Now I know what you might have already heard about Terminator Genisys, that it’s nowhere near as good as Terminator 2 is, that it confuses the shit out you by altering the timeline, that Emilia Clarke isn’t Linda Hamilton and to all of that I say… yeah, that’s 100% correct… but that doesn’t make the movie less watchable.
Well, he’s definitely back, after a couple of non-starters with Rise of the Machines and Salvation they managed to make a good Terminator movie. And they did that by fucking everything up. Let me break it down for you by starting with the inevitable Terminator 2 comparison since any and all movies in this franchise have been and will be compared to the awesomeness that is T2.
Let’s compare Terminator Genisys with Terminator 2
It’s obviously not Terminator 2 level, only T2 is T2, but it’s still entertaining as hell and that’s what I wanted, I went in to watch a true Arnold action movie and goddammit if that isn’t what I got.
Terminator Genisys doesn’t make a lot of sense, but you know what? It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s not really supposed to make a lot of sense. It’s supposed to scramble your brain with the new timeline – and time-travel stories tend to do that anyway – so that they can set up this new status quo that has only Arnold to do with the older movies.
Is it as deep, solid and somewhat philosophical a movie as the first two were? Nope, not at all. Instead it goes for a blend of action and nostalgia and as far as I’m concerned, it does that well enough that I didn’t really care about the unexplained parts of the plot, the fact that they were fighting Ultron nor the very heavy-handed social commentary.
So this movie is filled with twists to the Terminator timeline we knew. First of all Sarah Connor is actually saved by a T-800 when she is a little girl and is raised by it. When Kyle Reese goes back into time to save her – which should have been the Terminator 1 movie – he finds a T-1000 waiting for him and he’s the one needing saving, by Sarah Connor.
The character of Sarah Connor we knew from T2 doesn’t really exist anymore in this timeline, so to expect a similar type of approach from Emilia Clarke – who is playing the Terminator 1 Sarah Connor anyway, isn’t really fair. She does well with what she has to work with and the script does characterize her as being one helluva well-trained lady and especially markswoman, pay attention to some of the shots she manages to land, those are some crazy ass skills. Also she interacts very well with Arnold’s Guardian, most of the movie’s comic relief coming from the exchanged between the two of them.
Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese on the other hand, I’m very biased against the dude ever since the debacle known as Die Hard 5 and the less said about that one the better. I didn’t hate him in this one but nothing stood out from his performance.
John Connor is now… Ultron
Another major twist, that was unfortunately spoiled from the trailers, so I guess it’s not a spoiler if they show it in the trailer, is that John Connor is basically made into… Ultron, or at least a super advanced cyborg copy made of nanites or something, who can morph his appearance and rebuild him out of nothing… yeahhh that part doesn’t make a lot of sense but as opposed to Ultron’s Sephiroth Syndrome, Cyber-John-Connor’s character is motivated by the need to ensure that Skynet goes online, which makes sense.
Matt Smith didn’t have a lot to do but his appearance was also an interesting development, Skynet has always been more of a background villain and it was about time to actually give it a face, in this case giving it the Eleventh Doctor’s face, good choice. I’m sure we’ll see more from him in future installments, it’s pretty clearly set up in the after-credits scene that Skynet is still very much up and running.
But onto the most important of the movie, as far as I’m concerned: Arnold.
He’s very back, and in true Arnold movie fashion, he comes back with old one liners, new ones and a bunch of references to him being old like his right hand spazzing out from time to time. As I mentioned earlier, his character – credited as Guardian – is actually sent back when Sarah is a young girl to save her from a T-1000.
Ever since that event he’s been the one caring, raising and training Sarah for the future, endowing her with knowledge about Kyle Reese and how the events would have unfolded in the original timeline.
During this time she has grown to care for her cybernetic organism, affectionately calling him “Gramps” and as we see towards the end of the movie, in a scene and a line that actually made me tear up, something of that feeling has crept into the Guardian’s CPU. I won’t tell you how exactly events unfold so as to not spoil the moment.
Even though the major part of the jokes stem from Arnold’s Guardian and his interactions with the other two main characters, I should also shout out J.K. Simmons who is the comic relief, playing a cop that was saved by Kyle Reese when he initially traveled to the ‘80s, only to then spend the rest of his life talking about time traveling robots – “godman robots from the future cleaning their tracks”
Now I don’t know if everyone knows this, but the movie has a during-credits extra scene which totally sets up for further sequels but that really wasn’t necessary since there were already enough unexplained things in this movie to warrant at least one more sequel.
And to be honest, I’m looking forward to them, I want to see Arnold in as many of them as possible, I want to see who sent him in the past and why they had to sent him so far back, I want to see how they’ll develop Skynet into an actual villain and hopefully, hopefully, someone has a high enough Speech and Intelligence Skill to convince Skynet to self-destruct.
But I’m curious what you thought about Terminator Genisys, so let me know in the comments. Also, please share, tweet, +1 and/or subscribe if you like.
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