James Cameron is currently riding high as Avatar: The Way of Water has passed a billion worldwide. However, not all of Cameron’s projects turned out to be profitable, which brings us to Terminator: Dark Fate. Though the Oscar winner wasn’t the director, Cameron was very hands-on with the project overall. Unfortunately, Dark Fate was just another “Terminator returns to kill the chosen one” plot line with a different character. The film ultimately bombed, despite the return of Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger in their iconic roles.
Now, James Cameron has given his thoughts on why he felt that Terminator: Dark Fate crashed and burned, “I think what happened is I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it,” Cameron said. “I think it could have survived having Arnold in it, but when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60-something, he’s 70-something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie, it wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator, it was your granddad’s Terminator movie. And we didn’t see that.”
Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger Weren’t The Problems
Bringing back Arnold and Linda wasn’t the problem. At this point, audiences were simply tired of the same old story with the Terminator movies. The only film to truly deviate from the original premise is Terminator: Salvation. However, even that film doesn’t meet the standards that Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day set. The thing is, Sarah Connor and the T-800 were the most interesting parts of the film. Why? Because of the meaningless death of John Connor. That’s one of the more frustrating issues with Dark Fate. John Connor died without any true substance or motive behind it. We never followed Sarah’s mental state after she failed to save her son. Following the mysterious signals that led her to find different Terminators could’ve been a fun and compelling thrill ride. It was all to serve a purpose for female empowerment, honestly.
Dark Fate has an intriguing story with Sarah Connor and she should’ve been the protagonist. Wasting Linda Hamilton’s return as a side character overshadowed Dani’s story. It’s bad enough that she’s the new John Connor in a recycled plotline, but there’s nothing interesting about Dani at all. There’s a compelling nugget about Grace’s character, but the plot doesn’t give that the attention it deserves.
John Connor, Sarah Connor, and The T-800 Are Iconic Characters That Weren’t Treated With Respect
The T-800 giving Sarah that device was also an interesting concept. Arnold’s character developed human understanding back in Judgment Day. It would’ve been great to get further evolution on his thought process in Dark Fate. Perhaps we could’ve gotten more information on the new network that’s sending these Terminators back in time? After all, the T-800 died in T2, so who built another one? Why is he settling down in a quiet home and trying to live a peaceful family life? There are a lot of compelling layers that could’ve seen another Sarah Connor/T-800 feature, but that was all thrown to the side for no good reason.
John Connor, Sarah Connor, and the T-800 are all iconic characters, so it’s important to treat them with respect. Terminator: Dark Fate didn’t. They needlessly killed off the central figure of the entire franchise and didn’t even bother trying to explore his death even further. To be honest, Terminator: Dark Fate was dead the moment news came out that John Connor was dying. There could’ve been a way to celebrate the legacy of his character, but Grace’s line about stupid men revealed the film’s true intentions. Sorry James, it wasn’t the fact that both Linda and Arnold returned to the film at the same time. It was the fact that Terminator: Dark Fate spit on the legacy of the franchise.
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