Terminator Genisys & Terminator rundown


Short Review: Not as bad as everyone says it is. Set your expectations low, and it won’t suck quite so bad. Or just rent it.


Long Review:

Arnold Schwarzenegger (thanks google drive for the spell check) said he would “Be Back”, and he is! That’s the best part of the latest Terminator movie, the Governator himself is returning to one of the movie franchises that made him so famous.


As with all movie franchises, or “IPs” as some call them, it’s important to know where we can from. So, in order as they were released, I’ll give you a rundown of each Terminator movie, what happened (maybe a few spoilers) and what I thought of them. 

In case you're interested, here's financial rundown for each Terminator movie so far, curtisy of the-numbers.com

 Screen Shot 2015 07 26 at 6.53.42 PM


terminatorThe Terminator: (1984)

Writer/Director = James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger + Terminator = bad guy from the future
Michael Biehn + Kyle Reese = Good guy from the future
Linda Hamilton + Sarah Connor =  good guy, mother of future John Connor, leader of resistance
Quote: “I’ll be back”

James Cameron wrote and directed this one and it was only his second movie. The first one was the gold nugget, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning. Much like in the Alien franchise, the first one is the most brutal. Shore more like a horror movie than an action movie, The Terminator has a lot of scenes where The Terminator is just gunning down tons of innocent people. And because it doesn’t know what Sarah Connor looks like, it just found a phone book and started gunning down every woman who had that name just to be sure. It’s very violent and brutal but well done.


T2Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Writer/Director = James Cameron
6 Academy Award Nominations + 4 won = Badass Action Movie
Arnold Schwarzenegger + altered Terminator = good guy from the future
Robert Patrick + T100 = bad guy from the future
Linda Hamilton + Sarah Connor + mad workout = kick ass female heroine
Edward Furlong + John Connor = not a great John Connor, future leader of the resistance


John Connor: No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk. You don't say "affirmative," or some shit like that. You say "no problemo." And if someone comes on to you with an attitude you say "eat me." And if you want to shine them on it's "hasta la vista, baby."
The Terminator: Hasta la vista, baby.
John Connor: Yeah but later, dickwad. And if someone gets upset you say, "chill out"! Or you can do combinations.
The Terminator: Chill out, dickwad.
John Connor: Great! See, you're getting it!
The Terminator: No problemo.

Though they defeated The Terminator, Sarah Connor talked too much about Judgement day (the day Skynet and the robots take over the world and kill most of the world’s population), and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Skynet sends another Terminator back in time, this one is more advanced. John Connor and the resistance send another soldier from the future to protect his younger self. But this time, they send an altered Terminator...but the people in the past don’t know that. So there is a bit of an intense moment when Sarah Connor sees Arnold Schwarzenegger, not knowing he’s a good guy. But it all gets sorted out (with in, like, a few seconds) and they spend the rest of the movie defending themselves from the T-100 and also trying to prevent Judgement day by attacking the company who found the first Terminators arm.

This is by far the best Terminator in the series. If you haven't seen it, it’s most definitely worth a watch. A deleted scene at the end has Sarah Connor as an old woman talking about how they prevented Judgement day and everything was fine. It was cut to give the possiblity of sequels.


terminator3Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Director =  Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown, U-571)
Arnold Schwarzenegger + Terminator = Good guy from the future
Nick Stahl + John Connor = he’s ok, I guess. Not sure if he’s better than Eddie Furlong
Claire Danes + Veterinarian = accidental girlfriend
Kristanna Loken + Terminator = first and only female terminator. Why not? They’re robots, they don’t even need a gender. But perhaps a female terminator would be better at getting closer to their targets because, some men, not all, are idiots...? Just saying.

 More of the same. John Connor is a bit older now. Sarah Connor is dead (died of cancer). Loken is sent back in time to kill him. Schwarzenegger is sent back to save him, and some how Danes gets mixed up in the whole thing. Not a terrible movie by any means, but definitely not as good as the first or second.

