EDITORIAL: My Thoughts On TERMINATOR: GENESIS

When I was a kid I used to watch T2 almost every day and Arnold was my hero, then I discovered The Terminator and it scared the shit out of me. The third and fourth weren't as good and the impact the first two had were gone. Can Genesis resurrect the shock and awe the first two films held?

Follow WesleyGibson:
By WesleyGibson - 4/6/2014

Previous Installments


When I was young I decided to pop Terminator 2: Judgment Day into my uncle's VCR and what happened was amazing. The film had me on the edge of my seat and I absolutely fell in love with it. Ever since then the film held as much value to me as Star Wars, Superman 1&2, and Batman did, and still does. It was incredible to have sort of just 'stumbled' upon it, and understand it as clear as I did for being a kid. Watching classics like that always have more appeal in the eyes of a child, because then as you mature, the love you had for it then never dies. Things you are passionate about stay with you to the grave, and childhood is the best time to discover the things that make you tick.

Anyway, I know it didn't make much sense to see the second film before the first, but when I finally discovered The Terminator, I was totally blown away at how different the film was from the second installment. The film was grittier, darker, and it hit hard. Could you imagine seeing Arnold as the heroic T-800 in the second film and then drastically changing him into a cold, calculating, killing machine that destroyed anything in it's path? It was a crazy change, but I welcomed it with open arms and fell in love with the film, just like the second. The films are two of my most favorite films ever made. I loved them because the elements behind the films made them so watchable. They're classics. The themes, the plot, the score, not to mention Michael Biehn and Arnold Schwarzenegger became two of my childhood heroes, along with Peter Weller, Christopher Reeve, and Michael Keaton. For me, it was so easy to watch these films, because that's what being a fan is all about.

The first film had shock value to it, and it was a controversial hit that launched the careers of Arnold and director James Cameron among other things. The film would then become engraved in the hearts of myself and other dedicated sci-fi fans everywhere. Following the first film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released, and set the standard for special effects, amazing audiences with a deadly new Terminator, the T-1000, and showed that a Terminator was smart enough to learn the capability of human emotion. The second film clearly stepped it up and shortly became one of the go-to films for people and critics today. Normally when I watched the two classics, a thought always creeped into my head: Could we get a new one?

One day I was sitting in the theater getting ready to watch whatever movie and this happened:

 

 

You could not imagine how psyched I was. I about fell out of my seat. I was thinking to myself that it was about damn time another Terminator was coming. It's a shame that the above trailer itself was better than the actual film though. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had no shock value. The film didn't set the standard for anything. When I think about it it was really just a re-hash of previous events, with a few differences. It seemed to be nothing but a cash-grab as the quality that the first two installments had were nowhere to be found. The movie was a shallow and almost forgettable sequel. I was a sad time for Terminator fans. 

After a long haitus for the franchise, a TV show managed to find it's way to television, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I liked the show, as it really delved deep into Terminator lore and opened up all kinds of new possibilities for the world of Terminator. The show introduced that if given enough time, a Terminator could show mercy and/or attachment, that Kyle had a brother, it revealed how Dyson's work would be continued, and so much more. I hated it when the show was eventually canceled. The show, however, led right into another film. Terminator: Salvation was one of the most anticipated films for me, because I thought it would finally chronicle the war. Quickly turning that thought around though, the film did nothing but show some shots of John Connor(Christian Bale) destroying things and the majority of the film was about Marcus Wright(Sam Worthington) discovering his cybernetic self after volunteering his body to Cyberdyne's research. Needless to say, it was flawed, but I have to admit that I liked it better than I did the third.

 

Terminator: Genesis

Because of the many flaws and setbacks that Salvation suffered, the film failed and the trilogy is was trying to create was terminated. Ever since then. rights to the film went from one to another and any chance of a fifth film seemed dead as the franchise itself. Finally, the dispute over rights was ended, and with that, a fifth installment could commence. Over the course of the past year and a half we learned who had the rights, that a new film was coming, then we eventually learned of the casting choices. Let's look into that.

For John Connor, we have Jason Clarke (in talks), a man that I have only seen in one film: Zero Dark Thirty. His performance and the film itself were great, but that is the only thing I have seen him in, and he just didn't seem very 'John Connor' to me. You never know though, and many actors these days never fail to amaze me with some of their performances. Perhaps I'll get to see it at a different perspective when I see Clarke in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes later this year.  For Sarah, we have Emilia Clarke. Now I haven't got to invest in Game of Thrones and I know that's one thing she stars in so I can't really say either way on how I feel she's going to do. I'll just have to wait and see. 
 Byung-hun Lee is a nice addition too, and I'm interested to see how his part will play.

On to Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese. I'm not sure what to really think about this one. He doesn't give off that 'soldier with the weight of the world on his shoulders' feel the same way as Michael Biehn and Anton Yelchin did in previous installments. I never watched A Good Day to Die Hard so it's basically the same concept as Emilia Clarke: I'll just have to wait and see. Continuing on to J.K. Simmons. I love this guy. The man rocks in anything he is in not to mention he was a fantastic 'J. Jonah Jameson'. I pretty much have faith in anything this man makes, and all we know now is that he is playing a detective. How can he NOT be right for this role? Anyway, I was very pleased to find out that Simmons was among the cast...gives me a little more faith in the movie itself. Last but not least we have Arnold coming back for the role that made him famous. By reports he is playing as a Terminator with aged skin. That's actually not a bad idea in my opinion and it could be a possible explanation of how he looked different in the first three films. With Arnold returning, it has also restored my faith in another film. Yes I know he is old but he proved he still had it in The Expendables films. With that said, there should be know reason why he wouldn't be able to deliver The Terminator we all know and love.


