Genre: Sci-fi, Action
Star: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Director: Alan Taylor
Arnie is back!!! ‘Old, not obsolete’ as he so eloquently puts it. Terminator Genisys sees Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise the role that gave him his famous, ‘I’ll be back’ line. With Hollywood pumping in an estimated $ 155 million, the movie packs its fair share of action. But for fans who aren’t familiar with the Terminator saga (5 movies, including this one), a brief recap will help…
The Terminator franchise states that sometime in the future, Americans develop an artificial intelligence system called SkyNet, to control their nuclear weapons. SkyNet can think for itself. Unfortunately, it decides that humanity as a whole is the enemy and launches all the nuclear weapons it controls, to destroy us. Only a few humans survive that attack and SkyNet starts to hunt down these survivors using its cyborgs. War breaks out between humans (called the ‘Resistance,’ led by the highly capable John Connor) and the machines (led by SkyNet). This is the conceptual starting point of the whole series.
In each of the Terminator movies SkyNet uses time travel to send cyborgs back to the past to kill John Connor so that the Resistance won’t have a leader in their fight against the machines. In each of the earlier movies, SkyNet fails in its assassination attempt.
With all this time travel, our timeline is fractured and alternate realities begin to form. The characters in Terminator Genisys have the chance to make a favourable timeline their reality . . . but will SkyNet manage to stop them?
Terminator Genisys deals with a number of interesting themes…
First, like the earlier films, it plays with the concept of time travel. Granted, it takes you to the point where your head feels like it is going to explode, but it’s still fun.
Second, it works with the ‘humans vs. machines’ angle that has fascinated us for so long (e.g. it is the core of the Matrix series too).
And third, Genisys looks at how dependent we are on computers, and how much of our lives they control. Back in 1984, when Terminator 1 was released, the concept of computers taking over the world was an amusing idea, but hardly a plausible reality. In Genisys however, when you see ipads and smartphones as the precursors to SkyNet, it hits home just how real the story could be. Frightening.
Enjoy the movie. Just make sure that someone in your group has read this post or done some background reading. Otherwise, be prepared for a lot of, ‘What’s going on?’ or, ‘Who’s that?’ In any case, you can say ‘screw the plot’ and enjoy the stunning visual effects. There’s enough of that to go around.