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Monday, July 6, 2015
I’m going to recommend that movie studios focus a lot more energy on trying to pay people to post positive reviews for their terrible movies on Rotten Tomatoes and avoid IMDB.com. Why do I say that? Because Terminator: Genisys has an unrealistic 7.1 out of 10 rating on IMDB.com (where the studios pay people to post positive reviews) and a more realistic 27% out of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The lesson here is that this movie is terrible and Rotten Tomatoes is a more accurate barometer of the quality of any given movie.

James Cameron sold his rights to the Terminator series for $1 in exchange for being allowed to direct the first film. He wound up directing the first and second films and, as everyone knows, they were smash hits. The idea for the Terminator series was all James Cameron’s idea, but he has not seen a dime from the three movies that have been released since Terminator 2: T2. Cameron doesn’t regret the decision because he says it paved the way for his career in Hollywood. However, Terminator fans regret that Cameron is not involved in the series anymore because every movie since T2 has been awful. Say what you want about James Cameron, but he nailed it with the first two Terminator movies.

The rights for the Terminator series have been bouncing around for the past few years, but they revert back to Cameron in 2019. Should Terminator fans rejoice at the prospects of Cameron doing another Terminator movie? Probably not, because he has several projects already started that will take him years to complete. The other piece of bad news for Terminator fans is that Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions plan on churning out two more Terminator movies before 2019 to cash in on the franchise before they either have to give the rights back to Cameron, or pay a small fortune to keep them.

The two best attributes of Terminator: Genisys are Ah-nold and J.K. Simmons. Ah-nold looked older in Terminator: Genisys, but he acted much older in 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Ah-nold worked out for six months before filming this movie and it shows more in his fluid motion than anything else. He looked uncomfortable in Rise of the Machines and it affected the movie. J.K. Simmons is simply one of the best actors in Hollywood and played his part to perfection. He was the only actor who delivered jokes that were funny and his timing is perfect, as always.

The story in Terminator: Genisys looked slapped together with no thought as to what was going on. Director Alan Taylor brings back all of the familiar characters, but they are all played by different people. This would stand to reason since it has been 31 years since the first movie and I am pretty sure that Linda Hamilton could not pull off the role of a 20-year-old Sarah Connor anymore. Not only are we supposed to try and superimpose the faces of Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn onto two younger actors, but then we are faced with the dilemma of trying to understand what in the hell is going on.

Time travel in any movie is tricky and needs to be handled properly. Alan Taylor completely ignores any type of logic and starts throwing characters into the movie at times when they are not supposed to be there. The T-1000 Terminator model was not introduced into the series until 1991, but Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese find themselves being chased by a T-1000 in 1984. This is just one example of the completely confusing artistic license Taylor takes with the Terminator story line which, in my opinion, has always been shaky to begin with.

Terminator fans will point to the Star Trek reboot and say that time travel and alternate realities worked for that movie, but this is not the same. With Star Trek, J.J. Abrams at least had the decency to explain what was going on and walk us through the whole thing. Alan Taylor simply announces that Sarah Connor was introduced to the Ah-nold Terminator when she was nine-years-old when Ah-nold saves her life from something (we never find out what) and then she is raised by the Terminator. She gets so close to the Terminator that she calls him “Pops.” Oh, and Ah-nold is called a Guardian now and no longer a Terminator.

If you stop and think about everything they tried to do in this movie, you realize that there are scenes that logically just should not have been able to happen. This movie is supposed to be canon with the first two, yet it completely ignores the fact that John Connor was born in 1985 and should have been a 32-year-old man by the time the movie jumped to 2017. Instead, we simply insert a different John Connor and ignore the fact that the other John Connor is even supposed to be there.

I don’t do spoilers, but I am interested to see how many of you who see this movie find the ending completely incoherent. If you stop and think about it, everything that happens at the end of this movie should not have logically been able to happen and there certainly should be no room for any sequels. But there will be at least one sequel and, if Skydance and Paramount have their way, two more sequels.

I think I will pass. I have had enough of the Terminator universe that doesn’t seem to have any sense of organization, logic, or continuity.

Rating: 1 out of 5

+George N Root III is a drive-in fanatic who keeps trying to give the Terminator series a chance, but is always disappointed. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, email him at georgenroot3@gmail.com, and follow along with the conversation about this movie and others online at https://www.facebook.com/enpatthedrivein.



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