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James Cameron's thoughts on Terminator Salvation, McG and Ridley Scott

JamesCameron.jpgJames Cameron has been talking rather candidly about the latest Terminator film, Terminator Salvation and its director McG. As well as that he's talked about what he thinks Ridley Scott is doing with his career, and it's the wrong thing.

You have to admire Cameron for his outspoken views, and how he's totally on the money, especially talking about Ridley's recent films. Get back to science fiction he says.

Okay, let's leap straight into the big opener, what did he actually think of Terminator Salvation (Filmstalker review), after all this is the man who started the Terminator franchise.

”It didn’t quite have the emotional power that it should have had. I thought Sam was great, very powerful, and Christian… people have criticised him for being one-note but that’s part of the character. He was playing a guy who’s furiously dedicated to the survival of the human species. Maybe more could have been done with that. In T2 we showed the consequences. It drove Sarah insane.”

Well that's about what I expected from the man, I didn't really think he'd just go to town on him for the film, and I have to say that the second viewing and the additional extras I'm working through (yes I watch every single one, no copying, no skimping) the film holds up really well, and my disappointment at some of the aspects has waned somewhat.

However if there was going to be a strong critic, even if he is going to be civil, it's going to be the man who started it all and has watched it go south time after time, that's James Cameron.

I see what he's saying about Christian Bale, but if you look at a lot of his films he really is playing the same character time and time again, and when the film mixes it up then it's enough to keep things interesting, but otherwise we're seeing the same character once again. In Terminator Salvation that character works well.

Filmonic has the comments from the man from Total Film Magazine and he doesn't stop there, he starts talking about what he thought of McG's work on the film, and this is the surprising bit of it all.

”McG’s a strong shooter and he honoured the iconic touchstones of the first two movies – almost too much. I actually felt Salvation is like Aliens, in that it’s a fan making a sequel to a movie they loved.”

I agree with him. It is missing some heart, something a bit deeper with the story. It plays out and tells the story but it doesn't go deep enough into the characters or the situation they find themselves in. There's a lot of acceptance of events in the story, but it's still a good film I think.

Then, on a tangent, they have Cameron talking about Ridley Scott and that Alien prequel, and this is really where Cameron sounds like a fan, saying things that we fans would.

”That’s a strange move for him. I mean, Ridley and I talked over lunch maybe 10 years ago and I said, 'Look, I’ll write it and produce it, you direct it, it’ll ****ing kick ass!' And he was like, 'Yeah, let’s do it!' And nothing happened. And then they did Alien vs. Predator, and that kind of pissed in the soup. I think Ridley really should do science fiction. He made the two most iconic science-fiction films of the 20th century. When he came to visit me [on the set of Avatar] I said to him, 'Quit ****ing around with these wine movies in the south of France, make another science fiction film.' And he saw the technique we were using and got all fired up about it. He turned to his producer and said, 'Why am I doing this Robin Hood? I should be doing science fiction!'”

I think there are a few “and”'s in there without capital letters, but aside from that he's got a damn big point there hasn't he? What is it with the films that Scott is making, skirting round the great ones that he made and all the time we're here wanting to see more, and we just don't get it. Now that we do we're all scared it's just not going to be what the original was.

I wonder if the time for this has passed. Perhaps when Cameron spoke to Scott that was the chance to get it made and get it made right, and that now it's just all too late.



He certainly knows his stuff!


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