Terminator Genisys (Dir. Alan Taylor/2015)
Unnecessarily, Terminator Genisys has “ret-conned” the series by ignoring previous instalments. Judgment Day was 1997 (Not 2003, as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines claimed) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) met ‘the hero’ John Connor (Jason Clarke) as a child (Not in a Mad Max landscape, seen in Terminator Salvation). This time, we see the Skynet assault play out and witness the original T-101 vanish to 1984 – leading to The Terminator. But all is not what it seems. In this time line, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) was raised by a Terminator since the age of 9, and she is well aware that the future is filled with cyborgs hunting her down. In an era whereby films from the 1980’s are rebooted and reworked, it is satisfying to see Terminator Genisys literally revisit the first film. But, tellingly, when the story decides to warp to 2017 (rather than the pre-planned date of 1997 – how cool would that be?) things fall south. Suddenly, a new directive is core, as a social networking system ‘Genisys’ becomes the threat. It seems that robots, in every alternative timeline, will only destroy human existence. Gaping holes in the plot are littered all over and the simplistic assumption that ‘robots are bad’ is an insult to the justified fear and threats in James Cameron’s first two iconic films. Ultimately, Terminator Genisys refuses to make bold, critical statements on an abuse of human power. Instead it argues, rather blandly, that technology, by its nature is the real danger.