Terminator: Genisys is the fifth film in the Terminator feature film franchise that has also includes the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Following the blockbuster success of The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it seemed that within the span of two films, Writer and Director James Cameron had ended the story beautifully so that there was no need for a sequel. He did the same for Fox's Alien franchise. As much as we wanted to see Ellen Ripley kick more xenomorph ass, if Fox left it alone, I think the film bookended Alien in such a way that one would have not felt bad if Fox stopped making Alien movies. I believe the same is true for Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In both cases there hints from where a third installment could develop. Aliens had the possibility of the Queen leaving an egg behind aboard the Sulaco. Terminator had the remains of a crush T-800 arm left unaccounted for in the factory setting. Unfortunately, Alien 3, which on it's own has it's merits, was not the sequel audiences expected or wanted to see when it was released in 1992. Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines had some nifty set pieces and ended up with Judgment Day happening. The only thing they succeeded in doing in the second film was to delay Judgment Day.
The problem with Terminator 3 was it went totally against the "No fate, but what you make" theme of the first two films and instead told it's audience, "Judgment Day is inevitable." They also screwed up the timeline a bit, making John Connor too old to be his age in 2003 considering he was born in 1985. Nick Stahl looked older than 18. Then came what I think was a far better sequel than it has been given credit for, Terminator: Salvation. Of the five films, this is the only one that actually took us post Judgment Day and gave us another link in the story of John Connor. The casting was better also and the effects were spot on. Unfortunately, the audience was lead to believe that this was going to be the final film as they felt the title alone implied it.
Now the third and fourth film has been retconned out of existence with Terminator: Genisys, which suffers in part because it gets muddled down in it's own time travel story to such a point that it seems at times that almost any character has a time machine. The means by which Skynet wishes to take control is the exact method in which Skynet took control in Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines. Basically when you take it to the bare bones, it is software and the Internet. Practically all the cool moments in the film are simply references to the previous films and not all of it works the second time around. While Schwarzenegger still has charisma for these type of roles, he is mostly just a parody of himself now and the new Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese are simply terrible when compared to Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. Other characters are either flat comic relief glorified cameos that do little to forward the story or glorified red shirts. Matt Smith appears in the film, but he is basically wasted and the fate of John Connor feels like a betrayal of everything we have watched these movies for. I am honestly surprised James Cameron commercially endorsed this film over the others because it does not hold a candle to the first two and is marginally better than the third, but all things considered, they should have stuck with Christian Bale and ended it with him because now how can anyone honestly believe the war will ever be over since just about anyone can make a time machine in this film and let's face it, whatever happens, Skynet just keeps sending more Terminators back in time. The latest version is laughably sensitive to magnets. Seriously, magnets.
Terminator: Genisys may appeal to hardcore fans of the franchise who may be willing to suspend their disbelief enough to forgive the film it's faults, but there literally is nothing new here that has not been seen before in superior Terminator films of the past.
The Ultraviolet HD version really looks beautiful. I streamed it from my iPad to my Apple TV and was very impressed by the picture quality. The digital copy also features English Dolby Digital Sound and English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. A documentary (56:20) going into detail regarding the making of the film from casting through the effects was included as an extra digital feature.
Terminator: Genisys is available as a downloadable and or streaming digital copy at your favorite Ultraviolet online retailer and through Paramount's own app available on iTunes or Google Play now.
(C) Copyright 2015 By Mark A. Rivera
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