Terminator Genisys – Preview

Terminator Genisys – Preview

Chapter One, In The Beginning…

Another decade and yet another attempt to reboot the Terminator timeline comes to the big screen. Production companies trade the rights, directors re-imagine the future, writers rework beloved characters and the carcass of a once epic Sci-Fi institution lies bloody and abused upon the floor. This time, it is the turn of Terminator Genisys.

The Terminator

Originally the brainchild of James Cameron, The Terminator (1984) was born of feverish dreams in the sweltering heat on location in Italy. The terrifying vision of an endo-skeleton rising from the fires ignited an idea within a young Cameron of machines becoming self aware, exterminating mankind and cyborgs returning from a post-apocalyptic future to assassinate resistance leaders before they’ve fulfilled their destinies. A great lumbering Austrian oak was cast in the titular role and history was written. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), also penned and directed by Cameron, played with the formula as the familiar T800 turns protector for the now adolescent John Connor as they fight to survive an encounter with the advanced T1000. Collectively, we shed a tear as Arnie is lowered into the vat of molten steel, Cyberdyne Systems are destroyed and Judgement Day has been averted. Huzzah! Or so we thought…

T1000

Check List for a Sure-Fire Future Terminator Flop:

  1. Does Arnold love the script?
  2. Has James Cameron lent his ‘approval’?
  3. Have you pushed Judgement Day back a couple more years?

The first instalment to have no involvement from series creator James Cameron, Rise of the Machines (2003) tramples all over the cherished memory and time travel mythology of its predecessors, reinstating Judgement Day (something about not being able to rewrite your fate) and dropping so many one liners it almost meanders into spoof territory. Then along came Salvation (2009). Having Christian Bale play John Connor and a Nolan brother on script duties, things were looking up for the first sequel set entirely post Judgement Day (2003 in case you missed it). Attempting to find its place in the world, Salvation throws together character and plot strands from the previous films in a convoluted effort to contribute something. Only when you have made your peace with the fact Judgement Day was ultimately postponed rather than averted can you let yourself enjoy this film. This is the Attack of the Clones of the Terminator dynasty. A hitherto teased future war played out before our hardened eyes. Sadly, before the darker Salvation trilogy could establish itself, it too was terminated amid legal wrangling over rights.

Terminator Salvation

Picture the scene, you currently hold the intellectual rights to a rival studio’s property – think Sony and Spider-Man. Maybe the studio was having a fire sale. Possibly they came as part of a separate negotiation. You may even have won them at poker. At any rate, due to the stipulations of copy write law you either A) use it or lose it or B) they revert back to their one true owner after a set number of years.

Both options tend to garner a similar response as the current beneficiary hurriedly tries their hand one last time, hence ladies and gentlemen… Terminator Genisys.

Billed as the first of a new stand alone trilogy, Genisys has confidently shown its hand early doors with a pay off trailer and boy is it playing with fire. Putting the unimaginative premise of yet another *insert machine sent back in time to prevent, *insert human from fulfilling their destiny as the, *insert role of the future resistance (yawn) to one side, T5 is guilty of the eighth cardinal sin; The events of The Terminator and Terminator 2 are gospel, only to be tampered with by JC himself in a George Lucas style meltdown. But then this is Genisys, Chapter One, in the beginning…

Angering the die hard (and probably exciting new hordes in equal measure) in this alternate reality Kyle Reese no longer finds a terrified and hysterical Sarah Connor – oh no – for she has had a T800 looking over her and her boy for nigh on a decade! Bit of an oversight there from future John. And then there is the Arnie vs Arnie face off which although admittedly looks decent in the trailer, this is heavily edited and the FX of the scene in full might not hold up so well. It also jars a little with the constant comedic references to the James Cameron originals as there is a clear disassociation between these and its predecessors. And the big sting in the tail this time around? The main weapon in their arsenal?? The coup de grace??? Don’t look now but it’s a John Connor-bot (sigh). Evidently he/it is not man, not machine but something more. I suppose only time will tell…

…Until Terminator Six comes along and changes everything again.


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