Terminator Genisys (2015)
July 6, 2015 10:01 AM - Subscribe

After finding himself in a new time-line, Kyle Reese teams up with John Connor's mother Sarah and an aging terminator to try and stop the one thing that the future fears, "Judgement Day".

From the moment an aging T-800 says "I've been waiting for you" to his younger, Skynet-driven counterpart, it's clear that the rules of Terminator have changed and nothing will be the same again. New threats, new twists, and new actors in familiar roles drive the fifth film in the series.
posted by Servo5678 (50 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This movie is getting a bad rap and I don't know why. I saw it last week and completely enjoyed it. Emilia Clarke makes the Sarah Connor role her own, Arnold still has it as the Terminator, and while the time travel plot falls apart a little if you overthink it, that's not exactly new for this franchise. I had fun watching it and that's all that I wanted or expected.

I see people complaining that they hated the movie. That's fine; it's not for everyone. What bothers me is people complaining so angrily that they hope the film fails at the box office and kills any future sequels. It's not enough that they don't like the movie, they don't want anyone else to enjoy more movies either. At the screening I was at, there was an angry loudmouth sitting in the back who shouted complaints every few minutes about how much he hated the movie, hated the other Terminator movies, and so forth. He was there by himself. Nobody dragged him to see it. So why did he come to see the fifth film in a series he knew he hated? And why did he have to try and ruin the experience for everyone else? It was like a nasty Twitter account come to life.

I really don't understand the ongoing need to not just dislike something, but to broadcast that dislike and actively wish for the failure of the production. If you don't like something, don't watch it. Let those of us who do like it watch in peace.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:07 AM on July 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


cool, I felt dumb cause I thought the trailer actually looked pretty cool (so far as action movies go). I loved T1 and T2, thought T3 (that's the one with Claire Danes, right?) was pretty forgettable, and T4 kinda dumb but watchable, so I planned to maybe even go see T5 in the theaters which I hardly ever do. But then I kept hearing how truly horrible, terrible, ugh the worst it was. But like you said, that's probably because the internet's hobby is always go hop onto the backlash and max it ten times as strong as the trend ever was.
posted by skewed at 10:23 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not as bad as the basement dwellers would have you believe. That said, Jai Courtney is no Michael Biehn. I watched The Terminator for the nth time the following evening and was again blown away by how fucking perfect it is.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:30 AM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


This movie is the worst offender in years re: Showing Everything in the Trailer.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:46 AM on July 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I view later Terminator films the same way I view later Planet of the Apes films. They may not be great, but they're always enjoyable.
posted by maxsparber at 10:47 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


This wasn't the kind of July 4th movie I wanted, but it's the one moviegoers in the US have repeatedly told large media companies they want. Lots of explosions, a (relatively) straightforward plot, lots of callbacks to previous properties in the franchise, and some attractive humanflesh for most persuasions (hello there, Jai Courtney. Talk nerdy to me about time travel)

It wasn't a bad flick, but it relies solidly on the "comfortable like a well worn pair of shoes" premise of "I know this world, I know the basic rules, let's do something slightly different and blow shit up." Not bad, but a movie that will be all but forgotten come 2016. On the plus side: excuse to ogle a hot man and eat popcorn.
posted by conradjones at 11:23 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I went more for curiosity than any other reason. Thought it was such a bad film. Nothing made sense. Everything was overly complicated and when in doubt about it anything it felt like the film makers figured they'd just throw some action up there to distract the audience and hope we wouldn't notice.

Watch the first Terminator last night. So. much. better. My advice would be to rewatch that rather than this one.
posted by Fence at 12:12 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


So wait, is young John Conner still screwed and destined to be robotized? Is he never born? Is he still to be born but now to live a normal life because Skynet is destroyed?

Also, it should be obvious, but come on John: Don't. Trust. Mr. Clever.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:41 PM on July 6, 2015


I mostly enjoyed it, but it felt like it had some of the same problems as Avengers 2, where rather than making a self-contained movie that could continue into another one, there were crucial questions left unanswered that would be resolved in a later film. That is fine with stuff likely it turns out there is a shadowy organization behind the villain, but it doesn't work when the questions fundamental to the mechanics of the movie working at all.

