It's been 30 years since the original Terminator (1984) hit the screen. One of the most famous movie lines came from a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, as he stated: "I'll be back." And he kept his promise. He was back in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), my personal favorite, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), and now once again in Terminator Genisys. He skipped Terminator Salvation (2009), because his duties as the Governor of California kept him from being in films during his personal reign.
Speaking of reigns, the director of this film, Alan Taylor, also directed six episodes of Game of Thrones. And our beloved Sara Connor is portrayed by another Game of Thrones alumni, Emilia Clarke. Hmmm, coincidence?
Ok, so let me start by saying that no matter what else you read, I liked this film. It's got Jason Clarke (no relation to Emilia, who’s from Berkshire, England). He's from Queensland, Australia. But still? Hmmm, coincidence?) I viewed it in 3D. It had plenty of action, great CGI, lots of explosions, turmoil, things that blow up, plenty of Sci-Fi and of course, it’s got Arnold. What could possibly go wrong??
So this new version (number 5 in the series) involves once again, a terminator from the future trying to kill the freedom fighters of the past in order to win a war in the future. Time travel, got it? I believe that I understood the entire concept of time travel from the first three movies, but this movie is time travel on acid. I was so lost regarding this movie that I still have absolutely no idea of what was going on. However, the same theme exists along with the same scenes from the prior movies. Good terminator and Sarah Connor kill the bad terminator who keeps resurrecting itself and they kill it again and again and again. Got it? So without giving away the plot, here goes.
Kyle Reese (good guy) is sent back in time by John Connor (good guy/bad guy/TBD) to stop the bad terminator from killing Sarah Connor, but something goes wrong. It's a Nexus! No, not that Nexus from Star Trek: Generations. You know, the one where Captain Picard meets Captain Kirk—it’s a different kind of Nexus. It does something else that I still don't understand.
Well, this Nexus screws up everything, and the stories of the first three films that we know and love are all screwed up till nothing makes any sense at all and you have no idea of what is going on (what a mess). Thank goodness for Arnold with his gray hair and his beloved halfcocked smile (robots have gray hair?). If it wasn't for him, I just don't know what I would have done. Even in the replica of the scene from Chinatown (I'm her mother, I'm her sister, I'm her mother and her sister), if it weren't for Arnie, I'd be at wits end. Nothing made any sense. Terminators appear all throughout the timeline, today is before yesterday, tomorrow is now, before, later, storylines change, add in a phantom child image (like V.I.K.I. from I Robot, but a child), sprinkle it with some Matrix effects, throw in a damaged Flux Capacitor, add-in a Marty McFly and you kind of get the picture. And if the writers had bothered to see Timecop (1994), they would know the rules of physics: "the same matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time (where is Doc Emmet Brown when we need him?). Well, let's throw that one fact out the window. I tried throwing popcorn up in the air (sorry didn't have any rice, must have used all my supply on the Rocky Horror Picture Show) to see what effect it had on the story, but it didn't change a thing. It was still a mess! BTW, on a side note: I have it on good authority that if Terminator Genisys does good box office (makes money), they’ve got a green light to produce two more in the franchise (maybe then they’ll explain the story… again).
So let's recap. The terminator from the future travels to the past, but the terminator from the past fights the terminator from the future while the good guy becomes the terminator from the now, and traveled back to take over the world and ask everyone to sing “Kumbaya”. But how did the terminator from the future appear 12 years prior in the past prior to the terminator of the future, whose job it was to kill Sarah Connor—and what happened to the terminator from the future whose job it was to protect John Connor, who’s now a super terminator? Now do you understand? Me neither!