explorations of time travel from films like Looper, and the entire Matrix series is built around the impending technological apocalypse, beautifully realized with astonishing visual effects.
Like so many other series, it’s likely that most people enjoy the first and second film, but have very little interest in the subsequent entries. I predict that, despite the involvement of various contributors from the first films, the upcoming entry will be met with a shrug, as the genre elements that the original films helped revolutionize have rendered the series itself obsolete.