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Old & Obsolete

"I'm old, not obsolete," Arnold Schwarzenegger says to Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) as he's curious to know why a Terminator model, class 800 is working alongside Sarah Connor (Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke), the one true enemy of mankind, and of future resistance leader John Connor. The official word is a rift in the time-space continuum which now has created a new chain of events that will drastically alter the future or some nonsense, but allow me to put this in Lamen's terms for you: 1984's The Terminator never happened. 1991's sequel, T2: Judgement Day didn't happen either. And both Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in 2003 and Terminator: Salvation in 2009 have now been wiped away from existence. What's left is a convoluted popcorn summer movie that makes less sense as it goes along at best, and at worst, it's an insulting blight on the series that makes me pine for T3 & Salvation.

Terminator Genysis hits the reset button on the entire franchise by including the plot points of both Terminator and T2, ignoring what happens in both of those films and tries to put a fresh spin on a franchise whose conclusion was determined at the end of Judgement Day. It's 2029, and Connor (now played by Jason Clarke) is a breath away from defeating Skynet and liberating what's left of humanity from the brutality of the machines. If you've seen the first movie, you know that Skynet, in a last-ditch effort to squash the Resistance, sends a Terminator to the year 1984 to kill Sarah Connor to ensure humanity never rallies to beat their forces. Reese and the T-800 arrive in the timeline, and here's where the film begins to lose me

The T-800 never gets to carry out its mission, because as it turns out, the good T-800 from the second movie shows up and, with the help of a toughened up Sarah, they kill the bad Terminator, and it turns out that it's really Reese who's way in over his head, as he's being hunted down by....the T-1000. Yep, the same Robert Patrick character which shapeshifted into anything it touches in Judgement Day is now in this installment, and is now played by Lee Byung-hun. Pardon my French but what the fuck?!?! How did it get to that timeline? Did Skynet know that Connor would send his right-hand man back in time to stop the assassin T-800 and sent back the liquid metal robot as an insurance policy to make sure Reese failed? Has it been in existence all this time? And if it has, why send back an older model when you have the best version possible to kill the future Mrs. Connor? Was he just fiddling his thumbs the whole time?! And no, the movie never explains how he got to the year 1984, and he's swiftly killed within the 10 minutes he was on screen.

You're getting too old for this shit, Mr. Governator.
The movie only gets more confusing from there. Sarah, Kyle and "Pops" (her nickname for the good T-800) have to travel 33 years into the future to stop "Genysis" from ushering in Judgement Day. Why not to 1997, the year when Skynet becomes self-aware and lays waste to the planet? Because the "rules" have been reset, for some reason that's also never explained. Ok, ok - they travel back to the year 2017 so the filmmakers can make half-hearted comments on our generation's addiction/reliance to technology (i.e. smartphones, laptops and tablets) and the increased lack of privacy we now have because of it. Or, at least that's what director Alan Taylor (2013's underwhelming Thor: The Dark World)  is trying to say, thought it's really just clumsily hinted at and never really follows up on its theme. As you might have guessed, Genysis is a software program created by Cyberdine as a means to link every last person on Earth to the company. Think if Apple decided to connect themselves to everyone, including buying out contracts to the DoD, the Pentagon and the U.S. military and had a megalomaniac at the helm. At any rate, our heroes arrive, only to run into...John Connor. Yes, the leader of the Resistance somehow made the jump back in time and is now in the same timeline. Again: how in the name of fuck did this happen?!?!

If you've seen the second trailer, then you know that Skynet got to Connor first, and turned him into a Terminator, which, thankfully, the film does explain. Unfortunately, this still doesn't explain a few more plot holes, like how did he get there? I'm sure it was by the same method of time travel, but he just shows up almost out of the blue. And given that he's an important facet in the creation of the Genysis app along with the Cyberdine company, at what time is he sent in? And adding more insult to injury, the film shows us the malevolent company on the verge of building the same time machine shown at the beginning of the film, along with T-1000! I'll ask again: How the hell is this possible?! This would take decades to manufacture, and I'm pretty sure the tech behind it all wouldn't be possible, even in 2017!! Did Skynet send Connor back to the same year as Reese, so he could help build Skynet from the ground up? NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY FUCKING SENSE!!!!!

And why yes, the movie makes no explanation on how this chain of events occur, but to the filmmakers: who gives a shit - look at the action scenes and shit blowing up and crashing! You're excited and thrilled by this new version of a bloated and utterly spent franchise, right? Right? I'm going to get right down to it: Terminator Genysis is perhaps one of the worst movie going experiences I've had in the last 5 years. There's nothing about this new story that makes any sense, and the filmmakers just expect you to swallow all this nonsense and get suckered in by the over abundance and reliance on CGI & toned down violence. The plotholes are frequent and as large as craters; the acting, save Emilia Clark and Schwarzenegger, is just bland and uninteresting; and the film's third act borrows so heavily on T2 that it borders on plagiarism. The end result is a summer movie that makes the bullshit plotting seen in the Transformers sequels and White House Down look logical by comparison. This is far and away the worst film of the summer, and a frontrunner for the worst movie I've see in 2015.

1/2 stars out of ****


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