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Terminator: Everything You Need to Know Before Watching Terminator Genisys

Matthew Parkinson | 30 Jun 2015 15:00
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Terminator Genisys (Preview)


Directed by Alan Taylor. Produced by David Ellison and Dana Goldberg. Written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. Release date: July 1, 2015.


After basically nobody liked Terminator Salvation, and the studio deemed it a flop - due to a far-too-high budget - a new approach had to be taken for the franchise. Now, in 2015, we're getting Terminator Genisys, which will act as a partial reboot of the franchise. Structurally it looks like it will follow the same type of story as the first two films, although with some new plot elements and at least one twist that the marketing department has decided to spoil in the trailers.

The Characters

Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke): The woman who gives birth to John Connor, the eventual leader of the Resistance. Takes over for Linda Hamilton in the role.

T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger): A Terminator sent back in time either to assassinate Sarah Connor or protect her, depending on the film and the timeline.

Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney): John Connor's friend (and father) who gets sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor and also impregnate her. Takes over for Anton Yelchin and Michael Biehn in the role.

John Connor (Jason Clarke): The leader of the Resistance. "The Special." Takes over for Christian Bale, Nick Stahl, and Edward Furlong in the role.

Why Should You Care?

I'll admit that a new Terminator movie is a tough sell, even for the most optimistic of people. The last two movies were such a sharp decline from the first two that the downward trend the franchise is currently on is startling. But, then, the same can be said of the Jurassic Park franchise, and look how that turned out. So it's not like there isn't hope, although casting Jai Courtney in a movie just ... hasn't yet proven to be a good idea, and we've tried it more than a few times at this point.

But, hey, Genisys looks to be at least a soft reboot of the series, eliminating Terminator 3 and Salvation from the canon, which will please most people, I'm sure. They didn't add a whole lot anyway, but erasing them is the same thing Bryan Singer did with the inferior superhero installments in both the Superman and X-Men franchises, and that worked out pretty well for him.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was also made for the role of the T-800, so seeing him returning to that - but also somehow aging, which is new for the series - should be fun. Emilia Clarke might not have the size of a Linda Hamilton - or the American accent - but seeing her take over as Sarah Connor should be interesting, if nothing else. The twist the trailer revealed offers a whole lot of new opportunities, so seeing if the movie will capitalize on any of them might determine whether or not it's a worthwhile endeavor.

Oh, and Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons shows up in what's probably a very minor role. But it's J.K. Simmons! He's awesome! So there's that.

Honestly, I'm not the most excited person for Terminator Genisys. From its poorly spelled title to its casting of Jai Courtney, to it being another Terminator movie after the series has run past its prime, it doesn't look to me like it has a lot of elements working in its favor. Movies have surprised us before - that's why we watch them, and don't just rate them based on what they look like on paper - so let's hope that Terminator Genisys is a good movie.

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If you want more of Matthew "Marter" Parkinson, you can follow him on the Twitter @Martertweet and check out his weekly movie podcast.

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