Also, Jai Courtney is a charisma vacuum, please stop casting him in blockbuster movies that need lots of charisma to gloss over their other problems *cough a good day to die hard*.
posted by humans are superior! at 9:57 PM on July 6, 2015


What a stinker. The first two Terminator films were great in that they were very well thought out; their internal logic was tight and it justified the action sequences. This one? It's ... got a lot of action sequences but nothing solid holding them up.

Also, to it's utter damnation, the 'Pops' terminator spews all of this silly pseudo scientific exposition throughout, like he's Data from ST:TNG.
posted by Catblack at 10:29 PM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember thinking the scientigook was so slackly written it would even have embarrassed TNG. The justification of having the memory of the other Reese's life was especially thin.

Overall I didn't think it was that good, some good ideas but too much clunky exposition. Emilia Clarke was better than I thought she would be. Not sure casting Dr Who in anothger time travel franchise is a good idea (unless it's as Dr Who, which might have been cool - certainly more unexpected than anything else in here). I think the writers should also have stayed well away from the whole 'why should I choose you to send back Reese?' I appreciate the first film stuck then with 'I've been wanking over a polaroid of your mum for 20 years' but why play that up?

Jai Courtney is a charisma vacuum

And just generally crap, they could have saved some energy on the time jump forward by sending him to 2016 and gettng him a year of acting lessons, the scene where he finds out he is John's father is particularly excruciating.

The scene where Reese tells the story about building a still, losing their eyebrows and laughing for days deserves a special mention for bringing shame on all the individuals concerned with its creation, even the people cleaning the set should have gone home embarrassed from that day's work.

Apparently there is a bit after the credits, which we missed, what was in there?
posted by biffa at 12:07 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


biffa, just on behalf of Whovians and Who nerds, I am compelled to tell you there is no one named "Dr. Who." There is "The Doctor," who is the protagonist of a show called Doctor Who.

#nerdpedantry
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:06 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


The mid-credits scene is a super-anticlimactic reveal: Even though Sarah/Kyle/Pops blew the whole Genisys complex sky-high, the Matt Smith hologram is still chilling underneath the wreckage, along with a giant glowing red energy ball that's apparently supposed to be the actual Skynet nerve center. So basically the whole movie is undone just for the sake of a putative "reboot" trilogy.

I made my feelings about this movie known in another Terminator thread on the blue last week. For the record, I moved out of my mother's basement quite some time ago, and it doesn't give me any joy to take down a disappointing blockbuster. I don't really demand that much from most action movies, but I've always put the Terminator films on what I feel is a justifiably different tier of action/sci-fi entertainment. Compared to the original Cameron films, this looked like a Sci-Fi Channel Original, even down to the noticeably crappier FX and stuntwork.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:12 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Watch the first Terminator last night. So. much. better. My advice would be to rewatch that rather than this one.

I actually find the first one to be quite horrible (but such is the way with film, books, and music). The 2nd film is, in my opinion, much better if not the best of them, though I haven't seen any of the others so I really can't say. I might attempt to watch this new one when it's on Netflix, possibly as soon as next year. The first one has apparently just recently been released on Netflix.
posted by juiceCake at 7:27 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually find the first one to be quite horrible (but such is the way with film, books, and music). The 2nd film is, in my opinion, much better if not the best of them

I think the second one works as well as it does because of the first one; they both work well on their own, but when watched back to back, there's a richness there that I don't think has been achieved in any of the other Terminator films. (Of course, watching the first one now, it suffers because it's a 30 year old film and so many things have changed).

And while I haven't seen Genisys yet, I am completely disturbed to see the sequence where the Terminator confronts the gang for their clothes being done without Bill Paxton. That might be the casting change that bugs me the most.
posted by nubs at 8:00 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Compared to the original Cameron films, this looked like a Sci-Fi Channel Original, even down to the noticeably crappier FX and stuntwork.

