Terminator is arguably one of the best known and highest grossing franchises ever. It spans thirty years and over a billion dollars. Half of that has been in a tail spin though. Since James Cameron stopped being involved (T3), the last two films have made less money and been much more poorly received critically. And if you think the battle between Skynet and the resistance is bad, you should go look at the battle for the Terminator rights a few years back. The rights will revert to James Cameron in 2019 so in the meantime the current holder have launched plans to do a rushed trilogy before the creator gets them back. But at least Cameron was consulted on this one so it might be good, right?
It’s been a roller coaster. Every time they announced something good something bad would follow. Arnold’s back and not just CGI this time. That’s good! The movie is PG-13. That’s bad. One writer has worked with James Cameron before. That’s good! The other wrote Drive Angry. That’s bad. The terminator looks older because his skin ages like a normal person. That’s good! John Connor is a terminator.
In order to dive into this the way I truly want to, I will start out with a general spoiler free review and then end in greater detail after giving you an opportunity to jump off the train before it derails. This movie stars an Austrian, two Australians, a Brit, and a Korean (They took our jobs!). Jason Clarke (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Lawless) is taking the reigns of John Connor from Christian Bale. He does an OK job but for some reason it bothered me that the leader of the resistance has a chubby face. Jai Courtney (From Russia With Die Hard… or whatever it was called) has the unenviable task of harnessing Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese but also does an OK job. The real star of the film (Besides Arnold) though is Emilia Clarke. I think I’m one of two people that doesn’t watch Game Of Thrones so I didn’t realize who she was until afterwards, but in a way she’s almost playing the same character. Both are young women forced to grow up too fast that have a hardness in order to survive but a soft vulnerability bubbling just beneath the surface that draws you in. She nails it. She doesn’t have that manic craziness Linda Hamilton had but she was raised differently so it’s excusable (You’ll see). There’s also the fact that she is, quite simply, distractingly attractive. Whenever I felt like walking out of this terrible mockery of a once proud franchise the camera would cut to her and I would just… oh. It took me a lot of thinking to figure it out, but I think the effect is achieved because she’s somehow able to look both cute and hot. Close up of the face- cute. Full body pan- hot.
Seriously… just look at her
Unfortunately, the acting is one of the only things that’s decent about this film. The 3D was either so on point that I didn’t notice it much or hardly there. The visual effects were great though. It was interesting seeing what they could do to a T-1000 with fourteen years of advancement. Unfortunately, whatever they did with John Connor was eerily reminiscent of the Decepticons in Transformers:Age Of Extinction down to the sound effects so that probably didn’t help me enjoy it much. Also, at the end of the day, a T-1000 fight just isn’t that exciting because you can’t hurt it. These things work when you have a bunch of collateral damage running around for it to kill but two robots fighting gets kind of boring when one of them can’t hurt the other. There is a slight improvement on this once they start fighting the Termiconnor but it’s still essentially the same thing, just made out of something different.
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him Horatio.”
The cinder block tied around the ankles of this movie dragging it to the bottom of the ocean (Where hopefully James Cameron will descend and rescue it) is the story. It is almost mind-bogglingly hard to follow. As a general rule, time travel is tricky to pull off, but it’s like they’re not even trying. The only real thing that sucks about the original Terminator is that John Connor shouldn’t be able to send his buddy back in time to become his father. That pic of Sarah he carries around should be fading like the one in Back To The Future. Although some people argue that it could happen, it’s a bit of a logic trap. I always kind of assumed that the original John Connor had a different father but Kyle cockblocked him by being Michael Biehn. That at least allowed my brain to accept it.
Anyways, they hardly even try and address the problems. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of movies where there’s a big plot hole it seems like either nobody noticed or nobody could figure out a solution to so they just plunged forward, but this movie has about seven of them. If there had been any more holes in this movie Schwarzenegger would have cheated on his wife with them. The first twenty minutes takes place in the future, then there’s forty minutes in 1984, then an hour in 2017. This is essentially two movies jammed together. They could have stretched the whole 1984 plot out and been it’s own movie and then done the second act as a sequel. The fact that they did that when they already have two sequels planned doesn’t give me much hope for them.
To ensure the future, John Connor must travel to the past.
That’s my biggest criticism, I suppose. They’re going to lose the rights soon so they’re rushing through these to try and scoop up as much money as they can. Certain scenes from this movie seemed like they finished writing them five minutes before they shot them. Who cares if it sucks? If the sign says Terminator on it people will come. The problem now though is that, as a whole, the franchise sucks. It was fifty-fifty but now three out of five films are bad… the people might stop coming. I know I’m considering it. One of the last lines in this movie is, “Many questions remain”… you’re God damn right. D- I’m getting pissed off again just thinking about it. I’m so mad I could…
INTENSE HATRED BELOW
A D minus, you ask? How could you hate it that badly and not fail it? Because sometimes a really dull uninteresting girl can have a nice ass. The acting was alright and the visual effects were cool and there was some decent action in it. There were also a couple of good laughs (Although much like Jurassic World they were out of place). Let’s get down to brass tacks though.
