7.10.2015

Teminator: Genisys

Terminator: Cornfyld.
"The rules have been reset."

Hello again and welcome to the Tagline! In an ongoing trend where it almost seems like it is the flagship goal of my blog, today I will be discussing a movie and more or less directly disagreeing with nearly every critic that gets within viewing distance of whatever movie I happen to be talking about. Today that movie is Terminator: Genisys, a film with a title that is moderately less stupid once you're actually watching the movie. I mean, there's at least an explanation, but it's still a sort of dumb thing to call yourself. This latest Terminator does the cool thing to do this decade and reinvents the mythology, sort of pulling a Star Trek and sidestepping the existing canon. Admittedly the context there is very different, and Genisys doesn't throw everything out the window. Starring Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese (you saw him here recently as a massive dildo in Insurgent) and Emilia "my name is Daenerys and not Khaleesi" Clarke as a Sarah Connor, who in this continuity is kind of messed up from when her parents got blown up, but is under the protection of a terminator that was sent back by an unknown party to protect her. The mission as Kyle understood it has changed, and together they now attempt to stop Skynet from being created (again) with a new obstacle barring their path.

Terminators age apparently? Who knew.
So even in the best of circumstances, having a plot that centers around time travel can be... tricky. When you're dealing with events in a non-linear fashion, it can be difficult to try and keep things straight. Sometimes its best to abandon any attempts to really do that, and just accept that your story is a little wonky. Previously, Terminator movies operated under a time paradox scenario, where (if you don't know) Kyle Reese was sent back into the past by John Connor to save Sarah Connor, but in the process became the father of John Connor. In Genisys, Skynet changes its tactics, having been firmly beaten several times thanks to the efforts of John Connor et al. Instead of attacking John in the past, it attacks him in the future, subverting him using nano-machines (the sci-fi gimmick the series hasn't used yet), so that if John Connor is the deciding factor in winning a future war, then Skynet can benefit from having him on its side. There are of course issues with the film's continuity, for instance Sarah and Reese never have sex at any point, but for some reason John still exists in the future. He sort of acts as the movie's mouthpiece to explain that after jumping around so much, and because of their centrality to so many events and timelines, that John, Kyle and Sarah are persistent elements that wouldn't be written out by changes to the timeline. As excuses go that's pretty flimsy but... points for trying I guess Terminator.

Also starring JK Simmons as a cop who believes in future robots.
The thing though is that, while it is certainly true that Genisys has a kind of dumb story, that could easily be said of basically every other Terminator movie (except the first). I didn't go to see this movie expecting hard sci-fi, or the best plotting in the world. I expected to be entertained by some good action, some limited wit. and Arnold beating up a CG version of himself. I got a little bit of all of that. I thought it was cool too that this movie was doing its own thing but also included old style terminators, and T-1000s. It was a nice send-up and the whole thing was substantially less stupid than say... Terminator 3. Was reaallly not into that one. The effects in this movie are about what you'd expect, they look great, and the number of absurd things that happened was lower than I would expect if I'm being honest. All in all I thought this was a pretty enjoyable action sci-fi movie, and if you liked other Terminator movies you'll probably like this one too. Then again I even liked Terminator Salvation and as near as I remember everyone hated that movie so maybe I'm wrong. Also for all those wondering, Genisys is the cloud software that transforms into Doctor Who to bring about the apocalypse.

So that's about all there is to it! Join me again next week, where I anticipate we're going to probably be talking about something truly ridiculous.

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