By Darren Chan Keng Leong (Singapore)
Note: Minor Spoilers!
I grew up watching the Terminator franchise with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular character in saving mankind from the terminator and the evil Skynet who is hell-bent on world domination. Terminator Genisys is a film that undoes and corrected the storyline that went out of shaped in Terminator Salvation. This film ties closely with Terminator 2: Judgement Day which is the film’s most successful Terminator film to date. It is a smart move that Director Alan Taylor who helmed Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World in trying to inject a new storyline and interest in reviving the Terminator franchise yet again.
The first part of the film opens in the year 2029 where John Connor who is portrayed by Jason Clarke is the leader of the human Resistance and leads the final confrontation in Los Angeles to take down Skynet once and for all. Kyle Reese who is portrayed by Jai Courtney is helping John in a strategic offensive in destroying Skynet’s main weapon which is a time machine that will play an integral part of the film’s rebooted storyline.
However, things take a turn for the worse when the self-aware Skynet sends a T-800(it is a CGI-younger version of Arnold Schwarzenegger) to the year 1984 to kill John’s mother Sarah Connor who is portrayed by Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame so that John will cease to exist in the present. Left with no other way, John Connor is forced to send Kyle Reese back in time to protect his mother. Just as Kyle Reese is about to get transferred into the past, a T-5000 who is under the guise of a resistance fighter, Alex who is portrayed by Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame attacks John Connor.
The story quickly moves ahead with Kyle Reese encountering the T-800 but is quickly saved by Sarah Connor and her reprogrammed T-800 who is portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The time travel has caused a fracture of timelines that film-goers will have to watch in order for them to understand. There are a total of four or five interwoven timelines that sometimes can get confusing but the characters do keep up with the changing environments.
The highlight of the film is definitely the action scenes where we see the T-800 who is now called the Guardian trying to protect Sarah Connor. I felt that this film had more chemistry between the main cast where we see Kyle Reese interacting with the T-800 with hilarious and funny results and also the endearing chemistry between the cast members makes it a better memorable experience to see. Also there is a plot twist with one of the characters in this film that makes it even more interesting to watch.
I was literally excited to hear the iconic Terminator theme being played during the action scenes as it brings back so many memories of the fight against the terminators in the older movies. The film also introduced more variation and upgraded versions of the Terminator to keep up with the times which creates a greater threat to the characters that are trying to save mankind and the day. It was nice to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous catchphrase “I will be back” that brings familiarity into a new trilogy and the franchise.
Can Skynet really be stopped? Viewers have to stay till credits to know the result of the direction where the sequels of Terminator Genisys might be heading to. Director Alan Taylor did the film justice by reviving the Terminator franchise but hopefully, there are more interesting ideas that will keep the sequels just as captivating and interesting to watch in the coming years.
I would strongly recommend viewers to watch the older Terminator films before watching the current film as there are many references being made in this film in a bid to showcase continuity of the successful Terminator franchise. Terminator Genisys is a must-watch summer film that shows that a reboot could be vital in correcting timeline and continuity issues. Hasta La Vista, Baby!