People keep saying this and I keep wondering if they've actually watched T1 or T2 in the past 20 years. The cinematography, pacing, and editing of the effects in Cameron's are *leagues* above the new ones, but the effects themselves are not. Rubber Arnold head in T1 really looks better than this movie? Really? Stop motion endoskeleton looks better than this movie, really? The digital wound morphs that are clearly just on the surface of Robert Patrick are better, really?

Don't get me wrong, I love T1 & T2, but let's be honest, here.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:20 AM on July 7, 2015


biffa, just on behalf of Whovians and Who nerds, I am compelled to tell you there is no one named "Dr. Who." There is "The Doctor," who is the protagonist of a show called Doctor Who.

Peter Cushing's incarnation in the film versions was actually named Dr. Who. Noncanonical, but, you know, pedant's gonna pedant.
posted by maxsparber at 8:25 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


biffa, just on behalf of Whovians and Who nerds, I am compelled to tell you there is no one named "Dr. Who." There is "The Doctor," who is the protagonist of a show called Doctor Who.

Nah, that only applies in the context of the show, since this was the first time this was raised and was outside this context the appropriate cultural shorthand is just to say Dr Who. This is pretty well established.
posted by biffa at 8:53 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen this new one yet, but re: these special effects vs. the originals: Do they have the new T-1000 re-create the original's awkward zombie-arms attempt at a natural run when he was wearing that chestplate of fake chrome shotgun wounds?
posted by doctornecessiter at 8:56 AM on July 7, 2015


People keep saying this and I keep wondering if they've actually watched T1 or T2 in the past 20 years.

I watched T2 recently, and it still holds up. I know the CG is from the 90s, but there's a lot of clever editing and good stunt work. The thing is, the thing that a lot of modern movies kind of don't get, is that's not really about or only about the effects. Even with modern CGI, it still looks fake. It doesn't matter if you're twice as good as 20 years ago if you still can't make it look 100% real. And since that's the case, you still have to do the heavy lifting of actually writing, acting, and editing something that's convincing and good.
posted by FJT at 9:13 AM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I watched T2 recently, and it still holds up. I know the CG is from the 90s, but there's a lot of clever editing and good stunt work. The thing is, the thing that a lot of modern movies kind of don't get, is that's not really about or only about the effects.

I watched the first two films (the James Cameron ones, that is) with the house teenager recently, and while she often has little use for what her Gen-X elders consider action classics -- she has dismissed Raiders of the Lost Ark and Die Hard as tedious and talky -- she was engaged enough to watch both of these. She did comment on the ball of lightning time travel effect in T1, though, that she had learned how to do that on a Mac in the fourth grade or thereabouts. As a side note, it is a measure of how dystopian this future is that someone born in the nineties didn't question the existence of an autonomous murder robot, but was baffled by a phone book.

All that said, I found this one extremely... okay. Emilia Clarke actually channels Linda Hamilton pretty well, Schwarzenegger schwarzeneggs efficiently, but Jai Courtney is lost in a netherworld of being not quite handsome enough to be a leading man, not quite distinctive enough to be a Hey! It's That Guy! (he looks like a slightly less odd-looking Joey Slotnick) and possessed of a level of talent and charisma that we might call "adequate." Jason Clarke* isn't any great screen presence either, and his role was torpedoed by the marketing department revealing John Connor's true nature in an endless series of trailers and commercials.

On the other hand, the production design could not be faulted and 1984 was recreated in an entirely convincing fashion. It would indeed have been nice to see Bill Paxton digitally youthened for the punk scene (and don't forget that perpetual B-movie musclehead/creature Brian Thompson was a fellow punk there), but that was not a dealbreaker for me. And seeing twentysomething Schwarzenegger rebuilt through body doubles and special effects was much more convincing than his digital cameo in the previous Terminator flick.

