Review: Terminator Genysis

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I feel the need to absolve myself by admitting that I have an unashamed almost sickly unapologetic love for the Terminator mythology, in all its aspects, films, tie-in novels, comic books, video games…. It is an unbiased love hate relationship that is also shared with the Predator and Alien franchise mythologies.

That being said and bypassing the fact that the big twist surprise was given away in the trailer….which has seemingly become a normal practice in hollywood these days and is unfortunately not limited to any particular film genre…

Denial?  Ok, feel free to punch up any of the following list of film trailers on YouTube, I’ll wait…..

Sum of all Fears 2002, Dream House 2011, Last house on the Left 2009, Cast Away 2000. Spiderman 3 – 2007) Back? Good.       … I could go on but my head is beginning to hurt..  anyway….landscape-1428935780-terminator-genisys-arnold-smile

I (mostly) enjoyed Terminator Genysis. I just like the mythology as a whole regardless of how convoluted it has become.
One of my main complaints though was the same as I voiced in Terminator Salvation…. both film stood by the logical conclusion that you kill Kyle Reese and end the war. Checkmate, game over, period, but like in Salvation, Genysis completely hops over that piece of logic, as in both films Kyle Reese is literally in Skynets cross hairs and never pulls the trigger in either case.  Instead if you remember (if not it is excusable) in Salvation, Reese is said to be number one of Skynets hit list but thrown into a holding cell rather than shot on sight.

And as for Genysis, well, damn, apparently the big surprise was that Skynet itself was in the room with John Conner AND Kyle Reese, before, during and after Kyle Reese uses the time displacement unit to travel back in time…. and for some reason, just stands there and watches it happen, and then infects John Conner and sends him back to 2017 ( I think)


As for the big surprise of John Conner being made into a hybrid terminator type thing... it actually is not a new ideal, it was actually first considered when Terminator Salvation was in pre-production. A spec script had been floating around that would have seen John Connor die during the war and his body being fitted to a t-800 with his memories re constituted. At the time it sounded so sacrilegious I scoffed at the mere mention of the ideal.  But now, after seeing it come to fruition, albeit within different circumstances and less poetic way and means, I cannot decide of I still find it a sacrilegious or just plain wrong, and unfulfilling.

Now I must mention, and I am seriously surprised that seemingly no one has realized this fact…. Terminator Genysis stole the plot of Back to the Future 2!!!  (going back to revisit key moments of the original…. ) This is such a in your face blatant ripe off that apparently no one including myself realized it.

But along with that sad fact, there are just too many unoriginal and borrowed scenes, spoken lines, and regurgitated ideals through out the “newest” addition to the Terminator films… and instead of arousing a nostalgic and familiar feeling, by the end the film just feels too uncomfortably familiar, predictable and well, just plain lazy….hell even the major climatic moment (spoiled by the trailer) of the bus flipping and hanging over the bridge was all to familiar… from where you ask? From the opening scene of the video game uncharted 2 of course…sarah-connor-terminator-genisysarticle_post_width_Uncharted_2

In that respect I dislike the film for the same reasons I loved but still hated the 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street remake, all the death scenes and dream sequences were basically reshoots from previous films  paying homage to what came before is fine, to a certain extent but we still hope for and deserve something new…

Still despite my better judgement…I will say now I sincerely hope the sequels for the proposed new trilogy as well as the proposed new tv series do eventually get made…    I miss the Sarah Connor Chronicles and not just because of Summer Glau… ok actually mostly not because of her, can you blame me?  summer_glau_0001-1024x576CUTsummer_glau_terminator_collage_aeMoUdk.sized

But personally I think the series needs to focus much more on the actual war itself, stop trying to surprise and shock us and simply rely on what is fresh (expected) and exciting (anticipated) …stop time traveling and tell the most important untold part of the story… I just wish hollywood would stop trying to be clever… as the old saying goes…. keep it simple, stupid!
I guess in that respect I suppose that my biggest complaint is the exact same problem I had with Underworld Awakenings…. in both instances the storytellers had/have missed a major gap in both of their respective storylines… ( and ironically in both cases, the missing plots are all important, foretold but still unseen wars)….just finish the f**king stories!

Stop trying to surprise and torment us with confusing and misleading plots. The missing gaps of the plots are already laid out in detail and need to be told, we need, hell deserve closure!  Since as I already mention, you (hollywood) seems inept and dysfunctional when it comes to creating/reinventing anything new and fresh, then simply give us what we want, what we expect, what we need… satisfying, smart, reliable conclusions.

I guess what I am trying to say is as a trauma psychologist once told me…. the greatest action a person (or in this case a film  franchise property) can do is finish what you start. Closure, it is its own reward, satisfying, meaningful and necessary. However, sadly, hollywood is sick and trapped in the self depreciating prophecy also told to me by the same trauma psychologist just before I ended my therapy….the most accurate judgment for determining future behaviour…. is past behaviour….