Unnecessary Sequels – Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
James Cameron – franchise creator and director of T1 & T2 – was in supposed talks for a T3 many times after Terminator 2 was released in 1991. In 1997 T2 developer, Carolco Pictures went bankrupt forcing the sale of their 50% hold on the Terminator franchise rights. Surprisingly enough, they were purchased back by Carolco founders Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna. Gale Ann Hurd still held the remaining rights having acquired them for $1.00 from Cameron in the 80’s. She eventually sold her share to Kassar and Vajna in 1998 (I can guarantee you it wasn’t for $1.00).
Having full rights to Terminator Kassar and Vajna then founded C2 Pictures in 1999 – which is also no longer around – and began work on getting T3 out. They lined up over $160 Million Dollars in financing from Warner Bros, Tokyo distributor Toho-Towa and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Their only condition was that Arnold Schwarzenegger had to sign back on to play the T-800. This left Schwarzenegger in an excellent position to demand an outrageous paycheck, which he got without hesitation. Something to the tune of $29.25 million guaranteed, 20 percent of the gross receipts and basically full control of the production.
Released July 2nd, 2003, T3 picks up after the events of Terminator 2 and we see that August 29th, 1997 has passed without a Judgement Day. John Connor now lives off the grid as a Drifter (Okay, he’s a homeless bum). Connor is convinced that the war will still occur even though the date has come and gone. Apparently he is right because Skynet has now sent back a Terminatrix – aka sexy Terminator – to assassinate the future officers of the human resistance as well the second-in-command Kate Brewster, John Connor’s wife. For some reason, all of these officers live in Los Angeles within driving distance of each other. How lucky and convenient for the Terminatrix right? The resistance has also sent back another T-800, who protects Kate and John as they attempt to defeat the Terminatrix.
T3 drained the soul out of the Terminator franchise and spit out some over budgeted, under talented sci-fi comedy that desperately wants to become a parody film. Director Johnathon Mostow did to Terminator what Joel Schumacher did to Batman. One of the biggest problems was the casting choices. Nick Stahl as John Connor was a terrible choice and totally unrelatable to the character that Edward Furlong created. At some point, John Connor apparently went from being cool to some sort of scared little girly man who couldn’t win a tickle fight. Claire Danes is one of the most annoying people in Hollywood, her constant overacting is at times too much to watch. The movie was essentially a PG-13 flick as well, it seems like they forced an R rating just to make fans happy.
Why did we need this to be made? Why can’t we just let franchises end on a high note? If you are going to make it then how hard can it be to make an excellent sequel to an established franchise? All the pieces are laid out in front of you, all you have to do is arrange them correctly. I’m sure most Terminator fans can think of some great storylines that would have capped off the series. Maybe some of the fans should be involved in writing these kinds of movies? We can return back the subject of awful Terminator films when Terminator Genisys is released in July. I’ve already written a review on Genisys just from the trailer alone, which ruined my week when I first saw it and has continued to haunt me.
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What’s your opinion on Terminator 3? What would you have done differently? Sound off in the comments and thanks for reading!