The shuffling of references and situations was actually kind of enjoyable for me -- the injection of the T-1000 into the department store scene gave me the same what-if frisson that I sometimes get from playing licensed boardgames/card games, where Picard winds up on the Excelsior with a bridge crew of LaForge, Scotty, Tom Paris, Jadzia Dax and Tuvok. As well, using the foreknowledge to trap and dispose of the T-1000 in about eighteen minutes of screen time boded well for the writers' willingness to take us in new directions. Unfortunately, it went a little flabby around that point and even the reveal of John Connor's true nature and interesting scene or two where he is presented as vaguely sympathetic were not enough to save it.

Verdict: it will be a harmless enough way to pass two hours on Netflix in a few months.

*I was looking up Jason Clarke on IMDB as I could not recall seeing him in anything before Zero Dark Thirty. He has been acting for a couple of decades, of course. Amusing, here he is playing John Connor, a role first played onscreen by a young Edward Furlong in T2. A quick look at Furlong's IMDB page shows that after a few reasonably prominent roles in the nineties, he sort of fades from view around the turn of the century. Bizarrely, at the same time (1999-2000), Jason Clarke has a recurring role in the medical drama All Saints as a character named Eddie Furlong.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:25 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I wanna see this, but my girlfriend's going through a busy patch at work so we probably won't get out to the theater in time. It sounds like it's kind of tanking, so this could well be the end of the franchise. If Arnold returning as the Terminator isn't enough to get butts in seats, where do they go from there? (Alien vs. Predator vs. Terminator?)

I will never understand the near-universal reverence for T2. To me the original Terminator is a true classic, some terribly dated stuff aside. But while T2 has a great villain and plenty of exciting action sequences, it just has such fakey, bullshit dialogue and Guns and Roses and Bad to the Bone and ugh. I don't genuinely begrudge people loving the film, but I'm always hearing about how it's so much better than the first one and that makes me go a little mad. (I feel the same way about Aliens, to a lesser extent. The original Alien is a masterpiece, and the sequel is just watchable James Cameron aggro jock action movie stuff. When people say it's better than Alien, I know we'll basically never agree on anything ever. Is Avatar better than Blade Runner too? What color is the sky in your world?)

Jason Clarke had better watch out, because if any role is cursed, it's John Connor. Both Edward Furlong and Nick Stahl have struggled with serious, career-ending addiction and eventually wandered off into obscurity, while Christian Bale had that infamous T3 meltdown that didn't destroy his career but will certainly follow him to the end of his days. (It's also weird that all four John Connors could hardly look or act less like each other.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:04 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


ricochet biscuit: while she often has little use for what her Gen-X elders consider action classics -- she has dismissed Raiders of the Lost Ark and Die Hard as tedious and talky

I don't think I can have kids, as this statement made me die a little inside. The perfect adventure movie and the perfect action movie! Oh, dear.
posted by bluecore at 4:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think if you go into it with low expectations, you'll be surprised by how "ok" it really is. the first third of the movie is actually pretty good, all things considered. It does fall apart a bit after that, and yes it's cheesy and yes it's full of callbacks that seem forced sometimes but not as often as you might have expected. I was expecting worse I guess is the tl;dr.
posted by some loser at 5:58 PM on July 7, 2015


Okay, so let me try to make sense of things:

Terminator 1:
• (2029) John Connor sends (Young) Kyle Reese back in time to save (1984) Sarah Connor from being killed by a (T-800) Terminator
• In the process Kyle and Sarah fall in love and make (baby) John. This closes the loop of John being the leader of the revolution in the future
• At the same time I think (1984) Cyberdyne got parts from the T-800 which provided the tech for (2029) Skynet

Terminator 2:
• With its plans foiled (2029) Skynet then sends (T-1000) Terminator to kill (1995) John
• (2029) John sends a reprogrammed (T-800) Terminator to save (1995) John
• The duo also saves (1995) Sarah Connor, who since 1984 has been preparing for the apocalypse, i.e. Skynet will become self-aware on 1997 so mother/son/Terminator have to save the world
• Not sure which loop was closed here, but: they managed to blow up the tech, both T-1000 and T-800 Terminators were destroyed. Judgment Day averted.

