I like Sci-Fi, especially good Sci-Fi, my favourite of all time being The Terminator.
It came as a surprise to see a trailer for the DVD release of Terminator Genisys on TV when we were house sitting, as we’d had no idea there was a fifth.
However, in true budgeting form, there was no way we’d pay £12 – £15 for it and thought no more about it, until we saw it in the bargain section in the supermarket this week, so thought we’d treat ourselves.
Apart from Arnie, it was an unknown cast to us, though there were a few familiar faces, but I couldn’t tell you their stage names or what they were in. In fact it wasn’t until we watched the single special feature on the disc that I realised one of the cast had played Doctor Who for a couple of seasons not all that long ago (yeah, well, we never watched that actually).
Other Time Travel films suggest you shouldn’t occupy the same space as your past/future self (Time Cop) or make any changes to history (Back to the Future series), but this ignores all that.
We start in 2029, bounce around a bit in time and end up in 2017.
Remembering everything from the 1984 film, it looked like they had spliced in some of the original footage (young ‘The Bod’ Arnie meeting the (new) bunch of punks, same script, but not Bill Paxton) and when Kyle Reese hit the deck after his time travel trip, that looked remarkably like Michael Biehn’s landing until the close up on Jai Courtney who had taken over the role.
Why did I think this? Body shape. MB was exceedingly more slender that JC who was sporting a pretty decent 6 pack all over.
This is one of those films that you have to watch at least three or four times for it to make proper sense (hopefully) and we’ve already watched it twice.
There’s plenty of action, punch ups and things being blown up, but the basic story line is different as the past has been changed and the Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) of 1984 is not a waitress but more of her Judgement Day kick Skynet-ass self.
Arnie is now Sarah’s Guardian whom she calls Pops, having rescued her from a T1000 (the shiny guy) when she was 9. They even explained away how the model ‘101’ had aged (human skin tissue gets old).
Reese was obviously confused as the Love of his Life didn’t need rescuing or protecting, and the romantic interest was the running joke, with Arnie reminding Sarah that she had to ‘mate’ with Reese. She responded with sarcasm and a distinct lack of enthusiasm, and when Reese discovered he was John’s father, he was lost for words. Literally.
Obviously the classic lines ‘I’ll be back’, ‘Come with me if you want to live’ and ‘Get out (of whatever vehicle)’ are all thrown in somewhere, and it was clever how they utilised a lot of the special effects and story lines from the first three films.
There was however no mention of Connor’s heart transplant (what a waste of Sam Worthington) or his wife (who was pregnant) in Salvation, but the fighting machines and familiar skeletal army were well in attendance.
This could explain why the story writers lost the plot about half way through, probably getting confused with their own time lines and differentials. It all came together again towards the end though having a neat little twist of John Connor actually becoming the bad guy, evolving into a mix of T2 and T3 terminators in all their nastiness, replicating powers and body weaponry within a humanoid body (possibly a kickback to Salvation, but unlike Sam Worthington’s character, John Connor was totally aware of his ‘new all-improved and better self’ ).
I’m afraid I couldn’t warm to Jason Clarke in the role, and Michael Biehn will always be Reese for me, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I think this was a good 8.
Now as to whether there is going to be a Terminator 6 is interesting, as quite honestly, I don’t know where they could take the story.
Unless of course The Original Terminator did get Sarah Connor at the end, in which case, why are we all here?