Terminator Genisys Review by Super Luis
Back To The Terminator
Hello again interweb the name is Super Luis with my review of this summers long awaited action flick, Paramount’s Terminator Genisys. Shout out to local comic shop Cosmic Comics for the chance to see the film early which hits theaters July 1st.
Terminator Genisys is one of the guiltiest theatrical pleasures I’ve had in a long while. Inside of our dark IMAX 3D Theater me and my fellow pencil pushing comrades’ situate our 3D glasses and strap in for a reminiscent ride along with our favorite Austrian Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This review is spoiler free, and I won’t speak of anything you can’t see in the trailer below, so relax.
Opening in the timeline from the aftermath of Judgment Day, we are given a brief history on where the human resistance stands after so long fighting the machines. We’ll save the opening scene for your viewing pleasure and jump into the first Schwarzenegger action sequences that set the mood for what is cleverly an effective and polished introduction into the entire original cast of Terminator characters. The film’s story follows predominantly the perspective of Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), as he is sent back in time by John Connor (Jason Clarke) to protect John’s mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from a futuristic programmed killing machine known as a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Does this sound familiar? It should; because it is essentially the same premise for the very first Terminator movie and is what we must use as our main reference for story arch and character development in what I am calling a Back To The Terminator film piece. (T2: Judgment Day Fees Apply.)
In theory, if you had a Dad that drank beer and watched action VCR flicks regularly, you’ve probably seen, heard, or vaguely sniffed the Terminator Franchise. (Except Salvation, let’s dissolve that from our memories forever.) If you haven’t heard of the Terminator Franchise, then please give me the phone number to the rock you’re living under. Terminator. That solitary word carries cult classic action nostalgia like orchestras carry music through grand halls. But can nostalgia carry a franchise forever? If so, how can Terminator Genisys which is a movie that’s not quite a sequel, but definitely a reboot, hold up to it’s predecessors? Simple friends; “Arnold on Arnold action” and a whole lot of time travel to erase what you think you know. (So don’t get smart.)
But can nostalgia carry a franchise forever?
Not to long before I saw Genisys, I finally beat Irrational Games 2013 Bioshock: Infinite. (Bioshock Spoiler Alert) For those not familiar, Bioshock: Infinite takes place in a floating city in the sky called Columbia, where you must rescue a time tearing portal opener from the clutches of a maniac old man who claims himself a prophet. Through your adventure you jump universes and walk seamlessly through the fabric of time via Tears that put you in other universes similar to your own, but with things being slightly or dramatically different. For instance in one universe people may love the sound of the Blues, but in another universe they may love the sound of Rock and Roll. Both musical styles are played by the same musicians congruently in both timelines because these musicians were always destined to play music. So in the story of Bioshock: Infinite there is always a City a Man visits, always a Woman who can Tear the fabric of time, and always a Man trying to save said Woman from another Man that claims himself a prophet.
When Terminator Genisys ended and went black to the end credits; sounds of heads scratched as viewers wondered “Well that was cool, but what did any of it mean? I mean it was cool, but I don’t get it.” Which is understandable after accepting that the first memorable Terminator quality of the film is the intense and often brutal action sequences. In Terminator Genisys it takes a simple checklist of the following to make that happen: fan favorite action sequences, unique characters, and witty one liners to sell itself as being “ONE of the “Terminator Movies.” So by all records and accounts Terminator Genisys crosses the board with all X’s. Sounds fantastic, but then there’s the whole time travel bit. You know, that thing from the 80’s? So to anyone who hasn’t spent their actual adult life pursuing the relative thought of space, fabric of time, energy, matter, sound, light and all that scientist jazz in-between then time travel in movies can be a total mess to understand. (So why bother? Oh right, the review…)
You know, that thing from the 80’s?
Realism in movies is a commonly used angle for portraying fantasy film characters. Like for instance Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Marvel’s Spider-Man. Peter Parker grows sacks of spider butt fluid on his wrists instead of inventing a web shooter cause he’s smart and he totally can. We as fans can then create theories and justifications on principles of existence or why the hell this and that is. Only in theory of course. This in turn causes mass amounts of nerds like myself and everyone writing about this time line car accident we call Terminator Genisys to all congregate and compare movie theories as if it is an actual scientific debate. Well I’ll be the first to say that sometimes what makes going to the movies so damn fun is NOT being able to connect the dots. “But I MUST know”, you may say like Inigo Montoya. Well I respond as The Man in the Black Mask “Get used to disappointment.”
As the viewers it’s our job to connect the dots as best we can and it is the movie’s job to force us to think how all this stuff jives into one big picture. Easier said than done for some movies, and Terminator Genisys is no exception to that as sometimes the dots do not to seem to logically connect at all. It took three terminator movies to explain Judgment Day alone. Most think of T3 as a black sheep to the franchise but it still directly involves itself as being important in the overall Sarah Connor/John Connor picture. This gives me hope that this eventual big picture, (yes, I’m talking after sequels), we will get our answers to this apparent multiverse timeline where anything goes. A multiverse where there is always a Sarah Connor, always a John Connor, always a Kyle Reese, always a Terminator sent back in time, and always a Judgment Day to incinerate the Earth. Multiverse is an easy way to say that in time travel, nobody’s right, and nobody’s wrong, because anything is possible in some universe or another.
Terminator Genisys is an overall unique addition to the franchise and deserves a concrete 4 out of 5 stars. Fear not fans of the Terminator legend. I feel like once we finish this road we’ve all again decided to walk down with the Terminator; our “Pops” Arnold Schwarzenegger, he will always keep us highly entertained. He’ll be back; in one of these damn universes or another.