Terminator 3:
• Because (future) Skynet's plan was averted in the previous movie, (2004) John Connor now lives with all his angst and self-defeatist baggage. Sarah Connor eventually died because of illness.
• (2032) Skynet sends (T-X) Terminator to kill (2004) John Connor
• (2032) Kate Brewster sends (T-850) Terminator to save (2004) John Connor. Since it is programmed by Kate, the Terminator will only answer to and obey (2004) Kate, who inevitably crosses paths with John
• Kate's father is responsible for Skynet eventually becoming self-aware in 2004 and not 1997, thus presenting the idea that what will happen is going to happen, there is no preventing it — the timeline of events in Terminator 1, the John-Kyle-Sarah loop will still take place, only years later
• However, (2032) Kate tasked the (T-850) Terminator to save (2004) John and Kate not to prevent anything but to make sure that they survive Judgment Day, because (2032) John is dead and has been killed by (T-X) Terminator
• So this does not closes a loop...more like creates a venn diagram?

Terminator 4:
• It is assumed that (2004) Judgment Day happened
• (2018) young Kyle Reese is targeted by (2018) Skynet
• (2004) John Connor and (2004) Kate Brewster fulfilled their destiny, are now (2018) married couple and part of the revolution
• (2018) John is searching for young Kyle, presumably to continue towards the future timeline from Terminator 1?
• Cyborg storyline is completely irrelevant other than two things:
- the pervading theme of the Terminator haunting John in all timelines both as adversary and as a father figure, since in Terminator 3, John was killed by a (T-X) Terminator disguised as the (T-100 / T-850) that he has come to love
- and the fact that (2018) John is mortally wounded and would need the cyborg's heart to live (presenting a nice irony)

Terminator 5:
• (2029) John Connor and (2029) Kyle Reese are friends and fighting the war together, leading to the event in Terminator 1 where John would send Reese back to save (1984) Sarah, thus closing the loop
• However, before (2029) Kyle left he saw (T-5000) Terminator get to (2029) John. Later on it is revealed that (2029) John has become a (T-3000) Terminator
• (T-5000) Terminator sends (T-3000) Terminator/(2029) John to 2014
• (2029) Kyle meets (1984) Sarah Connor but she is not in need per the Terminator 1 movies. She is already fighting Terminators instead of just learning about them, and she already has a Terminator friend of her own
• In-universe explanation for this might be that because of what happened in 2029, it created an alternate timeline, where a (T-1000) Terminator is sent to kill (young) Sarah's parents when she was 9. She is saved by another Terminator which she calls Pops
• Supposedly (1984) Sarah is 19 years old (per Terminator 1), so she has been training for 10 years
• They are supposed to time travel to 1997 to prevent Judgment Day (per Terminator 2), but (2029) Kyle calculates and says that it should be towards 2017 — 10 years after — because the alternate timeline suddenly gave him memories of when he was a child, specifically, (2017) Kyle Reese
• (2029) Kyle and (1984) Sarah arrive at the future only to meet their son (2017 and T-3000) John, who has been there since 2014 setting up Skynet, which would become the (T-5000) Terminator
• (2017 and T-3000) John is working with Dyson's son (Dyson was the guy in Terminator 2 who reversed engineered tech left behind in Terminator 1, and eventually died trying to destroy his work to prevent Judgment Day) to launch Genisys (beginning of Skynet)
• Kyle/Sarah/Pops kill (T-3000) John and (T-5000) Terminator/Skynet
• (2029) Kyle gives (2017) Kyle memories to close the loop from the 1984 timeline
• Presumably Kyle and Sarah fall in love in order to make John

And I don't know now I'm really confused. I watch the Terminator movies for the time travel and the latest one really messed a lot of shit up.
posted by pleasebekind at 6:19 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Presumably Kyle and Sarah fall in love in order to make John

Isn't this a big problem? They're not in 1984 anymore, they're in 2017. Even assuming that they are able to conceive the exact same baby, that kid will be 33 years younger and therefore unable to lead the armies of humanity against (not dead, yet!) Skynet.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:39 AM on July 8, 2015


Interestingly, given the way Skynet aids in its own birth and creation, helping those who help it and killing those who don't, isn't it kind of the first draft of Roko's Basilisk?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:39 AM on July 8, 2015


Isn't this a big problem? They're not in 1984 anymore, they're in 2017. Even assuming that they are able to conceive the exact same baby, that kid will be 33 years younger and therefore unable to lead the armies of humanity against (not dead, yet!) Skynet.

