The event itself is simple, we would describe it as a pop-up structure roadshow-style expo event but the question is… is it actually any good?
The entrance/outer structure itself is quite impressive mainly due to the gigantic Endoskeleton Arm looming next to the doorway, what Terminator Fan wouldn’t be able to appreciate or resist a giant Endoskeleton arm? We would have trouble finding one that is for sure! As you can also see there are some plasma screens (probably not in the 40 watt range) pumping some Terminator branded videos and imagery to spark interest and intrigue to passers by as to what could be inside the Cyberdyne-esque looking structure.
What is also impressive is the fact that this roadshow style of event is a pop-up structure which can be dismantled and re-erected at any required location that DMG wants to visit to spread the T23D word around China.
‘Terminator 2’ 25th anniversary special exhibition hall covers an area of about 1,500 square meters, up to 6 meters, venues with tough metal, concrete-based building materials, creating a heavy style, without losing the calm sense of technology.
The arm itself is described as a tribute to the first Terminator of 1984. As we know the arm itself led to Cyberdyne’s ability (along with the CPU from the first Terminator) to develop research that would lead to SkyNet and the eventual war between machines and mankind.
Also located near the exterior is reportedly a 1:1 scale smashed up Helicopter dedicated to the highway chase in T2 in which The T-1000 smashes into the back of the SWAT van while chasing the T-800 and the Connor’s.
The helicopter however looks too cartoon-ish for our liking and looks to be used as a kiosk for refreshments and ice cream. The helicopter also doesn’t meet the potential of the 3D concept image and doesn’t look to have a finished paint job.
The size of the exhibition is impressive as we can see we have various sections/rooms and anyone attending the event will surely not be able to forget it anytime soon. Each room obviously has a marketing agenda and has potential to reach customers and push the Terminator 2 3D IP (Intellectual Property) upon the many visitors.
On stepping through the entrance doors the first room is described as a “brand image display” so most likely some videos (like the one below), sound and imagery to evoke a feeling of entering SkyNet and the cold world of the machines.
Naked eye 3D technology is also something mentioned as being integrated into this room with the following video. Naked eye 3D technology is Jim Cameron’s next agenda, he wants you to be able to watch his 3D movies (Avatar sequels) without the need for 3D glasses, he wants you to experience 3D via the naked eye.
The next room again described the use of naked eye 3D technology to display and evoke Terminator memories using special features and behind the scenes imagery, obviously if you’re primary language is English the following video seems like a garbled mess of confusion as all the videos seem to talk over each other, we don’t know if this is how it is represented at the event but it does fit in with that flurry of information SkyNet vibe, kind of like what we saw in Terminator Salvation as Marcus Wright accessed SkyNet information as it raced through his CPU as he accessed all the data of what happened between his final moments on death row and Judgment Day itself. We can see various clips of behind the scene footage many fans will already be familiar with from home release special features and also footage from the making of Terminator 2 3D: Battle Across time etc.
Using the naked eye 3D technology, the screen playing the world’s only three theaters to see 3D T2 edition of 96 short films, manuscripts designers, makeup and special effects in battlefield scenarios, let debris exhibitors brain re-established, so that back 25 years former feelings, awaken memories Terminator.
A Harley Davidson is also positioned in front of the screen so visitors can have photos on the bike; similar to the display at Universal Studio resorts which some fans will be familiar with. Again what Terminator 2 Fan wouldn’t want to sit on a Harley and feel like a Terminator for photo opportunity?
The next room starts a trend of something we can only best describe as bootleg bargain dummies that are quite inaccurate, look at John’s attire for example and Arnold’s sunglasses, visitors are encouraged to touch and interact with the creepy dummies that recreate a key scene from the movie from the canal chase, yes, there are photo opportunities to be had but this is just really weird. Would it not just have been better to have no dummies at all and have this as a photo opportunity eg. Being able to have a photo with a parent or ‘Guardian’ (pun intended as always) instead of looking at tacky dummies that don’t even feel uncanny valley but just plain bizarre.
At the opposite end of this room a transparent projection screen displays Jim Cameron’s China announcement video greeting China and talking T2 3D with more dummies, one of the T-1000 (that doesn’t look like Robert Patrick) and the T-800, while behind the transparent projection screen there is a giant Endoskeleton skull with beaming red eyes, again we feel the puppets/dummies should not be there and it would have made more sense to have some life-size endoskeletons or some real Stan Winston Studio Practical effect/dummy props from the movie.
The giant Endoskeleton skull however is very impressive and just didn’t need anything else. A 3D concept image also shows that they intended to have the two Terminators vehicles by the side, a police car for the T-1000 and a Harley for the T-800 but the reality shots don’t have them, in this case more is sometimes proven to be less and less is more, a giant endoskeleton skull and a Jim Cameron message was perfect alone and didn’t need the rest in our opinion.
