Today’s annotation is by Robert:
Martin and I are equally baffled by the fact that Genysis is being made by Alan Taylor, a guy who’s directed some pretty decent stuff in the past. Both of us loved Thor: The Dark World, and while Martin is the A Song of Ice and Fire buff, I am generally aware that Game of Thrones is a Popular Thing.
It is no doubt thanks to that Popular Thing that Sarah Connor is now played by Emilia Clarke, who often stands out as a fan-favourite amongst Game of Thrones’ twelve million characters. Is it an apt casting choice, though? The answer is ‘ehhh, kind of?’, and that is not only my opinion on the rest of the cast, but also the whole deal in general. Terminator hasn’t been gone long enough to be forgotten, but nor has it been here long enough to be current. There comes a point when there’s no point anymore, and Terminator: Genysis is a very expensive way of proving that.
There’s a saying: you can’t go home again. But home isn’t a place that you go to, it’s an emotion you feel. Nostalgia is what happens when you see something that used to trigger home in you, and a lot of old stories come back with the gamble that they’re still good for a few home triggerings. It’s more than the name Terminator or Terminator 2, it’s the sensation of ‘Terminator 2’ – but that’s no easy ghost to chase, let alone persuade to possess the spry-looking new body they’ve whipped up. I fear the shamans of film here haven’t whispered the sacred words quite right, and we might get less of a rebirth and more of a horrific, demon-filled wraith, barking with a million clashing voices. It may turn out to be good, but the sheep entrails aren’t spelling things that way.
The trailer for Terminator: Genisys (why) is interesting, but perhaps not for the reasons they’d intended it to be. The film series has certainly not had much care for its increasingly convoluted timeline’s continuity after you get past the first two; indeed, this is arguably the second time in a row that they’ve attempted to hit the soft reset button on it (not including the inarguably superior TV interquel-cum-prequel-cum-sequel-cum-spinoff).
With that in mind, I can understand the desire to return to the simpler – and better written and directed – times of Terminator 2. And so it is with unintentional irony that the way Genisys (why) is presented just convolutes even further the mess we’ve been stuck with up until now. Hitting the reset button while simultaneously holding onto what came before can be done, but usually isn’t for these exact reasons. It’s like how Alexander “solved” the Gordian Knot by chopping it in half. One could argue that the knot’s now gone, but in practical terms you still don’t have a usable length of rope. Nobody wants the storytelling equivalent of hacked up frayed strands all over the floor. (Except in specific circumstances, I suppose.)
I like how Arnold’s ageing is explained, though. I’m glad they didn’t think of that during Terminator 3 and squander it there on a less-aged Arnold.