In a move that inspires no confidence for a film that I have very little in already, one name director McG (the pretentious shortening of Joseph McGinty Nichol) has been named as director of the upcoming Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.
Can you guess by now that I am no fan of the work of this guy?
While some music video directors have made the transition to feature films admirably, McG’s work on the two Charlie’s Angels film show nothing but the grossest of indulgences in all the visual excess of music video and with no sense of understanding of storytelling structure.
Compounding this, is the fact that storytelling-wise, there is no reason for any Terminator sequels past franchise creator James Cameron’s Terminator 2. Not that that ever stopped Hollywood before, it’s just that Cameron’s two films work so well together and wrap up the story they started neatly. Some franchises are designed to continue, with a protagonist or antagonist whose continued recurrence makes sense within the rules established in the series. But the setup of the first Terminator film was paid off adroitly in the second film, tying up all loose ends by preventing the wartorn future from which Arnold Scwarzenegger’s emotionless killing robot came from.
While I realize that it is an obvious thing to say that anything else is just a cynical cash grab and I’m not naive enough to think that Hollywood usually operates on a higher moral plane than this, I still wish that sometimes saner heads would prevail in some of the boardrooms in Los Angeles. Cameron’s two Terminator films are much loved in fandom. McG is not. Some studio heads may find that come 2009, they may have been trying to milk the wrong cow.