Gas Station Cashier: Hey are you gonna pay for that?
[the Terminator looks at him puts his hand up]
Terminator: Talk to the hand.


terminatorsalvationTerminator Salvation (2009) 

Director: McG (Charlie’s Angels 1&2, 3 Days to Kill)
Christian Bale + John Connor = Good guy/leader of the resistance
Sam Worthington is...in it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger + Not in this one = shitty, shitty movie

In an interview with Good Morning America, the star spoke about his decision not to appear in the film. “Thank God,” he said. “It sucked.”

Yep, it sucked. I was actually excited about this movie. The first three all took place in the past, before Judgement day but always showed us glimpses of the war to come. Everytime they tried to prevent it, but it never worked. So Salvation just jumped to the war, showing us the first part of it anyway. I was excited to possibly see John Connor send Kyle Reese back in time to simultaneously save his mother and become his dad. But they didn’t show that. Salvation was originally supposed to be the first of a trilogy, so perhaps we would eventually get to that, but it sucked so bad, they gave up and later made Genesis to reboot the franchise. 

Perhaps part of the reason it didn’t do so well was because of Christian Bale’s huge flip out rant on set.


Ok, on to the new one.


terminatorgenisysTerminator Genisys (2015)

Reboot of The Terminator
Director: Alan Taylor (Thor: The Darkworld, lots of TV stuff including Game of Thrones)
Arnold Schwarzenegger + The Terminator = “I’ll be back”, altered Terminator from the future sent to save Sarah Connor.
Jason Clarke + John Connor = The best John Connor so far?
Emilia Clarke + Sarah Connor = Pretty awesome. Didn’t beef up as much as Linda Hamilton did for T2, but she was just in Game of Thrones, so that’s forgivable.
Jai Courtney + Kyle Reese = soldier of the resistance sent back in time to save Sarah Connor. Future father of John Connor.

Kyle Reese: You want us to time travel into the future in that?
Sarah Connor: Yeah, we can't be wearing anything.
Kyle Reese: Yeah, I know how time travel works.

This is a reboot, much the same way the first Star Trek movie by J.J. Abrams rebooted the Trek franchise. Everything you know about what came before doesn’t matter, save only “twists” that are really only for fans of the original.  (Example, Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness)

Small gripe, but important. If you’re going to have a twist, then keep it hidden. In T2, it was unknown to Sarah Connor that Schwarzenegger’s Terminator was a good guy. How cool would it have been if we didn’t know that before seeing it? Yet, the trailers showed him being a good guy before the release. Something similar happened to this one, but if you missed them, don’t watch and walk in blind and maybe you’ll be surprised.

Another problem I had with this one as that it was needlessly complicated. Much has been said about it, and rightly so, for it’s overcomplicated time traveling plot lines, and holes. I’m not as worried about it, but I do agree that it didn’t need to be this convoluted. Part of the charm of a Terminator movie is that it’s simple. There’s a robot, it’s trying to kill someone, it’s really hard to kill, and add some mini guns, shot guns, pipe bombs, talk about time travel and flipping trucks and you got a fun flick.

I didn’t hate it as much as most did, I’d give it about a C, maybe C+. Certainly better than McG’s Salvation with Christian Bale.

If you’re a fan of the first three (skipping Salvation...because it’s awful), then you’ll probably enjoy this one. Some decent jokes, I laughed a few times, and not only at some of the terrible lines like “Yeah, I know how time travel works.”  Good to see Arnold back as the Terminator. Dumb that credits call him “Guardian”, but whatever. 

One more gripe. Hollywood, this is for you. Stop making PG-13 movies in traditionally rated R movie franchises. You tried to do it with Aliens vs Predators, but then redeemed yourself with Predators and Prometheus, good job.. You did it with the last two Die Hards and they kinda suck. I get it, you want to make more money, you want more kids to see these movies, and no, violence doesn’t necessarily make a better movie, but come on.

Don’t need to see it in the theater, but give it a rental, it’s not as bad as everyone says it is.

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