The film is a bit of a mess in terms of plot and with the added time travel twists and set up for further sequels. All that could be forgiven if it could have been an entertaining mess. Unfortunately it isn’t. The action is everything we’ve seen before and even with today’s film budgets and special effects it can’t even reach the entertainment levels of the first three films.
It’s a shame because the premise is good. The overall setup works quite well in the first 20 minutes where the film is basically saying the game has changed and we are in an alternate timeline and we won’t know how things will turn out (same as Star Trek 09). Since the Terminator series involves a lot of time travel to begin with it’s a perfect way to shake things up. But instead of staying in the past of 1984 (giving themselves 13-33 years to actually stop judgement day) they unnecessarily feel the need to jump to 2017 to stop Judgment day less than a day before it happens, then John Connor shows up and he’s a Terminator and has been helping create Skynet here and the police officer from 1984 is around to help Kyle and Sarah and the T-800 which was the stuff of nightmares is now called “Pops”. Inbetween all the tech talk that seems to bluff it’s way through actually explaining things there is still the mission to stop judgement day and destroy the Terminator 3000. It’s all a race to the end of the film and there’s really nothing satisfying about it at all. Any mystery not revealed in the film is hinted at to be answered in the sequel as Kyle’s voice over says at the end. There aren’t even any good laughs in this.
The film seems too influenced by the likes of Doctor Who, Star Trek 09 and The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Building a Time machine in 1984? Really? I groaned at that idea in the Sarah Connor Chronicles too.
I understand why Cameron gave this film his blessing. He did it to be nice and because his friend Arnold is in it. The film was already suffering after it got poor ratings from advance screenings with Test audiences. Considering how they blew a major plot twist with the trailer it’s clear to see desperation in the promoting of the film.
What did I like about the film? I liked that CGI 84 Arnie was budgeted to last longer this time than he did in Terminator Salvation. I like that we finally got to see the end of the future War and see John send back Kyle. T-1000 is still cool.
Will there be a sequel? Hell yes there will. But it’ll be another reboot/restart/continuation by someone else, it won’t be a sequel to this mess. James Cameron gets the rights back to the Terminator franchise in 2019. Here’s hoping……
Time Travel notes
Me cry into tears as to how to explain this one. But OK. As I mentioned in my previous post about cause and effect. To some degree that’s true again this time. John Connor does mention that him and his parents now exist outside of time thanks to their shenanigans and in a way can no longer be affected by events (someone been watching Doctor Who?). So clearly John can Kill Sarah and Kyle because they’ve now jumped to 2017 which means John Connor was never born at this point and if they do get it on in future he’ll still be just a kid by 2029. So in this way the cause and effect are in reverse, they have not affected anything since they weren’t there making them obsolete to the current timeline but they still exist because they are part of events already come to pass from their view points. Damn it, this is confusing.
Since John Connor was never born and the original Terminator Chip and Arm were destroyed then what timeline is this? It means that Terminator 1 is definitely a paradox. Kyle coming back in T1 + the Terminator Arm and chip lead to 1997 Judgment day. No Kyle Reese or Terminator arm means that what we see in Genisys might be the original timeline. But then, John Connor 3000 showed up in 2014 so not exactly.
Questions: Here’s one, why did the T-5000 let Kyle Reese go back in time before acting? Also Kyle took a pretty hard hit from a car and survived. Another Terminator?
Favorite Quote: “You didn’t think it would be that easy.” – T-5000/skynet/cyberdyne/alternate future skynet/The Doctor.