The boss of TigerBot Hesh (cassielsander) wrote,
The boss of TigerBot Hesh
cassielsander

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"You can't kill us!"

I saw Terminator: Genisys yesterday. It was much more fun than I expected, but had a bunch of problems. It's very analogous to Star Trek Into Darkness: a brisk one-time watch with a bunch of ideas and interesting riffs on the original, but almost none of the tension & emotional resonance. Here's the breakdown, with hopefully no spoilers...

Flaws:
  • While future Kyle Reese is an interesting character, time-traveling Kyle becomes a bit too much of a dude bro, action comedy guy (STID had a similar problem). Just because Chris Pratt is great doesn't mean all male leads should be Chris Pratt.
  • Cop-out ending (also like STID).
  • Some never-explained stuff, including one great big one.
  • Comic relief character went a little broad. JK Simmons really runs with the bumbling side of his character, and I honestly can't say whether by doing so he saves or ruins his scenes. Basically he's doing a great job in a different movie.

    Strengths:
  • Really fun depiction of a time travel situation gone amok. Much like Sarah Connor Chronicles (which surprisingly is referenced more than T2 is) you can tell that this timeline has been so messed with that no one quite knows what's going on anymore, they're all playing in the dark.
  • Associated with that, a lot of fun "Oh, so this time THIS is happening!" moments.
  • Also some great surprises showing the resourcefulness of one Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) in all timelines.
  • Surprisingly good use of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Regrets:

    These are SPOILERS

    Basically, once the big John Connor reveal comes, I feel that they could have mined T2 comparisons for extra pathos or comedy or both. The whole "You can't kill us, we're your parents!" was a nice start, as is the idea that the big finale would be John versus the Terminator, but there could have been a lot more.

    One thing I liked but am uncertain was even deliberate was when John is chasing them and pulls off that near-impossible motorcycle trick. My first thought was "John Connor: always great with a motorbike" (kind of like "Anakin Skywalker: always the best pilot in the galaxy") but I wish I had more confidence that the writers were thinking the same thing.

    And that final confrontation is not only cheapened by the final outcome but strangely impersonal, given that a version of Pops and a version of John were so close in at least one timeline (and people's memories seem to extend into the alternate times). If they had simultaneously said "Hasta la vista" right before everything went to hell, it would have been cheesy but also awesome.

    It's also too bad they didn't get Joe Morton back to play the one-scene Miles Dyson role, given that he's the one character who should be exactly as old as the original actor was.
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