Terminator Genisys is a surprisingly satisfying spectacle of Terminator action and pays homage to the previous films and to the fans. Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting old but he isn’t obsolete, a fact we’re reminded of consistently throughout Genisys. He is backed by Jai Courtney as Kyle Reece, Jason Clarke as John Connor and Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor. Thanks to some strange marketing choices, the main plot twist of the film was revealed in a teaser trailer and the accompanying coming soon poster. Despite this marketing slip up, Alan Taylor’s film had enough behind it to carry it along.
I’ve always firmly believed that the Terminator franchise should have stopped with Terminator 2: Judgement Day. It wrapped up the storyline in a fantastic way and had an air of finality to it. Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines came out and changed the finality of the first sequel. John Connor was middle aged and was on the run once again from Skynet. Terminator Salvation was abysmal and focussed on the human resistance post Judgement day. Terminator Genisys has ripped up the Terminator history books and redefined the timeline.
Genisys tackles the first and second film within the first half an hour, an extended human resistance opening scene, showing the resistance winning, laying waste to the machines and skynet. Skynet attacks John Connor causing Kyle Reece to be sent back to an alternate timeline where everything has changed. With fragmented memories of a life he hasn’t lived he arrives in 1984 Los Angeles.
The action starts out with a familiar scene of 1984 Los Angeles and three punks with bad hair do’s and perms. The CGI budget must have been blown on making the Terminator looks exactly like Arnie did in the original Terminator film. It was particularly impressive and looked amazing. The old but not obsolete Terminator defeats the recently arrived younger version using a combination of shotgun blasts, thumping blows and two particularly well placed anti material rifle shots from Sarah Connor.
Kyle Reece being confronted by the T-1000 was a interesting scene, also caught up in the clash is an unfortunate rookie cop called O’Brien and his even more unfortunate partner. Reece and O’Brien are saved by a combat hardened Sarah Connor.
It turns out that the T-800 has been around since Sarah’s childhood sent by an unknown person in the future (as the T-800 had those files erased) to protect her. In the process he has acted as a guardian for her and has never left her side. In return, she has tried to teach the T-800 to ‘blend in’ and be more human. She affectionately refers to the T-800 as ‘Pops’.
There has been lots of negative reviews and of course everyone is entitled to an opinion but I think some of the reviews have missed the point of the film. It is a fan flick, delivering what it set out to do to the fans and for me personally it is almost another Terminator 2 moment. Genisys has a sort of closure to it and the story makes sense. Just watch the movie and let yourself be the fan and enjoy it.
A Couple of Points of Interest:
- Pretty sure the original T-1000 and the T-X make a split second cameo appearance.
- Don’t miss the credits closing scene…