Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Terminator Genisys (USA, 2015)

Nine Things About the Movie Terminator Genisys

1. This is the fifth Terminator movie in 30 years.

2. The first two Terminator movies told basically a complete story. Parts 3 and 4 gave an alternate timeline for the first two movies. Terminator Genisys combines all four previous movies to make an alternate-alternate timeline.

3. While technically this is a stand-alone film, in order to really appreciate what's going on, you have to know the first four movies. The plot is very complicated, and makes references to all the other films.

4. The film shows the events that led to the original Terminator film - sending the T-800 to kill Sarah Connor, and sending Kyle Reese after it. But something goes wrong at the last second, and the timeline splits, giving Reese two sets of memories.  He ends up in a different 1984 than he was expecting... and different from what we were expecting, too.

5. Part of the movie recreates the original Terminator from 1984. With some new twists.

6. Like all time-travel movies, this one causes problems for itself, especially considering it tries to absorb all the other time-travelling from the other movies. But it commits itself to the story and doesn't get wishy-washy. Like the other movies, you have to just go with it.

7. Combined with the clever but confusing story, there are some great action sequences. The special effects are impressive.

8. The movie ends with some serious unresolved questions and paradoxes (which Kyle Reese is Sarah going to sleep with? Why was there a T-1000 in 1984 if Skynet and the Resistance were basically leap-frogging each other?  And why did it really start in both 1973 and 2017? Are the alternate timelines weaving through each other?).  This is supposed to be the start of a trilogy, so I'm hoping these will be addressed eventually. But they have a lot of explaining to do.

9. Since I've seen all the other movies, I can say this is my favorite of the series, because of its pure audacity in looping everything together. If you haven't seen the other movies - or don't remember them - this can be fun to watch, but frustrating and confusing to understand.