Woke Terminator doesn’t sell?
I think that Miller and company were hoping that the FBO (aka the China market) would make up for any shortfalls in the domestic box-office take.
As bad as it was, Gensys, actually did massive business in China, so it was probably hoped that that would hold true for Dark Fate. Turns out the People of the Han aren’t going to pay hard-earned money for Baizou preaching against border security.
This flick is a flop. Domestic opening weekend is $29 million against a budget of $200 million.
Going Soyboi did garner 70% positive reviews on RT. Which proves that critics (if they can be called that at all at this point) are reliable if uninteresting work-a-day whores for all things Woke. It’s not like anyone believes or listens to them at this point. Certainly no one sane takes their advice seriously and it clearly doesn’t translate into box-office gold.
I suspect this film started life as a decent enough idea.
Writer: Look, the Terminator franchise is hopelessly muddled. Each film makes things more confusing. Let’s just do a flat out remake. We’ll call the evil all-powerful AI; Legion instead of Skynet so the audience knows that this is a different world. And the girl, instead of being the Mother of the Savior of Humanity will be revealed in the last scene as the Savior herself.
Producer: Sounds tight! Let’s do lunch!
The project was greenlit and then disaster struck. Senior executives got involved. The fact that this film has EIGHT writing credits tells you that there were many, many cooks ruining this broth. “No! No! We have to shoehorn Arnold into this! Maybe Linda Hamilton too! Is she still alive?”
I have no idea who decided to make it Woke against the Border Patrol and I’m certain no one will take credit for that now.
The end product is a half-remake/half-reboot that doesn’t do either of those things all that well. In the opening five minutes, an Arnold Terminator kills John Connor. Boom. He is gone. Just like Newt and Hicks were at the start of Alien 3. What little connection any of the OG fans might have felt for this story is now as dead as Edward Furlong’s career. The guy that everyone was invested in, if indeed they were still invested at all, has been destroyed. All of Sarah’s fighting and suffering came to nothing in the end…because of cinematic incompetence.
After that Sarah Connor starts getting texts telling her where and when the next Terminator will appear. It turns out that Skynet sent back a shitload of them. All of them meant to attack John at various points in his life. She goes to that place and time and kills the Terminator. She is eventually told to where Dani Ramos (the new Savior) can be saved from a new and different Terminator. Then Sarah finds out that the source of her mysterious texts is the Arnold Terminator that killed her son, John Connor.
This is all impossibly convoluted and stupid.
Okay, so Skynet wasn’t taking any chances and sent back a ton of Terminators, not just the two. Clearly, Skynet has never heard of the Butterfly Effect. Or maybe it did and felt it had nothing to lose since it was about to be defeated anyway. Fair enough.
And apparently, every Terminator knew the exit point of every other Terminator because bad network security? Okay whatever, so when he was being lowered into the molten metal, why didn’t the Good Arnold say, “oh, wait there’s something you need to know.” Also, the humans in 2029 knew about the first two Terminators. Why didn’t they know about all the others? And how did the Arnold Terminator know about the one sent by Legion to kill Dani?
That was from another fucking timeline!
Cataline’s First Iron Law of Fiction: Once you set the rules for your universe you can never break them or your audience will loath you for it.
Cataline’s Second Iron Law of Fiction: If you outsmart the rules you set up, your audience will love you for it.
They didn’t even consider trying to follow their own rules.
There is nothing in this film that’s worth seeing. The action scenes are good but frankly if you want that, allow me to recommend The Raid.
James Cameron was allegedly involved in this but clearly, he wasn’t. I think what happened is that with the Fox merger, Disney now owns Avatar outright and a big part of Terminator. Mickey the Great and Terrible was probably wondering if he really wanted to throw money at a cold property like Avatar, in such large amounts. Cameron needs to be a cooperative good boy if that project is going to stay on track. As for the Terminator, if I was in his shoes, I would have given up on this firstborn child in despair years ago.
If they had gone ahead with the idea of a straight remake, they might have had something. But instead, the audience (all three of them) got to see a disjointed mess that went out of its way to shit on the entire basis of the franchise.
On the subject of Arnold and Linda. It wasn’t just that they were too old for their parts. The new actors needed to shine, they needed to be the stars of the show and they couldn’t do that with so much screen time being given to these geezers. Lastly, making the ICE a bunch of inhuman monsters was idiotic. When you go political, you are deleting forty to sixty percent of your potential audience. That is the sheerest stupidity when you have to make $400 million just to break even.
Hopefully, with this latest and most abject of failures, the Terminator franchise will finally be put to rest.