Hollywood has seemed incapable of much originality for, well, a decade or two now. The latest example: they’re going back for one more dip into the Terminator franchise trough with the sixth (?) installment of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic due for release in November.
But red flags are already waving prominently ahead of the Terminator re-boot. Terminator fans aren’t encouraged by what they call a ho-hum trailer and unimpressive CGI effects. Dark Fate’ release and the movie’s makers are blaming misogyny for the early criticism, not their own story choices.
Obviously, like most Terminator flicks, the movie will rely heavily on gunplay. Yet judging by the trailer and other promotional material so far, the film’s producers seem more interested in appealing to the “woke” social justice warriors of the world than getting the gun angle right.
Take, for instance, the promo photo above. Here it is in full resolution glory.
It depicts what appears to be a smoking, dystopian, apocalyptic hellscape. Yet the woman on the left — the new version of John Conner — wears…earrings. Because, you know, fashion. Carry a gun for survival? Nah.
And she doesn’t seem to have a single thing in the pockets of her cargo pants. Then again, none of them do. She does have brand-new creases in those cargos though! The GAP store must have been just outside the picture frame.
Then there’s the androgynous-looking soldier-from-the-future in the middle who must have spent a couple of months in the gym to prep for the role. Or maybe someone spent a few hours photoshopping.
Instead of carrying a gun, the current equivalent of Kyle Reese packs a clean length of rebar. If that was real 1 3/8″ rebar, it would weigh better than 20 pounds and have rust on it unless it just left the factory. Seriously, does a 20-pound, 4-foot stick of rebar make for a great weapon against a nearly indomitable terminator, even with the benefit of modern CGI?
We’ve saved the best for last. Sixty-two-year-old Linda Hamilton, the original bad-ass Sarah Connor, has that weathered, survivor look about her. And she’s obviously she followed Creepy Joe Biden’s advice to “buy a shotgun.”
Among other weapons, the heavily-armed Hamilton’s carrying a three-shot, short-barrelled shotgun with a pistol grip. As anyone who has fired a pistol-grip shotgun knows, they are about as enjoyable as a trip to the dentist who’s fresh out of novocaine.
And ol’ Linda also sports some nice, bright and shiny 3-inch magnum 12 gauge reloads on that (brand new) thigh rig. I’m a 6′ 190-pound guy who can easily bench my weight, and the last time I shot a 3″ magnum out of my full-size Mossberg 590 I almost dropped the gun.
Firing a 3-inch magnum shell from a pistol-gripped shortie shotgun would probably wreck my wrist, assuming I could maintain my grip on the gun at all. A 62-year-old actress? Yeah, right.
Unless she’s a body-builder or Crossfit trainer (and she does look ripped for her age), if she fired that combination at the shooting range she would scream like a schoolgirl. Meanwhile the gun would have a new set of scratches (character!) from skittering across the ground.
And her gear…have the producers of this move even seen Terminator 2? You’d think they would at least drag the props through the dust a little and roll her around on the ground to dirty things up a bit. Once again, Hamilton looks well-weathered, as she should. But her gear and clothes? Not so much. Not at all, in fact. But when you care more about making your film “woke” than real or entertaining, maybe you don’t notice these things.
Into Hamilton’s new chest rig, they’ve stuffed a Chiappa revolver, a strong contender for the world’s ugliest revolver, into a couple of loops. Why? Maybe because the “woke” don’t use modern, high-capacity semi-autos. Those are dangerous!
Or real holsters, for that matter. In a carbine class I attended way back when, Pat Rogers referred to inadvertently losing your gear on the range as feeding the range bunnies. And this non-holster carrying rig in which Hamilton packs her pistol doesn’t secure it.
That Chiappa would end up on the ground after anything more strenuous than a mild jog. In fact, I’m not sure she could go to the bathroom without that revolver slipping out of that rig and feeding the range bunnies. That’s not a mistake the real Sarah Connor would make.
But then again, given how clean their clothes look, aside from the photoshopped dirt on the middle woman’s tank top, they clearly haven’t done anything exerting ahead of that photo shoot.
But the publicity photo serves as only the first red flag on this film. The maker says he’s making the flick for “the enlightened.” His words, not mine.
As IndieWire makes clear, the industry press is trying to provide cover:
Tim Miller Says ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Will ‘Scare the F*ck’ Out of Misogynistic Internet Trolls
Major movie franchises such as “Ghostbusters” and “Star Wars” have been targeted by misogynistic internet trolls in recent years for prominently featuring female characters in leading roles. James Cameron’s “Terminator” franchise has long been dominated by one of cinema’s greatest female characters, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), and the upcoming reboot “Terminator: Dark Fate” triples down on leading women by casting Hamilton opposite Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes.
Trolls started bashing the film the minute Paramount debuted key art depicting all three women together. For director Tim Miller, that misogynistic backlash is meaningless.
Miller, who broke out in Hollywood after directing “Deadpool,” recently spoke with Variety ahead of bringing “Terminator: Dark Fate” to Comic-Con later this month. The filmmaker said Mackenzie’s cyborg character Grace will be enough to get misogynistic internet trolls shaking in their boots.
“If you’re at all enlightened, she’ll play like gangbusters. If you’re a closet misogynist, she’ll scare the f*ck out of you, because she’s tough and strong but very feminine,” Miller said. “We did not trade certain gender traits for others; she’s just very strong, and that frightens some dudes. You can see online the responses to some of the early shit that’s out there, trolls on the internet. I don’t give a f*ck.”
If the trailer and publicity shot coupled with promises to “scare the f*ck out of misogynistic Internet trolls” are any indicators, this get-woke “thriller” is headed for the same, uh, dark fate as Lady Ghostbusters.
And will have nothing to do with misogyny.