There are so many thoughts running around in my head about this upcoming film. There is supposed to be some big 'game-changing' event that will take place that alters the events of the first film, probably that John goes back in time instead of Kyle. I am kind of skeptic on this idea as the first film made Kyle the hero he is, while from Kyle's lips, John Connor was already summarized as this great conqueror that would lead the human resistance to victory in the war of the machines. I feel that with it just being John, where and how would Kyle fit into this picture? How would he still be relevant if in fact it was John that saved his own mother from termination instead of his father Kyle? Which that leads me to wonder, how the hell would John still exist if Kyle never went back into time to conceive him with Sarah?

It's a total mind[frick] but then again so is the whole franchise in itself when you think about it. The paradox behind the events of the first are enough to make you want to pound your head against something. That's the beauty of it though, it keeps you thinking. I would feel that filmmakers would want that. I think that was major flaw with the third and fourth film, was that they were strictly summer blockbuster/popcorn movie material. The thought and depth of the first two films was absent and all that was left were shoddy, shallow pieces of work. I mean, with the first film, it was a shocking new movie that left the idea open that technology could and would one day destroy us, because we as humans could not stop advancing it until it was too late, and we were at war with our own careless experiments and inventions. The film also dealt with time-travel and the importance of it in the present time, and the long-term effects it could have in the future if but one little thing was changed.The movie was a solid eye-opener but served as great entertainment as well, and the second film introduced some amazing movie magic that brought the menacing T-1000 to life on the silver-screen, among other things.

The next two films were really nothing special, and the material held within was pretty much expected. That's what I'm worried about, is that this new film is going to be nothing more than a forgettable popcorn movie that people scoff upon when mentioned. Some want this franchise to die, but I really don't, that is if it can continue in a better path than the last two movies. Like many users have already said, this movie will be great, or it won't. It's like how Robocop(which was another childhood favorite) was. Many people including myself, predicted that the reboot would fail, and while still wasn't as good as the original, it was a damn good film and it had heart. Maybe this film could be the same way.


Closing Statements

Well guys I think I'll wrap this up. I really hope you enjoyed reading this editorial as much as I did writing it. As for the film, I feel that the brainstorming is really gonna hit once trailers, photos, etc, are released so much of my thoughts and concerns on the upcoming film is obviously just head-tinkering right now. So with that said, all we can do is wait until it's released, and as stated previously, it's a 50/50 on rather this upcoming installment will hit us hard or just fall short. The future is not set.



DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
4
LIKE!
9 Comments
Yutz - 4/6/2014, 3:29 PM
Cum wit me it u wan tu liv.
Rulk - 4/6/2014, 4:53 PM
The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a terrific underrated show. It was a shame it was cancelled so soon.


TheAbaryMan369 - 4/6/2014, 4:53 PM
This new movie is pointless. COME UP WITH SOMETHING NEW HOLLYWOOD!!!!

Geez.
TheAbaryMan369 - 4/6/2014, 4:57 PM
I can't wait until they make reboots to Star Wars, Jaws, The Breakfast Club, Star Wars, Casablanca, and many others.
CorndogBurglar - 4/7/2014, 6:00 AM
The whole thing about The Terminator franchise is ridiculous and makes no sense.

The Machines send a Terminator back to kill Sarah Connor so she doesn't give birth to John Connor, who gives them so much trouble in the future.

In response, the humans send back Kyle Reese to kill the Terminator and keep it from killing Sarah Connor, therefore ensuring the birth of John Connor.

However, the ONLY reason John Connor is born is because this guy from the future came back and got Sarah preggers. You know, this guy that ONLY came back because the Machines sent back a Terminator. So basically, Sarah never could have gotten pregnant and given birth to John if the Machines didn't send back a Terminator.

Furthermore, Skynet was only able to be created because the Terminator that got sent back left behind its chip and hand when it was destroyed. So, how did Skynet ever exist in the future if it was only created by the parts that were left behind by a Terminator....that technically could not have been created without sending a Terminator back?

I hate that crap. I know that the whole theme of the Terminator franchise is Fate or No Fate, but still. Are they implying that fate found a way to make something exist in the future out of nothing?

This crap always bothered me, even when I was little.

cipher - 4/7/2014, 10:15 AM
Good write-up, Wes.

Heh, I was actually gonna ask if you were familiar with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles before I finished readin' the article, but yeah..

I was actually surprised by how much I liked it in the end. It really did some interesting things with the mythology.
ruadh - 4/7/2014, 7:56 PM
I've still never seen Terminator 3, but enjoyed elements of 2 and Salvation. THat said, I still feel Terminator (dated soundtrack and effects aside) said everything that needed to be said.
MightyZeus - 4/8/2014, 7:42 PM
I agree with this article. This was a great write up and it get's a thumbs up from me.

I seriously think that the writers and everyone involved with Terminator Genesis do not know what there doing. Sure there will be time travel but again some of the choices of where they are going to take the story is confusing. Why reboot the franchise anyway? Many people have been waiting to see the war in Terminator 5 and for John Connor as a leader of the resistance to take down Skynet.

I would love to see Terminator 5 rather than a reboot. I would also love to see a dedicated director and serious proper screen writers who know the mythos about the Terminator films. A good solid cast and also for Terminator 5 to end on a high.

Apparently in Hollywood if you have dated special effects or soundtracks in your film you have to reboot it rather than come up with an original thought. I mean Total Recall and Conan where better than the original right?
Wolf38 - 4/8/2014, 9:39 PM
I love this film series, and even how the time-travel loops in puzzling ways. It's just a great sci-fi storytelling concept. I'm happy to see another film, whether reboot or not.

My favorite character is Sarah Connor. I also have not watched Game of Thrones yet, so I can't comment on Emilia Clarke, but I'm really happy that the character of Sarah will be back onscreen.

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.