Considering traveling through time is apparently only a slighter bigger deal than driving down to the Circle K in the Terminator universe now, there's no reason they couldn't conceive JC whenever, and then hop back to to 1984/1985 to raise him in the "correct" timeframe.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:37 AM on July 8, 2015


Of course, if you go to the Circle K, there's at least a 10% chance that George Carlin will drop out of the sky in a phone booth and send you on a most excellent adventure through space and time.

As far as I could tell, the movie's intent was to throw the whole John Connor mythos into the wood chipper, but to what effect? The John from timeline A was still instrumental to the success of the human resistance*, and up to the point that he gets pwned by Matt Smith everything was working out the same as it had before. So they kinda dropped the ball on maintaining the timeline, which is something that Pops probably should have forseen and known to correct, but instead he sends them merrily on their way to 2017. I can see a really interesting Terminator movie being made about how John Connor wasn't really the linchpin to humanity's survival (or Skynet's demise) that he was cracked up to be, but this wasn't it.

*Which the movie for some reason interprets as meaning that he literally knew everything Skynet was planning because his Mom told him. She trained him and gave him the background, sure. But she told him every move that Skynet made? How would she know? Reece only told her the broadest strokes of the war before he died.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:03 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The original Alien is a masterpiece, and the sequel is just watchable James Cameron aggro jock action movie stuff. When people say it's better than Alien, I know we'll basically never agree on anything ever.

Eh, it's Apples and Oranges. One's a horror movie, the other is an action movie. I can certainly understand the difference in preferences.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:47 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


If Arnold returning as the Terminator isn't enough to get butts in seats, where do they go from there?

I don't think it's anything to do with any Arnold factor; I sometimes have a sense that the movie-going audience is starting to have some cravings for a bit more than just big name and big explosions and a CGI-fest. And it might just be that Terminator: Genisys is a perfectly serviceable movie (I haven't seen it and won't go out of my way to see it, so maybe one day when it pops up on Netflix) but maybe the audience is looking for a bit more meat than a re-warming of some leftovers of a franchise that peaked over 20 years ago?
posted by nubs at 8:58 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]




Of course, if you go to the Circle K, there's at least a 10% chance that George Carlin will drop out of the sky in a phone booth and send you on a most excellent adventure through space and time.

Station!

This sounds equally batshit as the Frank Miller penned Robocop v Terminator comic series from the late 80s. Which is saying something.
posted by phearlez at 2:15 PM on July 8, 2015


What annoyed me about Genisys (apart from the title) is that it isn't really a Terminator movie. It's a supervillain movie, more concerned with setting up its Lex Luthor than anything else. And that's fine, it wasn't a terrible movie, it just wasn't a Terminator movie.

What kept me engaged with it was Emilia Clarke's perfect Sarah Connor. She completely nails the character, physically; the way she carries herself and her mannerisms are just exactly right.
posted by robcorr at 2:18 PM on July 8, 2015


Terminator 3 and Salvation were both pretty terrible, considering their heritage. But Salvation was in a whole other branching time-travel universe of screaming stupid shit just spraying at you from every angle, while Rise of the Machines remained perfectly watchable and entertaining. The reason? Arnold, of course. And that's why I'm sure Genisys is still going to kick ass, because it's got Arnold in it (who, for a dude nearly seventy years old, is still looking tight as hell), in a sweet hoodie.

