For a franchise that started over 30 years back with a meager budget of $6 million with James Cameron’s Terminator(1984), its success is truly felt as it still sets the box-office on fire with four sequels (including the latest installment Terminator – Genisys) and even a TV series amassing over $1.4 billion and still counting.
However the Terminator series has limped on since its cult-action sequel Terminator 2 – The Judgment Day (1991), which till date remains the best installment in the franchise. While the third sequel, Rise of the Machines (2003) was all downhill, the Christian Bale and Sam Worthington starrer Terminator – Salvation (2009) was a blatantly failed effort to salvage the series, even so we totally missed our real terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). But the fifth installment, Terminator – Genisys (2015) counteracts the series’ earlier follies and spits life back into the franchise, which we thought we had lost way back in 1991.
Planning to watch Genisys (which you must), your only homework would be watching the Cameron’s classic first two sequels for there is where Genisys picks up, reboots and retells the similar stories only in an alternate time-line. While the previous movies only skimmed through the time-travel mumbo-jumbo, Genisys takes it to a whole new level with alternate time-lines, quantum matrixes, back and forth time travels and as per Arnie – ‘theoretically’ they all perfectly fit well until the climax of the movie.
Genisys has all its lead characters back, starring Jason Clarke as John Connor who in the future is leading the resistance against Skynet, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese who is sent back in time to save his mother, Sarah Connor brilliantly played by Emilia Clarke who unlike the original Linda Hamilton’s version is a hardened, prepped badass and ofcourse our favorite T-800, Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Guardian terminator.
However as Kyle is sent back in time, an unexpected turn of events create an altered time-line where Judgment Day hasn’t yet occurred but the human’s impending doom, Skynet as a software killer-app, Genisys is just round the corner and it is yet again up to the trio to save the world using time-travel. From a terrifying villain in the original, to a heroic savior in the second, Arnie’s terminator is reimagined as the guardian angel in Genisys protecting Sarah Connor; however John Connor’s role does take a twist to which Jason Clarke convincingly plays off well. While the supporting cast delivers great performances, Alan Taylor helming Genisys wraps in some crazy action-packed sequences aided with decent VFX, powerful dialogues and packages an Arnie that must not be missed.
We at TheGraphicSlate.com list down 5 reasons how Arnie keeps the Terminator franchise afloat and why his ‘I’ll be Back’ in Genisys is a must watch (especially if you are an Arnie fan):
Reprising his legendary T-800 role – 30 years on and still Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his iconic T-800 role is simply one the foremost reasons to watch Genisys. Movies nowadays can so very well be attuned to legends and this, writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier prove it as we see an aged-Arnie back in his robotic avatar. His wrinkled skin and white hair too are explained in the movie, courtesy the writer’s imagination and the trick to bend it your way in a Sci-fi. Also in the attempt to revive the franchise, Alan Taylor plays it safe and brings back everything from the earlier successes while simultaneously taking the movie forward with an alternate chain of events. A lot of call-backs from the 1990s movie make their way into Genisys and the timeless heroic robot, Arnie just pulls it off yet again. However we do miss the ‘Aastala Vista Baby’ but Arnie’s blatant smile makes up for it.
The Computer Generated Arnie – As the first half of the movie takes you back to the 1980s Terminator, Alan Taylor didn’t shy away bringing on a head-on fight between an aged Arnie of an altered timeline versus a CGI rendered younger version of himself. If you thought that the 67 year-old wouldn’t make a bare-chested Terminatorish entry in his iconic electrifying way into the movie, then you have another thing coming, for we see Arnold do just that.
Also as a typical Terminator trademark, Arnie’s battle-worn look with scratched metal underneath his skin tissue is simply nostalgic, something Terminator – Salvation deprived us of. However in the age of visual-effects where larger-than-life animations make it to the reel, Genisys doesn’t seem to have come a long way since the Judgment Day as the VFX on Arnie doesn’t seem to have matured as much. None-the-less Alan brilliantly displayed his $155 million budget in some epic battle sequences and even in some catastrophic scenes.
‘Pops’ hitting high on the emotional cord – One of the high points of Judgment Day was the chemistry Cameron achieved between a heroic robot and a ten-year old John Connor which was almost absent in Rise of the Machines between the duo. Alan once again attempts to replicate that success mantra in Genisys. We get to see an emotional side of the skin slapped onto metal T-800, which is programmed to protect and serve Sarah Connor. While Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor is portrayed in a much strongerlight, her chemistry with the T-800 is amazingly choreographed on the lines of a father-daughter relationship as she calls him, ‘Pops’. Orphaned at a young age, Sarah had nothing but the T-800 as her company, guardian and parent. All three relationships come out brilliantly on the screen hitting an emotional line in the action-packed sci-fi.
Arnie’s old but not obsolete – The one common string that runs throughout the franchise (except Salvation) was Arnie as an older-model Terminator pitted against a much advanced futuristic machine. The director seemed to keep the odds always against the heroic robot and so continues the trend in Genisys too, which not only has an Arnie as the older T-800 machine but he also grows into one having lived on for over 40 years (in the movie). However Arnie time and again chants that he is ‘Old, but not obsolete’ to a suspicious Kyle Reese throughout the movie and dramatically Arnie not only blabbers but also lives up to his word. From fighting off the liquid alloyed T-1000 to the futuristically shape-shifting robots that call him a ‘relic’, Arnie’s T-800 is surely old, but not yet obsolete. Hats off to the Ex-Californian Governor for he convincingly delivers some crazy action sequences and more than packs a punch that totally get you cheering him on each time.
Arnie’s ‘I’ll be back’ – One of the best call backs to the original is the Terminator catchphrase that is so popular with Arnold’s reputation that he has got to use it in several other of his movies too including Commando (1985), Total Recall (1987), Last Action Hero (1993) or even the recent The Expendables 2 (2012). It wouldn’t be fair to Arnie if he hadn’t got his line in Genisys, but the writers pack him his punch-phrase at the perfect moment as he dives head-on from one Helicopter to another, crashing his landing site into an ginormous explosion, but it’s all right for Arnie just uttered ‘I’ll be back’ and you know it he better be. However this time Arnie’s ‘I’ll be back’ is more metaphorical as there are plans afoot for Genisys to spin two more sequels and (trying for no spoiler here) who knows Arnie might just get upgraded rather than his usual degradation demises he has in the Terminator movies. Also hold on to your seats for the mid-credits scene as we see something we surely expected.With this we divulge no further details on this iconic Sci-fi tent-pole which makes it to our recommendation list.
Hope you enjoy Terminator – Genisys at your nearest theatres packed in 3D and in a multi-dimensional surround sound tech such as Dolby Atmos packages it with. Also share your views with us as to what you feel about Arnie back to the Terminator franchise in the comments section below.