You can’t fight fate in the Terminator films and nor can you change it. No matter how hard the heroes try the outcome will more or less be the same. In the latest outing, Terminator Genisys is out to redefine the world and nag this modern society about the dangers of continuously being connected to the Internet. I like these points being made. They serve to remind viewers about how reliant humanity has become with cell phones, tablets, smart homes and social media. There’s a time where technology should be put away. If there is supposed to be an underlying message in this film, it’s not being hammered home.
Instead, this movie gets timey wimey in its attempt to satisfy longtime fans like me (I even enjoyed Dark Horse Comics treatment of the franchise) and create new ones. The first act pays homage to the past Terminator films and does a great job at it. In the world of the future, where the resistance is set to make its final stand and raid Skynet’s center of operations, the terrible terminator twosome that gets introduced is with establishing the protagonists: John Connor (Jason Clarke) is the leader of the resistance and he just happens to know everything that has yet to come. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is the clueless grunt who does not realize he has a greater destiny. He volunteers to go back in time to save Connor’s mom, Sarah (Emilia Clarke). They meet and no sparks fly between them at all, especially when there’s a T-800 that’s taken over being Sarah’s father. That’s all well and dandy, but little do they know is that a paradox is made because in this movie, everybody lives.
Is it just me or did Paramount Pictures just drop the biggest bomb with their latest Terminator: Genisys trailer?
You’d think lessons were learned after how Terminator: Salvation was poorly marketed. The trailer for that 2009 film revealed the fact that Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) was not human. Not everyone needed to know that fact despite the bigger news about a computer rendered model of Arnold Schwarzenegger was to appear in the film. It’s still hard to accept that John Connor (Jason Clarke) is himself a Terminator … of sorts. As Connor proclaims, he isn’t a man but he is not machine either. Underneath his skin is an exoskeleton of a T-800. And with this knowledge of what Connor is, I’m beginning to worry. With the second trailer focused on John Connor and not on the T-1000 (Byung-hun Lee), am I to understand his time in this film will be all too brief? I hope not.
Sometimes it’s hard not to groan at news of some beloved part of my young geekhood getting remade. I’m not entirely sold on Terminator Genisys just yet. Is it supposed to be a continuation, sequel, reboot or what? The producers are saying this movie is going to reinvent the wheel and I can see it in the latest trailer — this film is going to revisit the first two films from a different perspective. Just what Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) experiences is not what original fans are going to see. He will be meeting Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) under very different circumstances.
Although this full on trailer looks good with its hints of story to come ala X-Men: Days of Future Past, a sequence borrowed from The Dark Knight (flipped bus) and a ninja that’s evolved from the T-1000 mold (from Terminator 2), I find that the issue of jumping around time as a plot device problematical. Just the thought alone is enough to make the Doctor Who fan in me cringe. Matt Smith has an important role in this trilogy and no one is talking about what it is. I suspect that he may be a tech prodigy who created this new version of Skynet and he will be pivotal to how this artificial intelligence will finally go down by the end of these new three films.