One thing that I'm less enthusiastic about is the soggy walking Weetbix that is Jai Courtney, and the fact that they have turned Sarah Connor from an independent badass into somebody who needs rescuing all the time (according, at least, to reviews and trailers). Like having the protector Terminator around has made her soft and helpless. Which is just totally the antithesis of that rockin' Hamilton character.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:26 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


they have turned Sarah Connor from an independent badass into somebody who needs rescuing all the time

I have gotten into a few stupid arguments over this, but one of the things I really did not like about T2 was how it took Sarah Connor (who felt like a real person in the first film) and turned her into what I thought was a pretty trite, surly action movie badass. The first film was powerful because she was a real, vulnerable person, she wasn't a grimdark superhero. It's the same reason why the Die Hard and Rambo movies went so drastically off the rails; these characters lose their flaws and vulnerabilities and become inhuman. T2 is partially about Sarah reclaiming her humanity, but that means she spends most of the movie as a cold, vicious killing machine. Obviously I wouldn't want to see her become a character who requires rescuing all the time, that would be a big step back from the first film. But if the new movie gives her some vulnerability and humanity back, I'd see that as a good thing.

I do wish they'd cast actors who look more like the actors from the original film. It's weird to have Arnold still be Arnold but to have somebody who looks nothing like Linda Hamilton playing Sarah Connor. I finally saw T4 on TV recently, and one of the things I did like was that the guy playing young Kyle Reese was doing a Michael Beihn impression. That actually made me buy that he could be the kid version of the guy from the 1984 movie.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:11 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, I was not planning on watching this movie at all. But all the attempts to make sense of the batshit Metal Gear Stupid/"Glip Glop is a spy" plot make me kinda want to. If it were free. And there were such a thing as time refunds.

Time for my dumb joke: Is the movie called Terminator: Mega Dryve overseas?
posted by Dr-Baa at 6:30 AM on July 9, 2015


Genisys does what Nyntin-don't.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:37 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


The reason? Arnold, of course.

Also a big-ass crane racing a firetruck. Everyone always forgets the big-ass crane racing the firetruck, which was honestly one of my fave chase scenes in recent memory.
posted by Hoopo at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Time for my dumb joke

I'm a big fan of dumb jokes:

What did you do this weekend?

I saw the new Terminator, Terminator something, Terminator Sega Genesis.

Really?
posted by juiceCake at 8:51 PM on July 9, 2015


Auralnauts pretty much was spot on the new Terminator's time travel tomfoolery with their Terminator: Genisys Trailer - Paradox Edition

Red Letter Media did a video trying to explain the timeline in Scientist Man Explains Terminator: Genisys
posted by FJT at 10:02 AM on July 10, 2015


Never mind me. I'm just quietly over here watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles and pretending Hot Uncle Brian is still in the picture.
posted by teleri025 at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2015


Many days later, here's still another thing I don't get: Skynet sent a T-1000 to kill Sarah when she was a kid, and someone sent a T-800 to save her, and they've been together ever since, which is why she fondly calls him Pops.

So who sent the T-800? John Connor in an alternative universe that will spawn a new movie perhaps? Kyle Reese? The all-seeing eye? The Oracle? Carcosa? Edward Furlong from a drug-induced haze?
posted by pleasebekind at 8:42 AM on July 11, 2015


Yeah, the plot has the coherence of damp tissue paper. A few things I really liked - the trap with the acid barrels over the room was a nice setup. I was amused at some of the good mimicry of the original movie in several of the 1984 scenes. J. K. Simmons is wonderful because he is J. K. Simmons. I'd like to see Emilia Clarke in more action movies because she's adorable at it and I like the idea of more action chicks who are under 5'4", but the guy playing Reese is too 'current hot guy' generic looking for my liking. If someone's been fighting a robot war for a while, I expect a rangier less well-fed look.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:52 AM on July 11, 2015


Presumably Kyle and Sarah fall in love in order to make John

I wish they addressed this better/at all, because it feels like at some point John Connor needs to get in a DeLorean and travel back to 1984 to make sure that his parents meet and fall in love.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:33 PM on July 11, 2015 [1 favorite]




I wish they addressed this better/at all, because it feels like at some point John Connor needs to get in a DeLorean and travel back to 1984 to make sure that his parents meet and fall in love.

