Review: Terminator Genisys

terminator

The screenwriters have dispelled the notion of a space/time continuum. Only Stephen Hawkings might be able to understand the plot of T-G. It’s great to see the Arnold of PUMPING IRON resurrected by CGI. Why couldn’t that Arnold be in the whole movie?

Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity (1905) and General Theory of Relativity (1915), Georgi-Glashow’s Grand Unified Field Theory, the Trans-Luminal State Theory and The Theory of Distance-Time, et al, are theories – best guesses right now. Either screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier are far more adept at understanding the concept of a multiverse’s space-time paradox or they said to each other, “Hey, let’s make it up. We’re not writing a documentary.”

We all know the story of Skynet and their all-out assault on mankind. In the post-apocalyptic world of Skynet, rebel leader John Connor is their Achilles heel. The only solution is to send from the future a Terminator (a T-800 model) to kill Sarah before she can hook-up with Kyle Reese and give birth to John. John Connor is fated to stop Skynet’s Judgement Day. Somewhere along this apocalyptic journey through four sequels, The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) became a good guy. What a damn disappointment! James Cameron created one of film’s greatest villains and then castrated him.

So other, more advanced, lean and metallic robotic-killers – the T-1000 model -were manufactured by Skynet, the all-powerful robotic mastermind that has an agenda for Earth.

Maybe Skynet’s plan is an improvement. Why not – at least – take a referendum on it. Gee, even ISIS gives its hostages three alternatives: convert to Islam (best choice) pay the jizya (a Christian poll tax), or leave the country.

T-G is a fifth retelling of the saga but instead of re-inventing the story, it goes back and redoes it with twists. How and why? How is easy – make up your own theories of physical reality and then use mumbo-jumbo dialogue – barely audible by the Good Terminator – to explain it.

The Good Terminator understands it but only to a point. Someone hit “delete” on some very important files on the mainframe. Someone forgot to back-up the protocols.

Its 2017 – I think – and John Connor (Jason Clarke) is giving a fiery William Wallace BRAVEHEART speech to his gang of rebels and decides to send his devoted protégé Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), to the past and save Sarah from the robot sent to kill her.

Going back to the beginning of the saga – its origin story – the re-staging twist is that the original Terminator model meets the current model in 2029 – I think – who has aged in human years. He’s still a Terminator, but he’s 67 years old in human years. Human skin ages but not his machine brain.

We skip the part about Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) being uninformed. She knows exactly what is happening when Kyle arrives. She’s annoyed. Sarah has been watched over by “Pops”, her by now 2nd generation Good Terminator who has been emasculated to overly-protective grandfather status. Sarah keeps scolding him.

Arnold’s iconic “I’ll be back” is now “I’m old, not obsolete”.

T-G skips along from 1984 to 1997 to 2017 to 2029.

With the advancement in technology of Skynet, a new, much improved Terminator model has been designed. The sparkly-liquid robots arrive and all Sarah, Pops and Kyle can do is fire useless machine guns at them. In all these years, “Pops” has not figured out an effective way to destroy these silver-cased robots but he has learned to smile. Twice a week therapy is helping him develop social skills.

Please feel free to offer suggestions on how to destroy the liquid silver-slim Terminators.

If the actual money spent on T-G was $170 million, they should have brought a unique story and used the bulk of the money for more CGI bringing PUMPING IRON Arnold back (still paying Arnold his likeness-licensing acting fee).While we’re at it, how about Marilyn Monroe as a prescription drug addict Sarah, a 1951 (not 1996) Marlon Brando as John Connor and James Dean as Kyle Reese? Ditch the silly shoot-outs and make a dark intense drama with HUD’s Paul Newman as the new, improved Terminator.

While Emilia Clarke has a lot of practice playing an aristocratic character, she lacks anger and bitterness. Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney do not give their beloved characters any depth or intensity. Neither one is a pretty boy or has the star quality charisma of – my choices would have been Luke Evans and Theo James – they are old enough so Arnold’s cast mates are not children from the Twilight demographic.

While Clarke and Courtney are suitable, they do not take center-stage or up-stage Arnold.

Outside of the Dalai Lama, who warns he may reincarnate in a currently living person – maybe even a woman! (it’s within the realm of choices for an advanced being) – can a person actually live in the same time-frame as their younger self?

Member of Broadcast Film Critics Association: www.bfca.org/
Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/.

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email atmasauu@aol.com.

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