So, by now I'm sure you all know that the latest entry in the "Terminator" franchise is a mere few weeks away from release. The trailers that we have seen so far have sparked a mixed response from most (myself included) which doesn't exactly inspire much confidence.
But here, I thought I'd take the opportunity to offer my thoughts on the footage and break down what I like and dislike about the film based on what I have seen. Bear in mind that this is just my opinion, if you disagree that's totally cool.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!
Let's get the negatives out the way first, there are quite a few:
1. The trailers show TOO MUCH!
Watching the trailers for "Genisys" (especially the 2nd), I couldn't help but feel like I was being spoon fed the entire plot. Did we honestly need to see the John Connor/Terminator hybrid? I would not be surprised if that ends up being the major turning point of the film. Also, why did we need to see the old T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) fighting the original T-800 (Young, CGI Arnold)? I reckon that could have been a cool, fun surprise.
Don't get me wrong, "Genisys" is hardly the first film to have a large portion of it's narrative spoiled by the marketing (*cough* Amazing Spider-Man 2 *cough*) but that actually makes it a whole lot worse in that the distributors have seen poorly marketed films before, simply chosen to ignore it and make the exact same mistake.
I'm really hoping for the best here and praying that the film still has a few surprises up it's sleeve but I'm definitely not won over by these trailers.
2. The CGI looks terrible.
Now back when the first trailer debuted in December, I put the cheap looking effects down to the simple fact that the film wasn't finished. We were still over seven months away from the film release at that point so it was forgivable. But, then the second trailer was released a little over a month ago and guess what? THE EFFECTS LOOKED EXACTLY THE SAME!
The fact of the matter is, the T-1000 in "Terminator 2" looks more convincing than the T-1000 in "Genisys"! That is not a good sign when a film from 1991 boasts better visuals than a film from 2015.
But hey, at least the effects in "Genisys" are a definite improvement over the ones from "Terminator: Salvation". I almost turned the TV off when that pathetic excuse of a CGI Arnold walked on screen in the finale of "Salvation".
Again, I'm still willing to put the poor effects work down to the movie being unfinished. A few tweaks and they could honestly turn out to be pretty spectacular.
3. Cringe-worthy dialogue.
"I'll be back.", "Get out.", "Come with me if you want to live."...................I mean, really?! At this point it's just tiresome.
All of the aforementioned lines have long since lost there impact. As far as I'm concerned, "Genisys" might as well be a spoof of the old films, and not a particularly good one at that.
This is how I respond to these lines through each of the films:
The Terminator (1984) - Awesome
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) - Cool
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - Getting old now, however, at least T3 made an effort to change things up a bit ("She'll be back", "I'm back", "Get in! If you wanna live, come on!").
Terminator: Abomination (2009) - JUST STOP!
Terminator Genisys (2015) - *sigh*
Would it honestly kill the writers to at least attempt to come up with some new lines? Perhaps it's for nostalgic purposes that they are re-using the lines but they are pretty laughable at this stage (Intentional or not).
4. The title.
THEY CAN'T EVEN SPELL GENESIS RIGHT!
Ok, to be fair there is an official plot synopsis for the film that explains the (mis)spelling of the title. But I mean, come on, would "Terminator: Days of Future Past" really have been so bad?..............................Oh wait.
5. The rating (PG-13 or R?)
As far as I'm aware, "Genisys" is yet to receive a rating. I'm quietly hoping for an R (equivalent to a 15 in the UK) but it seems unlikely. Both "T3" and "Salvation" opted for a safer PG-13 rating to appeal to a wider audience and make a bit more cash in the process.
Heres one of my biggest concerns - Considering the T-1000 basically spends it's time stabbing people, I'm really worried about they film-makers have handled the violence in the film. Will all the kills take place off-screen? Seeing the brutal and ruthless ways in which Robert Patrick's T-1000 dispensed the unfortunate folk that happened to stand in his way was both tense and quite disturbing, making him a far more compelling and terrifying foe. I'm sure Byung-hun Lee will nail the physicality of the iconic villain really well. I just don't see the T-1000 being a particularly menacing villain in "Genisys" if the rating of the film restricts what he does best.
But, enough about the negatives. If you feel I've missed anything, feel free to leave a comment. Now lets's get onto the positives because, believe it or not, there is some stuff that I'm really looking forward to about the film:
1. The Timeline altering narrative.
Yes, the plot for this film really intrigues me. It opens the franchise to the possibility of a string of brand new stories whilst staying true to the original films. The idea of characters and plot points from the first 3 (yes 3!) films colliding is certainly an enticing concept. You have the classic T-800 played by Arnie (The Terminator), you have the T-1000 (T2) and, to be perfectly honest, the John Conner/Terminator hybrid really reminds me of the TX (T3). The story takes place in the original 1984 setting, at first following the structure of the first film before blasting the franchise in a whole new direction.
It worked for "Star Trek" and "X-Men: Days of Future past", so why not "Terminator" to?
2. Alan Taylor is directing.
When I heard that Alan Taylor was directing, I couldn't help but get pretty excited. This definitely restored some of my faith in the film.
I get that this might not be the popular opinion but get this, I actually really enjoyed "Thor: The Dark World". Here, Taylor made the transition from TV (Game of Thrones) to film, and quite successfully I would say. Sure, the film didn't have the greatest story or script in the world but, Taylor showcased a strong visual style and proved that he could handle big scale action sequences. The final, realm jumping fight between Thor and Malekeith was handled brilliantly and I would definitely rank it among the best fight sequences within the MCU.
Obviously, the action does play a key part throughout the "Terminator" series and Taylor's directing style could definitely, at least somewhat, redeem the film. I am kind of contradicting myself here with the point I made earlier about the poor visual effects but, like I said, the film could just be unfinished.
3. Arnold is Back!
After the Arnie-free atrocity that was "Terminator: Salvaton". It was great news to here That The Terminator himself would be returning. I don't care how old he is, I'll take the real Arnold over some stupid CG garbage any day. I get that "Genisys" also has it's own CG Arnold but the real Arnold is going to fight it and kick it's ass so that should be fun.
4. The rest of the cast.
Jason Clarke as John Connor (Great!), Emilia Clark as Sarah Connor (Also great!), Matt Smith (awesome!), JK Simmons (HELL YES!) and Jai Courtney as Kyle Reece (Not completely sold on this one but give him a chance guys!) and Byung-hun Lee as the T-1000 (I like it!)
Pretty solid cast, If I don't say so myself. But, as is with every film, a great cast doesn't necessarily mean a great movie.
So thats it! those are my main thought on "Terminator: Genisys" so far. Sure there are more than a few issues but there are also multiple reasons to get excited as well. As before, if you feel I missed anything (I'm sure there's a few things) leave a comment.