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Terminator Genisys: an Unimaginative Reboot

2 years ago by Chris

Terminator was a unique blend of artificial intelligence, time travel and action sequences. Terminator 2: Judgment Day took the blend to new levels. In 2015, liquid metal robots, AI, and time travel are run-of-the-mill concepts. Terminator GeniSys includes all that along with destroying San Francisco for the umpteenth time. Alan Taylor (Mad Men, Thor: The Dark World, and Boardwalk Empire) directs.

In 1984, Kyle Reese is sent by John Connor to protect Sarah Connor, but reality is a bit distorted. The movie starts in 2029 with earth now a deserted wasteland, completely annihilated after years of wars between Skynet and humans. The Resistance is led by John Connor and Kyle Reese, fighting side by side in a string of encounters which are subpar in comparison to the visual appeal of the 1984 masterpiece. The story unfolds as Connor and Reese arrive at the Skynet headquarters to the time travelling portal from which T-800 has travelled to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, the leader of the Resistance.

At times, it feels as though Magic Mike was a huge inspiration behind this movie. What unfolds next is quite baffling for true Terminator fans. The entire opening sequence of the movie is a cut and paste job, down to the last detail.

The movie has a few diversions such as old T-800 battling alongside a young T-800 (parallel timelines). As the movie is running in a parallel timeline, Sarah Connor is raised by T-800 as a child during the 70s and she calls him ‘pops’, an added twist not explored further.

Fast forward to 2017, the trio is on the move, tasked with disrupting the GeniSys program with which Skynet plans to initiate Judgment Day. The movie is riddled with been-there, done-that action sequences, including hand-to-hand combat and helicopter chases with arch nemesis appearing towards the end.

Saving Graces

  • Emilia Clarke steals the movie, emulating Linda Hamilton’s looks and traits.
  • Arnold still looks slick in his Terminator attire
  • Surprise appearance by Matt Smith and J. K. Simmons

As the movie is a prequel to Terminator, a lot of screen time is invested in laying the foundation for the struggle against robots and time travel. It loses steam in the audience’s perspective. Just as the trend continues, it will mildly impress the summer audiences while diehard fans would be a tad disappointed with the lack of creativity and plot convolution.

Photo credit: Facebook/ Terminator Genesis

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