Terminator Genisys, judgement is upon you for you have sinned.
Terminator‘s rebirth suffers at the hand of Alan Taylor as he thrusts a cherished classic toward the bright light of modernity with uncompromising incompetence bringing about swift judgement.
Ah yes the birth of a new Terminator trilogy, because the first one ended so well. The Terminator and T2 are quite brilliant landmarks in science fiction history, there’s no denying it so don’t even bother. Then along came Terminator: Rise of the Machines. A film full of shaky acting, Arnie reprising his role as the T-800, and the end of the world. Skynet wins.
Salvation is its own thing and actually quite enjoyable as a stand alone gritty insight to the human rebellion. Much less time travel and much less to define it as a member of the Terminator franchise.
Now we have Terminator Genisys. Awash with banal exposition that would give Wikipedia a run for its money, throwaway catchphrases and a strange Jeremy Kyle undertone.
Directors and screenwriters make terrible decisions all the time. But whoever thought it was a good idea for Sarah Connor to name her T-800 ‘Pops’ needs a holiday. Ergh! For a film intent on driving home an inherent fear of ubiquitous technology it fails to channel the same lighthearted punch of T2. As Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton’s seemingly uncompromising mistrust of technology, specifically the reprogrammed Terminator sent to protect her son in T2, gradually subsides as she recognises the father figure John has been lacking.
Naming Arnie’s T-800 ‘Pops’ in Terminator Genisys effectively undoes this nuanced transition and paves the way for Arnie to repetitively draw attention to his age. Yes we get it you’re “old but not obsolete”, but you are also better than that lazy observation. His most recent outing in Maggie proves he is capable of existing outside of a defining typecast role, albeit and aged one.
Reprising his role as the formidable T-800 we feared in The Terminator and embracing the reprogrammed change of heart from T2 Arnie has everything going for him until he is reduced to number. A benchplayer in a convoluted social commentary packed with robotic exposition and throwaway catchphrases that only succeed in making us sigh with anguish as a landmark character is reduced to the shadows with a cheesy grin plastered all over our defaced nostalgia.
For all its shortcomings, blinding incompetence, bandwagon social commentary, mind-boggling transitions, and irrefutable reliance on the audience to accept what is happening without asking any quesitons, because, well Arnie, derrr, Terminator Genisys is distinctly Average.