He’s Back! Terminator Genisys

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by Noel Bravo

“I’ll be back.” In 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger first said those famous three words in the film that made him a household name: The Terminator. And he meant it, returning in two sequels. Then in 2003, he became our Governor of California. Now that the political chapter of his life is finished, the former Governator is back in his trademark role as the T-800, Model 101 Terminator in Terminator Genisys, directed by Alan Taylor.

The film is the fifth installment in the Terminator franchise and the first in a new stand-alone trilogy. I also want to point out that it is a retcon* to the first two films, which I really enjoyed.

In the year 2029, the war between the human resistance and the artificial intelligence supercomputer Skynet is coming to a close. Lead by John Connor (Jason Clarke), the prophesized savior of mankind, the resistance moves in for a final assault when it is discovered that Skynet has devised a last-ditch effort to win the war. Just like in the first film, a Terminator is sent back in time to the year 1984 to kill John’s mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke), resulting in the prevention of John’s birth.

A soldier, and Connor’s right-hand man, Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), volunteers to intercept and save Sarah at any cost, even if it means laying down his own life. But there’s a twist; and this is where the film gets interesting. Upon arriving in the 80s, Reese is shocked when he discovers Sarah is not the damsel-in-distress he expected, but a tenacious and tough woman, very similar to the same character in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992), and has a guardian Terminator (Schwarzenegger) fighting by her side.

The unprecedented turn of events creates an altered timeline. And if arriving in an alternate timeline and being paired with some unlikely allies wasn’t enough, Reese also finds himself facing dangerous new enemies: a T-1000 Terminator (Lee Byung-hun) and most shocking of all, John Connor himself. As the trio face their adversaries, their new mission becomes clear: reset the future.

I really enjoyed this film. More than anything, I just loved the fact that it brings audiences back to the original James Cameron universe from T1 and T2.  After the release of 2009’s Terminator: Salvation, I kept hearing all these rumors about the next installment in the franchise. Some of these rumors were just too wild, such as Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson playing the role of the Terminator; imagine that.

When Genisys was confirmed with Arnold returning, I was a bit skeptical considering the fact that the former bodybuilder and governor is in his late sixties. Part of me felt that he should have passed the torch to somebody else while the fanboy in me was glad since Arnold will always be the Terminator. Well I’m happy to say that Schwarzie proved that he still is the Terminator.

While I enjoyed the film, but there are some faults; not with the film itself, but with its marketing and release. Besides poor marketing, its first big mistake was giving away too much of the plot in the trailers and TV spots. That spoils everything. I can recall people feeling not so happy when they discovered John Connor as the villain after watching the trailer. Because this was supposed to be a big twist in the story, they should have kept that part a secret and advertised the new T-1000 as the villain instead.

The second mistake was its opening release date; bad timing. The film had to compete with the likes of the still successful Jurassic World, Ted 2, Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out, and Magic Mike XXL, which opened the same day. For male audiences, which the Terminator franchise generally appeals to, it was a tough one to choose between this film and Ted 2, while female audiences would have preferred Magic Mike XXL, and general audiences choosing between Jurassic World and Inside Out. Perhaps if Terminator Genisys would have premiered on a date where it wouldn’t have to compete with all these other anticipated films, it might have had a successful opening weekend, despite the critics giving this film a lot of negative reviews. But then again, it’s the critics; who cares what they think.

Before I forget, Terminator Genisys has yet another film to compete with in the form of Marvel’s Ant-Man, which looks like it’s going to be fun-packed and exciting.

Other than that, I thought this film was awesome. The cast was great, Arnold’s still got it, lots of action, cool effects, and best of all; it does a great job at paying homage to the first two films, which is a plus. If you love the first two Terminator films, then I’m sure you’ll love Genisys. I know the series creator James Cameron himself loved it and even went as far as calling it the true Terminator 3. So don’t take my word for it, take Mr. Cameron’s.

* Retcon (Urban Dictionary) – Retroactive continuity, or retcon for short, is the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work.

1 COMMENT

  1. Noel, Why did you tell us that Conner becomes a villain!!!! I didn’t pay attention to the trailers and now it is seared into my consciousness about John Conner jumping ship and becoming a bad guy! Well, I guess power corrupts! (In the case of Conner, not you Noel!)

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