Spoilers and Such
I love The Terminator. It’s a damn near perfect film that did a pretty good job of tying up its loose ends. But not so good a job that it didn’t end up with a few too many sequels. So it’s a bittersweet experience to watch the clumsily re-shot scenes from The Terminator and hear familiar dialogue spoken in odd voices. The redo of Judgement Day as the opening credits roll was a pale imitation of Linda Hamilton’s raspy, hate filled voice from T2.
But then, this isn’t that reality. So it’s not really a paradox that Kyle Reese still has a photo of Sarah, even though we saw his photo burn to a crisp in The Terminator. Ditto for any other random oddities. That’s an alternate timeline, don’t worry your pretty little head about it.
One particularly odd callback is to The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a brilliant little show that never got a chance due to a Writer’s Strike. In that show, Sarah and John time travel and appear naked on a freeway, as do our heroes here. What’s odd is that that Sarah Connor’s pet Terminator was a genius. She had a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range and a time machine. This Sarah’s Terminator is still using guns it should damn well know will not be effective. Why didn’t he whip up a few phased plasma rifles? He did manage to make his own time machine, so he’s not a complete idiot.
Easily the funniest surprise was seeing Dr Who’s Matt Smith playing Skynet. He does have an American accent, but it’s still just a hoot that The Doctor wants to destroy the Future. I found it hard to take those scenes very seriously. I honestly can’t think of a worse choice for the part. At least Mother Skynet didn’t make an appearance. Of course, this is just part one of three, so who knows.
There’s a lot of Termintors fighting Terminators, which is pretty boring most of the time.
Terminator Genisys had a few cute moments, such as the fact that Skynet is no longer an A.I. lose on the internet, he’s a Social Media platform. Of course, he wasn’t even an A.I. in the first film, just a series of defense network computers that was rumored to have gotten smart. Arnold is at his best being an overprotective father and his best line has to do with how ‘little’ he sees in Kyle.
Since about half this film is bits and pieces of other things, it’s hard to see much that is original or groundbreaking or even all that interesting. It reminds me a lot of the rebooted Star Treks. Dammit Jim, that isn’t Sarah and that isn’t Kyle! It’s just a couple of people pretending to be them.