deconstructing trailers – TERMINATOR: GENISYS

Arnie is a missile… A couple of times. This new trailer for TERMINATOR: GENISYS has arrived. It clarifies a few of the confusing timeline elements from the teaser and introduces a daring new concept.

“I’ll be back”….. “What?!”

Despite some of the sillier moments (*cough* title included), I’m looking forward to the next TERMINATOR. I love the complicated time travel stuff. This franchise is so exciting because each entry is largely a chase film. It’s even better because of the compelling and complex sci-fi plot.

I love how GENISYS revisits the original TERMINATOR plot. We watch scenes from that movie happening in a different timeline. It’s just complex enough to get me excited to figure it all out. I love it when a movie urges participation. TERMINATOR does this with tons of action and humourous moments.

The best laugh occurs early. Sarah Connor (EMILIA CLARKE – GAME OF THRONES) introduces Kyle Reese (JAI COURTNEY) to her protective Terminator (ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER) and Arnie smiles the goofiest grin ever. It’s even funnier than a similar scene in T2. This moment suggests that this movie won’t be all dark and dreary, it will also have lighter moments.

That smile also parallels John’s relationship with the Terminator in T2, suggesting to me that Sarah taught the robot to smile with a very similar conversation – like mother, like son.

totally badass… reminds me of SILVER SURFER meets THE CRYPT-KEEPER

This trailer showcases a lot more special effects than the earlier teaser did. The T-1000 has some upgrades. The visuals are less smooth, syrupy and shiny than seen in T2. The skin even ripples over the skeleton here. With updated FX, we actually see the transformation process through several more iterations.

I thought the T-1000 (played by Korean actor Byung-hun Lee from I SAW THE DEVIL) was the main baddie – at least in actor form. And I was looking forward to him. But it looks like this machine takes on a number of faces. The surprise here is the T-1000 mimics the future JOHN CONNOR?!

So the baddie – in effect – is the hero who sent back Kyle. The villain is Sarah’s child. It’s an amazing concept full of irony and ripe for further exploration. For example, can the T-1000 mimic Arnold?

I’m surprised this concept with John wasn’t done earlier. Imagine the reveal to Sarah? Kyle might think it’s the real future John. They wouldn’t know he’s evil. If Arnie recognizes John from the future, he might trust him too – allowing the T-1000 to sneak attack at an opportune time. I’m not sure the film will explore this territory but it’s ripe for it.

My earlier review of the first teaser tried to deconstruct the plot from the cryptic images. It turns out I was right about some of it. This new trailer confirms that Arnie warped back in time “over a decade” ago. So that image of him carrying a little girl on his shoulder through a cemetery was a young Sarah. He’s been babysitting ever since, probably dispatching multiple enemy Terminators who have been sent over the years.

It seems like our main point of view is Sarah’s. She is The Observer in this timeline. This gets rather complicated rather quickly, but she is aware of all the missions while Kyle (for example) isn’t. The actions play out in her timeline. I can’t wait to see how this theoretical science plays out on film.

TERMINATOR: GENISYS hits the silver screen this summer. While I’m not thinking it will be the best of the franchise, the time travel reboot course correcting events of the past is super intriguing. I know the action will be great – the whole movie is a chase.

I’m looking forward to what could be the best non-James Cameron TERMINATOR film.


What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Check out my earlier analysis on the TEASER.

I get into a lot of the complex timeline stuff. And I get super nerdy with plot THEORIES.

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