I just recently played and finished The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The gameplay was intuitive, the mystery was intriguing, and the pacing was near perfect. It is also a very beautiful game. The visuals are simply breathtaking and I found myself coming across many gorgeous vistas. When I laid my eyes on these beautiful scenes, I had the urge to pull out a camera and just snap some photos, much like I do when I go hiking. Of course, I was playing a video game, and I couldn’t just grab a camera to take a quick photo.
Or could I?
In a previous feature I published, I looked at why all the Terminator films released after Terminator 2: Judgement Day have failed to capture the essence of the once great franchise. The conclusion I came too was that the sequels lacked the complex character interactions and thought-provoking themes of the James Cameron-directed films. However, that is certainly not the only conclusion that could be made. Here I am going to play devil’s advocate and argue that the Terminator sequels aren’t really all that bad; we simply hold them to an incredibly high, possibly unrealistic, standards.
There is no question about it, the first two Terminator films are timeless classics. They were both hugely successful financially and critically. They often make appearances on lists of top action films of all time. The films are also favorites among movie buffs and have cemented themselves in the annals of pop culture. “Come with me if you want to live,” “I’ll be back,” “Get out,” are seemingly simple lines that these two films immortalized. Finally, let’s not forget that they were directed by James Cameron, a living legend among filmmakers and arguably the most successful director of all time. The top two grossing films ever made were both directed by Cameron.
Needless to say, the bar was set very high for the franchise, perhaps too high. Could the Terminator sequels ever live up?