We’ve decided to start watching movies while hanging out in the office. Two days ago, the movie of choice was Terminator: Genisys.
I’m a little bit picky about movies in the Terminator world because I consider Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day to be fantastic examples of movie-making, creative thinking, world-building, and science fiction in general. I was remarkably not impressed with Terminator: Rise of the Machines, but I did think that Terminator: Salvation was a mostly okay movie. Mostly. So when I saw the previews for Terminator: Genisys, I was remarkably skeptical about rebooting the entire franchise and changing so much of the storyline. But, hey, the last two movies didn’t exactly do justice to the story or the characters, either, so why not watch another random action movie, right?
I guess one of the first things that struck me about Terminator: Genisys is that the actor they chose to play Kyle Reese did not look like a war-torn, exhausted soldier to me. He was kind of a pretty boy and looked like he just stepped out of the gym. “Excuse me, Mr. Infiltrator, would you mind waiting just a sec, bro, while I finish my curls? Thanks.” The original Kyle Reese looked like I would expect for someone who was living in the ruins of the future. He looked old and tired and he was lean, which is what would happen if you had to scrounge for food and resources and spent your life fighting and running. The look in his eyes was one of someone who has seen too much and seen too many people killed. This new Kyle Reese was a giant. He was well-built, muscular, and fresh. He didn’t give off that distance and bone-weary exhaustion that comes with people who have spent their entire lives at war. Because he just didn’t feel like Kyle Reese, it took a lot longer for me to get involved and invested in the story.
Wow, that story. Once the movie was over, my brain felt like Swiss cheese. To me, it felt like there were a lot of holes in the story and in the plot and with the movie in general. I’m not really sure what else to say about that other than feeling a lot like the movie made absolutely zero sense once the credits starting rolling. I could talk about time paradoxes and parallel universes and all the other things that I enjoy about well-done science fiction, but this didn’t really feel like well-done science fiction to me. This movie pretty much destroyed the entire Terminator world and that isn’t exactly a good thing for me. I like the science fiction that leaves me with that sense of, “Hm. I wonder if this would really happen” and I don’t think I felt that at all at the end of this movie.
I’m going to give away the entire end of the movie right now, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and you don’t want to know how everything ends, you should probably stop reading now.
So the end of the movie, the major evil machine is defeated at the hands of our heroes who magically happen to be the only ones to have access to this end-of-the-world bunker and the original Terminator model gets an upgrade to be a T1000. Young Sarah Conner and the Kyle Reese from the future give young Kyle Reese a message and drive off into the sunset in 2017 as a happy little family of the future. And it bothered the crap out of me because it’s taking away from the strength, skill, determination, sacrifice, and development of the original characters.
Overall, I would probably rate this movie as a low two on my rating scale. It had some interesting points and some decent action, but I have no intention of purchasing it, nor do I think I will see it again unless someone else is watching it and I have nothing better to do.