“You’re nothing but a relic from a deleted timeline.”
Justin’s rating: Offline
Justin’s review: Quick question: What is the proper, fan-approved sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day? There’s really no quick answer to that, because after James Cameron’s massive smash hits, the four films (and one TV series) that followed all scrabbled to earn that coveted number three place without ceding any territory to their competitors. The end result is a movie series that is so fractured and weird that instead of presenting a linear narrative through the six Terminator films that exist, viewers are given a choice of four movies to be the official third sequel and then jettison the rest. Or they can just elect to go for none of them.
But — and trust me on this — nobody is picking 2015’s Terminator Genisys as the third-place winner. It’s easily the worst of the Terminator movies, and that is not something I thought I’d be able to say after Salvation.
Genisys tried to deliver a weird, complicated, and ultimately unsatisfying reboot of the series that sort of but not really continued the tale of Sarah and John Connor vs. future assassin-droids. And by “continued,” I mean “tied up into so many knots that no flow chart created by man could unravel this plot.” Even the name of this movie makes me see red, it’s so stupyd.
Starting in the Future War, things proceed mostly according to the events of the first Terminator. Skynet sends back a T-800 to kill Sarah Connor, while the resistance sends back a very naked Kyle Reese to protect her. However, this apparently new timeline goes off the rails as an old Arnold Schwarzenegger (yeah, he’s in this) kills his younger self, Kyle has to fight off a shapeshifting T-1000, and Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke, who looks like a 12-year-old doing cosplay) is the one who shows up in a car and barks out, “Come with me if you want to live!”
OK. Deep breath for inner calm here. So the filmmakers go the bright idea, perhaps from JJ Abrams starting Star Trek all over again for no good reason, to do the same with the Terminator franchise. Apparently *another* Terminator was sent to protect Sarah Connor as a kid and has since grown up as her big buddy bodyguard. It’s a way to explain why Arnold was aging, but… it’s really dumb. And because of this, everything that happened in all of the previous movies is null and void. Nothing like wiping out memories of movies that we loved to endear yourself to our hearts!
It gets worse… so, so much worse. Now this ’80s hero squad builds a time machine and goes ahead to 2017 to do something whatever to stop Skynet. But in this, erm, future, it’s a computer system called Genisys that’s going to be the big bad computer, and also John Connor is a super-evil cyborg who was converted by Skynet, and you really need to stop slamming your head against the monitor. It’s not going to stop this movie from lacking sense.
So clearly we’re not showing up to this movie for the plot, but is the action any good? Nope, not really. I mean, dueling helicopters and bus flipping and people slamming each other through walls would be impressive for a PlayStation 2 cutscene, but it lacks the physicality and impact of movies that were made back in 1984 and 1992.
That leaves us with a bland, forgettable mess that adds nothing to the series nor left anything but hollow disappointment. At least Dark Fate was made and righted so many of the wrongs that Genisys, Salvation, and Rise of the Machines made, but it’s small consolation for having suffered through this installment.