Yeah. I think it would be more interesting if the twist was John (or Skynet) hellbent on making sure Sarah and Kyle get together to ensure his existence — not to close the 1984 timeline loop that would lead to Skynet's downfall, but to see to it that 2029 John is around for Skynet to 'infect'. The plot would still be convoluted but would give weight to Sarah and Kyle fucking around with the timeline.
posted by pleasebekind at 2:19 AM on July 12, 2015


Well, I liked it. But I had chocolate covered popcorn because they have that now at the Cinerama so I was a little bit jacked on carbs and sugar. Plot holes and time travel confusion? Sure, they're there! But... I mean, it's a movie about time-traveling killer robots from the future. I've already suspended a fair amount of disbelief just getting in the door.

Also, I've been calling it Terminator: Geriatrics.
posted by palomar at 10:48 AM on July 13, 2015


Saw T:Genisys in the theater last night, and since it's long since departed the theaters in larger cities, I saw it in a small-town theater, the kind that in larger towns has either been converted to some other sort of business or (if it's a college town) shows art films and revivals. It was a very nice little theater, and I look forward to watching a better movie in it sometime.

Arnold was pretty good; Emilia Clarke was OK, but a little underwhelming as Raised To Be An Action Heroine Sarah Connor; Jai Courtney was the charisma dampener that everyone says, and had zero if not negative chemistry with Clarke. (I wasn't so much distracted by the lack of resemblance to Michael Biehn--I got past that pretty quickly with all the recast parts--as his simply not having the right attitude: Biehn played Reese with that going-on-pure-adrenaline-and-desperation edge that you'd expect from someone who's both trying to prevent the end of the world and save the woman he has a desperate crush on, at the same time, and there is none of that in Courtney's acting.) But none of them were as miscast as Jason "No Relation, Presumably" Clarke as John Connor; even if the trailers hadn't spoiled his eventual Terminatorization, J. Clarke just comes off as too damn creepy-ass creepy to be anything but. It's the worst spoiler-of-villain-by-casting since Matthew Goode's turn as Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias in Watchmen. There were a couple of other roles that I was initially confused by, due in part to narrative murkiness; for some reason, I initially connected J.K. Simmons' character to the homeless guy that Reese steals the pants from, rather than the rookie cop, and although I caught that Miles Dyson's son was now head of Cyberdyne, or maybe just the Genisys project (I think?), I didn't catch that Courtney B. Vance was playing Miles Dyson himself very briefly until I saw his name in the credits.

The time travel stuff was a mess (I'll defer to the io9 link that bluecore posted above for the various problems), but the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff isn't the worst problem, really. It's that they can't think of a better way to resolve the plot than to blow up Cyberdyne, and Skynet with it, even though a) blowing up Skynet's "main node" or whatever they called it didn't work even in that movie, in the future, and b) how can they destroy it if it's distributed to a billion users as an app? Hey, crazy idea, what if they tried to convince Skynet/Genisys that humanity wasn't all bad, maybe tell it to look at everyone's Facebook page (and have a subsequent debate over the trolls vs. the people who were nice people and just wanted to look at pictures of kittens) and rethink the whole nuke-'em-all approach? Wouldn't that be a real "Judgment Day"? It could have ended with a scene where the countdown reaches zero and Genisys comes online to tell everyone that they don't need an app or gadget to fulfill their lives, that The Answer Was In Their Hearts All Along, or some such, thanks for the downloads, bye, and then went off to think about what it wanted to do with its new sentience or something. I dunno. All I know is that Ant-Man did a much better job with its burning-down-the-house ending.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:47 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pros:
- Fun action film
- Jai Courtney constantly reminds you of other better actors

Cons:
- Timey Wimey
- Four of five POC are bad guys out of a cast of fourteen
- Post credits scene leaves the film with no actual resolution
posted by P.o.B. at 7:58 AM on May 27, 2016


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