In 1984, James Cameron unleashed a sci-fi action masterpiece upon the world with Terminator, starring Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film’s success led to a sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which surpassed its predecessor both critically and financially. However, the franchise has since spiraled into a mess, with the latest installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, underperforming at the box office. Let’s explore how Dark Fate contributed to the downfall of the once-iconic franchise.
Fans Grew Weary of the Rehashed Terminator Storyline
Terminator: Dark Fate followed a familiar formula: a Terminator is sent back in time to protect the chosen one from a deadly robotic assassin. This narrative has been recycled in nearly every installment, and audiences have grown tired of the repetitive plot. The franchise desperately needs a fresh take to rekindle interest.
Feminist Themes Failed to Resonate with Audiences
While not as overt as in films like Charle’s Angels or Birds of Prey and the Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Dark Fate incorporated feminist themes that may have alienated some viewers. The film’s decision to kill off John Connor, a central character in the franchise, was particularly controversial. While there’s nothing wrong with strong female characters, the film’s feminist message may have deterred potential viewers.
Interest in the Franchise Waned After Terminator: Genisys
Terminator: Dark Fate wasn’t solely responsible for the franchise’s decline; each film after Judgment Day contributed to its downfall. The quality of the films steadily decreased, culminating in the critically panned Terminator Genisys. The diminishing box office returns for the franchise mirror those of the Transformers series, which also suffered from a decline in quality. The return of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor in Dark Fate was a smart move, but it wasn’t enough to save the film. While not a terrible movie, Dark Fate failed to stand out among its predecessors. If another Terminator film is ever made, it must offer a fresh and engaging story to revive the franchise.
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