Should Have Stayed Terminated
It's been 6 years since we've seen a new Terminator movie, and 14 years since the last good one.
Terminator: Genisys attempts to recreate everything that made T2 and the original so great, and at times, really does succeed! In fact the first act of the movie was done very well, including tons of homages to The Terminator. The future setting saw the comeback or laser guns (something Salvation left out) and we were even treated with a total reenactment of Terminator one's opening scenes (with dialog and all.)
As cool as act one was, it couldn't make up for the shortcomings the movie suffered in the seconds and third acts. Don't get me wrong, the highs were high, but the lows were very very low.
If you've seen any of the previous Terminator installments, then you know the general story: John Connor leads the human resistance in the future war against the machines and destroys the evil AI known as Skynet. In last ditch efforts, Skynet sends terminators back in time to kill John and/or his mother Sarah.
This story remains as the base of the movie and for the first time ever we get to see the the time portal in use which was pretty cool. Now here's where things change and confusion starts to kick in. Just like in The Terminator, John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends back Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to save his mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke). Cept unlike the original, Sarah Connor has been waiting for him the entire time with a terminator (Arnold Schwartzenegger) that was sent back to protect her many years prior. This is still passable as far as the plot goes but leaves gaping plotholes in the film. They never explained who send Arnie back to the 70s and also never explained what a T-1000 was doing in 1984.
Before we get into the next acts and the downfall of the movie, I would just like to note that this movie may disregard Terminator 2. Because of Terminator 2, Judgment Day was supposed to have taken place further down the line. Terminator 3 claims Judgment Day happens in 2003 due to the destruction of Cyberdyne in Terminator 2. Yet Genisys shows that J Day still happened in its original timeline of 1997. This wasn't something huge, but as a Terminator fan I felt a little ripped off.
None of this even mattered though, because the T-800, Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese were able to stop the 2 terminators who were sent back. Based on Reese's visions the 3 determine that J Day is now 20 years later, taking place in 2017 (why?) The script was extremely confusing and I felt like they reached on most of it. Somehow Sarah Connor and the T-800 were able to make a time machine in 1984 (without a DeLorean none the less) and they go forward into the future to 2017. Here they find that a new operating system named Genisys is about to go online in just under a day.
The script may be one of the weakest scripts I've seen in a while. The Genisys software Genisys is going to "link up" everyone's online accounts to one account. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure this tech has been around for a while and we're still a year and a half away from 2017.
From here we get an evil John Connor whom was sent back as the new terminator, visions from Kyle Reese's alternate timeline, and even more reaching storyline (Skynet kept changing their launch countdown, why not just launch it then and do away with the countdown completely? Makes no sense). It's almost as if the writers just went "do we need to explain this? ...Nah, we'll do it in another movie..." Just lazy screenwriting if you ask me.
In the end Arnie sacrifices himself (...again....) in a showdown against Robot Connor, leaving Bot Connor destroyed and Arnold lying in a pool of T-1000. Cyberdyne HQ blows up (...........AGAIN......) trapping Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese inside. But not all is lost as Arnold breaks them free and reveals himself at as an upgraded T-1000. Such a cop out ending...
The acting wasn't all too great either. I love Emilia Clarke as an actress, but she didn't do that great as Sarah Connor. Take a look back at Linda Hamilton's job in T2 and you'll see exactly what I mean. At times Clarke was badass, but it just didn't seem to fit the Sarah Connor role we've grown accustomed to. J.K. Simmons plays a comic relief supporting role character and is definitely a high throughout the movie. However, the movie was flooded with mediocre one-liner jokes. I know in the past this has worked, but this was overloaded to T3 status and we all remember what a piece of crap that movie was.
All in all, Terminator: Genisys didn't hit the mark. Sure the action was good, it was entertaining, and the first act reminded us why we loved Terminator, but then it became a big confusing mess leaving us with a bad metallic taste in our mouth.
Watch our full video breakdown review up top.