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Will Terminator Genisys Be Any Good?

by William Schwartz

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I can maybe count on one hand the number of people I know who are excited for Terminator Genisys. No matter whether you’re a fan or not, Terminator Genisys does have one thing going against it. It’s coming out in a year that’s oversaturated with franchise films. Already we’ve got Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, plus more set to come out as soon as next year. Regardless of Terminator Genisys’ overall quality, it’s got sequelitis working against it.

But with Terminator Genisys’ opening date edging closer and closer (in fact, we’ve got some character posters to feast our eyes on), one worry has been on everyone’s mind- the movie’s already been spoiled so what’s the point?

If you’re concerned about spoilers, stop reading here.

As revealed in both recent posters and the second trailer, it seems that the movie’s big reveal involves John Connor being a Terminator himself. You can see from the character posters that John Connor, as played by Jason Clarke, has apparently become a T-8000 model. Which has to make for an awkward family reunion between Sarah, him, and Kyle.

New sequels have already been announced. So Genisys, in a way, functions as both a reboot and a sequel.

Before anyone balks, one has to remember that the Terminator universe relies extensively on time travel, making it one of the easiest franchises to reboot. One new movie and you can erase an entire continuity. In fact, there’s a million directions one can go with the right plot.

Whether or not you were a fan of Rise of the Machines or Salvation, there’s no doubt that these two movies compromise some of the weakest entries in the series. And so by going back in time, Genisys has the opportunity to create something new and exciting.

Ergo, Terminator John Connor. Whether this is a gimmick that works or not, chances are this isn’t going to be the biggest reveal that the film has in store. Considering the fact that Terminator John Connor has been openly displayed in both promotional material and in trailers, chances are pretty likely that John Connor’s reveal as a Terminator will be made fairly early in the film. And fighting against this new Terminator will be the film’s main conflict. Sarah, Kyle, and the T-800 will likely have to figure out how to either cure or destroy John Connor (as it seems John Connor’s change is due to nanotechnology and not something entirely irreversible). It’ll be an interesting direction, one has to admit, even if the film fails to live up to the original or Judgment Day.

Since all we really have to go on is a couple of trailers and posters, it’s hard to objectively see the quality of the film. But I, for one, would like to believe that Genisys will be a decent addition to the franchise. Like Jurassic World, this film has the advantage of following a series of lackluster sequels. So honestly, this film can’t be any worse than anything we’ve already seen.

Now how about the casting? To be honest, I like Emilia Clarke’s work. From Game of Thrones and onward, she’s proven herself to be a capable actress. While I’ll always prefer Linda Hamilton more, Emilia Clarke is a dynamic actress and perfectly capable of holding her own in a blockbuster film. And hey, at least Arnold’s coming back as the T-800 himself, which is more than Salvation can say.

That’s part of this film’s issue, anyway. Judgment Day is a hard act to follow. It’s considered one of the best action films of all time. Let’s get this out of the way- Genisys probably won’t come close. In fact, it may not even outdo the original film. But chances are that it may at least be a decent enough stand-alone title.

And will there be sequels? Well, who knows? Anyone remember how Salvation was supposed to be the start of a new series as well? That didn’t happen. So hopefully, for Genisys’ sake, it’ll at least out-do Salvation. If audiences are willing to see another Genisys inspired film in two years, I’m just hoping they call it something like Exydys (sic). Honestly, that’s eighty percent of the reason why I want this film to succeed. So one day I can unironically type Exydys.

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