Dave’s 3-Word Review:
I’ll be old.
I’ll probably always be a fan of the Terminator franchise. No, they aren’t all winners in a critic’s handbook, but I don’t consider any of them to be bad. Not even the Sarah Connor Chronicles which played on TV a few years back. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original movie, but it was done really well – so you got to give it credit for that. The only film in the franchise I’ve ever been worried about is Terminator: Genisys. I love Arnold Schwarzenegger, but there’s a certain point that he should probably stop playing a robot – he doesn’t look like one anymore. I digress, let’s just get into the plot analysis.
So the war in the future is nearing it’s end, but all will be for not – because a T-800 model was just sent back in time to the year 1984 to kill John Connor’s mother. So John sends Kyle Reese, his future father, back in time to save his mother…only…what no one was expecting…was Sarah Connor was expecting them. That’s right, with the help of an older T-800 model, she’s been battling Terminators for a while and is now the hardened warrior she was in T2 – which means one major thing – time has seriously been reset.
Man oh man, things from all the Terminator movies were happening all at once in this movie…I won’t say what, exactly, because that would spoil you…that is…if you haven’t already seen the trailer that shows everything anyway. Just in case you haven’t, I’ll refrain from telling you the major points – what I will say is this: the story’s biggest problem is being so ridiculously convoluted! There’s so many things going on at once, so many characters, so many structured acts that play out one after the other that…it feels less like a movie and more like a TV show. Now – whether that’s a good or bad thing is completely up to the viewer. I think it took away from the overall feeling of epicness that any of the other movies had. It felt a little smaller. Past that, it felt a little uneven from the others.
One of the main concerns I had with this film was Arnold’s physical age. While I understand that the skin they put on Terminators are actual human tissue that ages – it’s not only his skin that aged. His muscles have also done the same thing. You can try to hide him under as much clothes as you want, but at the end of the day, I can see his sagging chest. As far as I’m concerned, underneath all that skin is a robot…and that metal shouldn’t sag. I understand that Hollywood magic can’t fix everything, but I didn’t fully buy his “look”. Now his ability to act as the Terminator, on the other hand, was very well done. It always has been. He knows how to talk like a robot and he knows how to talk sass as well. If there was anything you definitely wanted to see from him – that would be it.
Like I said before, I won’t talk about some of the main plot developments that happen in the movie, but I do want to say how I felt about them. I both like and dislike the villain. I think for the most part, it’s just as memorable as any of the other villains in the series. On the other hand, there is something very off about the filmmaker’s decision to utilize him…that…way. The Terminator movies work together really well because they come from the same place and understanding – we’ll just say this one took that same understanding and…sort of butchered it – just so they could make another series out of it. The liberties they took with this one…I get it, but I’m not really happy about it either.
It’s the Terminator, man. They shout out to the other films really well and create something that, if you haven’t seen the trailers beforehand, you just couldn’t predict.
Let’s ignore the villain choice and spoilery trailers for a second – because all I’m worried about is the jumbled story. It’s very convoluted and way more complicated than it needs to be.