I Could Do It Better: Terminator Sequel

“I could do it better.” It’s a thought people across history have when faced with something they deem inadequate. Famous minds have had this moment when they looked at technology that could be vastly improved, or lived in a political system that they felt was backwards. I on the other hand recently had this moment when I look at a story about killer robots from the future traveling back in time. Really, we all have this when we look at something like a film that we deem to be bad. It’s like people expect to be given a comment like, “well, what would you do better,” and start creating some idea to present in front of the class. So here is my presentation on how I would tackle a sequel to the Terminator film series.

When I looked at all the trailers, and media surrounding Terminator Genisys, I was shocked at how this latest attempt to revive the franchise felt more boring than the last two sequels of the series. The film throw away the continuity from the previous films using time travel in a similar fashion to the Star Trek reboot. Yet despite having the chance to do something different, the film instead tries to pander to Terminator fans with recreated moments from the first two Terminator films along with its catchphrases. “I’ll be back” was a memorable quote from the original film, but the line is not what made the film good, nor should catchphrases like that define an entire series. It’s the cynical nature of pushing nostalgia over creating an actual story that has made me uninterested in giving the latest film a chance. That’s why my first task as the hypothetical person in charge of the Terminator series would be to rely less on nostalgia. That means none of the catchphrases would make it in the film, and Schwarzenegger would not be cast as a major character in the film.

I know that many see the Terminator films as a franchise that is not interesting without Arnold front and center, but I don’t think that he is what the films are truly about. I always saw the first two films as a larger story about Sarah Connor stopping Skynet from its latest attempt to commence Judgment Day more than a movie about a Schwarzenegger robot shooting people. Arnold was fun to watch in the first two movies, but that was back when he was in his prime as a young action star. Seeing him again in a Terminator film just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s like if a director tried to remake Home Alone and casted Macaulay Culkin as 10 year old Kevin McCallister.

As for my story idea for a Terminator sequel, I’m interested in a sequel to Terminator 2 that isn’t just the moment when Skynet takes over the world, or Sarah Connor tackling one new T-whatever model that has the latest iPod in its head. Instead, I’d like to see Skynet get serious about getting rid of Connor family by sending a squad of Terminators to take them out for good. They would essentially be the A-Team (T-Team?) of Skynet, that would have different skill sets that complimented each other. Perhaps one is great at brute strength, while another has an AI system intelligent enough to blend in with human beings. I cannot think of who would be cast for each member of the crew, but I can only think of one actor who deserves to play the leader of said kill squad, and that’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He has plenty of charisma and muscles to be a great fit as an evil robot. This would lead into a series of intense fight scenes that would require the Connor family to have assistance either from officers in the area that get mixed in the crossfire or from contacts Sarah gained over the years that provided her with weapons. This would all lead to a finale that basically sets up the backbones for an anti-terminator group that could eventually become the resistance organization that John Connor leads in the hypothetical doomed future.

That’s my basic story idea for how I would like to see Terminator progress. To be honest though, I’m perfectly fine with the idea of just leaving the series alone. There are already two great films in the series, and I don’t really think there should be more. The Rock should still be a killer robot in a movie though.