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What Keith's Watching: Terminator: Genisys (2015)

My co-host of But You’re Wrong, Greg, and I have had more than a few conversations about the Terminator franchise. Specifically around the message of if one can change their future or not. The franchise seems to bounce around going from the future is chargable to there is no prevention of Judgement Day. Terminator: Genisys, is the continuation of that ping pong message.

I went in expecting it to be awful and it wasn’t. It wasn’t that good either. It might be a good thing that I didn’t watch the other movies before watching this one. Maybe if I had, I would’ve been more annoyed. I don’t know though. It did probably help that my expectations were low.

Genisys is pretty much the best parts of the franchise in one film, which made it fun. But what ends up being a major pilot point – John Connor becomes a Terminator – was already ruined for me by the trailers. I kept hoping there would be some thing more, but there wasn’t. I had unanswered questions at the end that would’ve been a nice twist or at least a surprise, but that never happens. So those unanswered questions just become plot holes. Whether they were meant to be answered in the ill-fated sequel or not, they still feel like plot holes in this film.

I did appreciate how they incorporated the much-aged Arnold Schwarzenegger. It made sense. It worked in the story and was kind of a cool element. But there’s no real payoff for it. Arnold is sent back to protect Sarah Connor, but we have no idea who sent him back. That’s a huge plot hole to me. Because no matter what happens at the end of the movie, terminators still have to be developed in the future for them to send Arnold back to fight the T-1000 that’s sent back in the future, too. At a certain point in the movie, I realized that no matter whether they succeed or not, some version of SkyNet and Judgment Day are still going to happen. At no point does anyone question this. Even Arnold himself, who is a master of time travel and “bleed-through memories,” doesn’t see a problem.

The assumed sequel to Genisys seems unlikely at this point. At least it won’t be in its original form. It’s on indefinite hold while they ‘readjust.’ Hopefully that readjustment doesn’t involve more time travel that would convolute this mess anymore. Maybe a terminator should just go to the Civil War, kill Sarah Connor’s grandfather and we find someone else’s bloodline to be the savior of humanity. Start the whole thing fresh. Or maybe they should just do what they should’ve done in the first place and leave the franchise alone.

The Terminator franchise will always be a losing battle. No sequel will ever live up to the originals and will never see the fall of Skynet and the prevention of Judgment Day. If there’s a chance to make a few days, we’ll always need a Judgment Day.

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