Friday, 31 July 2015

Beyond the TARDIS Terminator: Genisys by DJ Forrest

Beyond the TARDIS

Terminator: Genisys

By DJ Forrest

Writer Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier
Director Alan Taylor
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith.

My initial feeling going with my son to see the Terminator movie had been that in order for him to understand the film he would have needed to see the last 3 movies.  But there was absolutely no need as this story had moved the goal posts. 

In the last 3 instalments (involving Arnie), we had the build up to Skynet taking over the world, with machines ruling the Earth, crushing the human race.  We had a human time traveller heading back through time to save Sarah Connor while Terminators were sent back to kill her, to stop the Resistance from advancing. 
We had the various points of John Connor’s life mapped out.  From the first film it was all about Sarah Connor the waitress, being saved by a futuristic soldier who knew her son, before even she had conceived him. But we all know how that happened don’t we?

In the second film it was all about young John Connor and how 2 Terminators were sent through time, one to kill him, (the T-1000), and a T-800 who had been sent through time by the older John Connor to protect his younger self.

With me so far?

In the 3rd instalment, life had advanced and it was a little boring and I lost interest.  But again the T-800 was protecting John Connor who had fallen for a young vet and was sealed in a bunker after another T-1000 was sent in to kill him.  His mother was no longer alive.  Skynet was advancing further and working against the military who didn’t believe that the machines could or would turn against their masters.  All I can fully remember was the massive shoot out with a gatling gun and a coffin held aloft by the T-800 in a cemetery.  Presumably one of the Connor’s escaping to freedom!!!  As I say, it was a bit boring!

I didn’t go and see Terminator: Salvation.  It didn’t have Arnie in this one and I don’t actually recall this coming out in the smaller cinemas.  It has to have Arnie in it for me to feel that this could constitute as a Terminator movie, sorry. 

So in the new movie – Terminator: Genisys you still have John and Sarah Connor, you still have the T-800, the famous “I’ll be back”, and you have yet again Kyle Reece, or was that Kyle, Reece? And you have the return of the T-1000 sadly not with the original actor, but someone equally as good in the role. But then after a while there’s only so much you can do with a cybernetic creature that is liquid based and after a while the novelty wears off that when you shoot him in the head or torso, he’s going to mould back into his original form and come at you again. 

What was new and exciting for me was seeing that mad man in the blue box appear all suited and booted and running with John Connor’s brigade.  Yes, Matt Smith, our 11th incarnation of the Doctor was a soldier of the Resistance, armed and ready for action, only things weren’t as clear cut as you thought, and Matt’s character was much more than a soldier fighting with the Resistance. I’m not going to spoil it for you by saying what Matt’s role was, but what I will say is, WOW!

When I clocked Matt in his suited and booted role, just as Reece was readying to leave in the time machine, I thought that was it we’d never see him again.  All that hype of the British actor appearing in a block buster movie almost as if this was like the lucky winner of a Blue Peter competition.  I was pleasantly blown away by what came next, and thoroughly enjoyed his performance throughout.  His character is a crucial part of the story but I’m not going to say how, or what he does.  Just that it was absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to see him in another role like this.  He suits these roles.

If you’re a fan of the Terminator films I can imagine how confusing it might appear from the outset of this 5th film.  Yes, Skynet is still active.  Yes, the resistance is still fighting to save the Earth and as usual there’s only a certain amount of time before whatever portion of Skynet is fully operational and all of Earth is doomed.  

What you get from the 5th is a whole different set of rules.  Ok, the initial plan is the same – send Reece through the time machine back to the moment where he can hook up with Sarah Connor, convince her that he’s there to protect her and then between them, destroy Skynet before it gets started.

However, when he goes back in time, the Sarah Connor he imagines, from John Connor’s memories, is completely different.  Her back story has completely changed.  The T-800 who had been sent to kill Sarah, and this is another portion that was awesome.  This was THE younger Arnie, all muscular and no wrinkles and no age weary face.  This was the FIRST Terminator in his nakedness who went into battle with the older T-800 that we remembered in the second and possibly 3rd instalment/film. 

How they did this, I do not know, all I can say is, thank god for technology!  Yes I know this is a film with one of those messages attached, like most American films we watch.  But it makes sense to a lot of the stuff we’re attached to in our lives.  The things that we take for granted.  Our full use of everything computerised to complete our lives in every way.  Like putting films together, joining a portion of a younger Arnie to do battle with his older self…absolutely mind blowing!

Another thing about this film was Emilia Clarke.  If you’re a Game of Thrones fan then you’ll know instantly who she is.  The Dragon Queen!  And she gets her kit off in this too, but not as often.  And I had to laugh when a reggae track came on during her character scene, and all I could think about was the Sports Relief clip on YT with Coldplay!

The thought processes behind this film, the creative imaginings of this story.  Yes ok it has a message behind it, but if you’re a Whovian, you’ve already seen all of this before in the Doctor Who stories involving Cybermen. The ear pieces that keep us tuned in, the Bluetooth, the phones, internet, streaming, you name it, we even have an app for it, that can call up a kettle, switch on the lights, turn on the heating.  But what if that computerised technology had a mind of its own.  What if, instead of it being a slave to you, it was the other way around???

Of course it could never happen but then, imagination is a wonderful thing…

If I have to rate it, I’d say it’s the best film I’ve seen all year, but the year isn’t over yet, and I’ve still got two more films to watch before I can pick an overall winner for 2015.  But it’s top of the list for now. 

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