On retraction of the projection screen this also doubles as a stage for rock music/ a small rock gig but the music is probably unrelated to the Terminator franchise.
The next room is just quite simply the best of the lot and is perfect in atmosphere, tone and lighting, A Terminator assembly/factory scenario sees lot’s of Endoskeletons (some with moving parts) in a beautiful life-size diorama, the color tones of Cameron/Hurd blue-collar production sizzle in cold blue hues as a Flying HK (Hunter Killer) hangs over top.
It feels like this is where the heart of the experience is and damn,- what Terminator Fan wouldn’t want a room like this in their own home? You can also see lighting/blue laser-scan lights that re-enact something hardcore Terminator and Aliens fans will remember from the T2 Trailer/Teaser Trailer/T2 SkyNet interior Future War Cold storage concepts and from the beginning scenes of Aliens when Ripley, Newt and Hicks are discovered. There is nothing bad at all to say about this and this is a perfect representation of the kind of setting and imagery fans deserve.
While we feared Russia might be a tough political subject for China to mention, it also seems that they are mentioning US and Russia competition in the lead up to Judgment Day which is nice; after-all it wasn’t a purposeful attack by either side and was a trick by SkyNet. Maybe the US/Russia sub-plot of T2 will remain in the China edition after all! Although described as an assembly room we are sure we can see some skulls on the floor and a bicycle wheel (so the floor more represents the future war while everything else surrounding/outskirts resembles a factory) which might not totally make sense but is totally forgiven just for the sheer effort that went into making this. Red lasers also refract across the environment for even more atmosphere.
Next up there are some more dummies and the first real appearance of Sarah Connor; the likeness of Linda Hamilton is great but like the Arnold dummies the body build looks wrong to us, Linda Hamilton was in far better shape than this and Arnold was much more buff than his dummy counterparts… Robert Patrick looks nothing like Robert Patrick and damn he needs a haircut!
Another famous scene recreation is here again in the form of Miles Dyson laying shot on the floor after his encounter with Sarah Connor and while we appreciate the blood from his gunshot wound… wow this just looks and feels insane and off in so many ways, while we appreciate the effort of the artists we feel these dummies should not have been at this event and lack the quality polish of the first two Terminator movies, we could easily think of a 1000 different ways the space could have been utilized much better and with more marketing effect. While the room full of Endoskeletons is great- the human counterparts feel like a low rent theme-park experience, the kind of theme-park where you go missing and never return home to your family. Cheap and nasty.
The experience ends pretty much the same way as Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time did with a shop and gaming opportunities that acquire the users data via sign-up, NECA figures for sale, some decent looking collectibles and some tacky cartoon goods for the children (or big kids)… while we don’t mind the occasional child friendly collectible- this is not something we support, yes, a nice cartoon style plush can be forgiven but when it is at the continual cost of integrity we do have a problem with it.
The gaming aspect looks bizarre and some of the VR experiences don’t look Terminator related and instead look completely unrelated, the one Terminator VR game just looks off and we expected something more groundbreaking, it almost looks like a PS2 game, why are we in space? and why are Terminator Genisys logos in this game? Very dodgy! We can smell Paramount and Skydance!
The MMORPG looks fun but we think the game build is a recycled game engine as many other China MMORPG’s look identical in design, swap out the characters, use the same engine and you have a new game… this is definitely a recycled Fury Road (Mad Max game) as we have found Mad Max style branding on official T2 3D China sites and the concept art all looks like Mad Max. The game may never be released worldwide, which we think is a bad move, even if the game is bad or bizarre; why disallow all the terminator fans from playing it? We would be happy to try it out and it is questionable if we are not able to.
Overall the experience looks like fun, a mixture of positives and negatives, a lack of understanding of the IP is rife and doesn’t gel with us but DMG is doing a better job than Skydance Media…. but that isn’t really saying much.
It is also very much a huge concern than Gale Anne Hurd is not involved in the production or marketing of T2 3D, it is very problematic for us to deal with and a sheer annoyance but Jim Cameron agreed to all this… it is about money, it is about product and profit but he did endorse Terminator Genisys so… the 1984 Jim Cameron is long gone, we don’t have an interest in Avatar sequels (sorry Jim) but it doesn’t matter what the domestic or international markets think… just if it sells well to China.
So far this is just all about Arnold and Jim and that is not fair to the other people who made the film successful to begin with and it is devaluing the franchise even more. Who knows maybe Jim is trying to train crash this franchise so he can buy it back for a nice rock bottom price.
Source: Wolf Studio