The film opens in the future. The resistance is attacking Skynet on two fronts, the main base in Denver and their back up plan which ends up being the time portal. John and Kyle are too slow though, and the original T-800 gets sent back in time to where the first movie starts. John, realizing he must send Kyle back in order to become his father, sends him through. As the portal is firing up, one of the resistance members grabs John! This was revealed to be an embodiment of Skynet that is able to travel through all the terminator timelines, as if you weren’t confused already. Kyle sees some memories of an alternate timeline that hasn’t happened yet (Spoiler alert- That should be impossible) and then boom. There’s an almost shot for shot redo of the T-800 arriving from the original movie that is kind of cool. Sarah Connor and another T-800 show up and destroy it. Um… OK. It turns out that Skynet sent another T-1000 back to the seventies to kill Sarah as a child and the resistance sent another T-800 back to protect her. The 1000 kills her parents but Sarah escapes to be… raised by the Terminator?
Kyle Reese then arrives in 1984 into the waiting arms of a T-1000. This is either another T-1000 or possibly the one that killed Sarah’s parents, the movie is unclear on this. Instead of Robert Patrick reprising his iconic role it was handed off to Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow from G.I.Joe). I was already impressed with the guy, but I just learned that the mother fucker is forty-five and can get around waaaay better than me. Lee does a great job physically and acting-wise as an emotionless cybernetic assassin. There’s a bit of cat and mouse and as it started to go longer I caught myself thinking, “Is this whole movie going to take place in 1984? That’d be cool.” Around that time, they take out the T-1000 and teleport into 2017.
“I get it. You want me to have round eyes.”
That’s correct. Instead of jumping into 1997 to stop Judgment Day (Which could have been pretty cool as well), Kyle convinces Sarah to jump forward in time to 2017 to stop the launch of Windows 11 (Just kidding, it’s Genisys). Genisys is an operating system that will link your phone to your computer to your tablet to your TV to your car to your dog. Essentially, in two years Cyberdyne will invent an operating system that Apple invented two years ago. Part of the reason that Cyberdyne is able to do this is because the Termiconnor is sent back in time by Skynet and GETS A JOB AT CYBERDYNE!!! I should also point out that this is the first time anyone in these films uses a time machine to jump forward. I don’t know why that matters but it bothered me. Why hasn’t Skynet sent someone into the future to come back with advanced weaponry or technology if that was an option? Only organic material can go through? Stuff it into a tauntaun or something.
Machines can’t smell the outside or the inside.
Anyways, John Connor shows up and has been turned into a cyborg. That’s right, the leader of the fucking resistance is now a bad guy. Guess what? It’s totally irreversible too. They can’t fix him. His only weakness seems to be being made of metal so to combat him Arnold designs some MAGNETIC BRASS KNUCKLES!!! No low level EMP, no junkyard with a giant magnet, whatever.
They have to get to Cyberdyne and stop Sega Genisys from launching. Fortunately in the twenty years between when they jumped forward in time, the T-800 has been busy and helped construct the Cyberdyne facilities. It also developed human emotions. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s sentimental at least. This includes making a panic room and guaranteeing Kyle and Sarah have access to it.
Thanks to the Termiconnor coming back in time, they already have prototypes of the T-1000 alloy and the beginnings of a time machine (In addition to Skynet 1.0). They use the magnetic field from the time machine to destroy the Termiconnor and the other three Cyberdyne buildings. Somehow the panic room is strong enough to save Sarah and Kyle too. The T–800 is knocked into the T-1000 alloy and is able to use it to survive the explosion and I guess upgrade itself to a T-1000? Genisys never launches though so at least it can’t become Skynet and kill everyone. Credits.
Then halfway through the credits we see that Genisys is still alive. They hadn’t figured an advanced robotics and computer company would have an external hard drive. Despite not being in the panic room, it somehow survives the blast. TO BE FUCKING CONTINUED! So basically, if you’re keeping up, Skynet sends terminators back in time to stop the creation of, or kill, John Connor… which would stop it from capturing him, turning him into a machine, and sending him back in time to create it. You follow? Me either. Fuck this. It’s so fucking stupid. I just want to… oh. There’s Emilia Clarke again. What was I talking about?
…I’ll be back
Terminator 2 was the first rated R movie T-Bagz watched