Monday, 8 December 2014

Terminator Genisys Trailer – My Thoughts

The trailer for Terminator Genisys with Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally seen the light of day. After watching it a few times my reactions were mixed, to say the least.

My first sentiment was exileration, off course – the latest installment of one of my favorite movie franchises is in the works. Terminator  and T2: Judgement Day were a part of my childhood and adolescent years, and I cannot even begin to express how much they meant and still mean to me. T3 was good, although it did represent a decline of quality in comparison with the first two parts. The fourth one, Terminator Salvation (I am not even sure if it is the correct title), left no particular mark. I also must mention the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In my opinion, it is on the same level as T3, if not better, though it is hard to compare TV and Cinema.

After taking a closer look at the trailer, I realized that there seems to be a lot of promise to this film. The trailer starts with the images from the future war with the machines. The resistance movement headed by severely scarred John Connor (Jason Clarke) launches the final offensive against the machines and upon discovering that the machines have sent terminators to the past to kill Sarah Connor, they decide to send someone to protect her. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) volunteers and we see him entering the time machine. Then we see him arriving to the past, in the same alley as in The Terminator, and he enters the same department store. A policemen follows him inside and then a van bursts through the wall with a young woman at the wheel, hitting the policeman with the back end. When she yells the too familiar words – Come with me if you want to live - we are completely aware of the twist. The policeman is actually a T-1000 (Byung-hun Lee).

The second half of the trailer shows us the arrival of the T-800 (young Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is greeted by another T-800 (present day Arnold Schwarzenegger), followed by a lot of action, lot of terminators, gun-totting, schoolbus-flipping, and in the end, after the unavoidable “I’ll be back”, a helicopter head-butting, the total highlight of this trailer.

It appears to me that they took the screenplay for The Terminator and rewrote it to make some sort of another T2, which could be a good thing, but not necessarily. A way had to be found to include an old Terminator in the movie, and for that matter, I think that part of the story is quite acceptable. Arnold IS the Terminator, period. There would be no franchise without him. However, I am a bit weary of the constant recycling. I do not think that every Terminator movie should include every sentence or image from the first one or two. Give Arnold some new one liners, he cannot keep repeating “I’ll be back” for all eternity. It could turn into a parody no matter how much some people like it.

There are some things about this trailer that I did not like. The future does not look nearly as dark and bleak as in the first two movies. I like the John Connor’s look though, with heavy scars on his face. Kyle Reese, on the other hand, looks miscast. Jai Courtney looks like a complete opposite of Michael Biehn. Where Biehn was slim, almost sickly, Courtney looks healthy, strong, ripped almost like a terminator.

As regards the casting of Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, she strikes me as a good choice. She appears to have that same intensity that could be seen in both Linda Hamilton and Lena Headey.

My biggest objection to this trailer concerns the fact that, in my opinion, it reveals too much of the plot. I remember when I watched T2 for the first time, I was shocked when it turned out that T-800 was the good guy. This trailer seems to contain every major twist, at least in the first half of the film. I hope that I am wrong and that there will still be some surprises when the film comes to cinemas.

The final question is whether I would go to see this movie based on this trailer alone. The answer is, off course, yes. It’s The Terminator, with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It really does not need a trailer to attract me to the cinema. However, there is a slight feeling of apprehension. It is like when someone you care about is going to do something important and you are worried. You know that you will still care no matter what happens, but you would rather see that person succeed. The premiere will be in July, 2015.

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