The Terminator franchise is one of the most well-known sci-fi action movie franchises of all time. It blew everyone away with its creative storytelling, amazing action, and groundbreaking visual effects, at a time when CGI wasn’t too widely used. Legendary director James Cameron directed and co-produced the initial two films of the series, handing the reigns to other directors for the subsequent films. The films beyond the first two did not receive as much positive reception, but still ranged from excellent to average in terms of quality. The first two films, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, were a massive sensation among moviegoers and created a watershed moment in film history, just like The Matrix and Star Wars franchises.
The Terminator cemented the career of both James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Cameron came to be known in Hollywood as a gifted and innovative director, while actor Arnold Schwarzenegger became a household name and an exemplary action star. Pop culture took notice of everyone involved with the films and the franchise was commercially successful and critically lauded worldwide. The action scenes were some of the most realistic in movies at the time, the storytelling was fantastic, and the films touched on complex sci-fi themes, such as time travel, artificial intelligence, and a dystopian future. Hence, it had a wide range of appeal among the general populace.
Decades later, the model T-1000 and the special effects look just as good, which is testament to the sheer brilliance of the first movie. The same can be said of the narrative, which is very engaging and entertaining. After the sequel was announced, the second film was heavily marketed before release and also managed to achieve raging success. Subsequent films in the franchise, especially from the fourth film onwards, did not perform as well, hence future projects have been canceled until any further interest is re-ignited within the producers. The rise and decline of the Terminator franchise has been bittersweet, as it has been a source of entertainment and artful action storytelling in Hollywood. It is a fusion of classic action and timeless sci-fi themes, and is a must-watch for anyone.