There were already a lot of strikes against this movie and then to add insult to injury, I had to double check the “correct” spelling of Genisys. The agony this movie is inflicting on me seems endless. And with that, I have tipped my hand as to how this review is going to end.
Terminator: Genisys is a complete mess, which sadly has been a recurring theme for this franchise over the last 20 years. So in that regard, I can understand why rebooting it makes sense, particularly since the original Judgment Day was in 1997, so when that came and went it made the franchise feel a little dated.
But the way they handled the reboot just trampled all over the first two films, which I still consider to be two of the best sci-fi movies of all time (with the second one being one of my all-time favourite movies period, having seen it at least 25 times because when 14-year-old me was in a hotel for a swim meet one weekend, I figured out how to watch pay-per-view for free, so had this movie on repeat every minute I was in the room). I’m not even sure if I need to be careful with the big twist, since James Cameron spoiled it for me repeatedly in Cineplex’s pre-show.
Without even referring specifically to it I may still give it away. My complaint is simple: somehow someone decided that a good plot twist would be to do something to one of the franchise’s main characters that renders every movie to date, including this one, totally irrelevant. I have no idea why that ever seemed like a good plan. Sure, it makes it easy to put a new timeline in place going forward, but even if that was the plan, the movie fails as a reboot because the ending leaves us with no momentum whatsoever and no reason to anticipate the next movie in the series (if there even is one after this debacle).
I often complain about reboots and, in particular, rehashes of origin stories as a reboot mechanism. Well, this reboot mechanism is worse. And that has me really shaking my head in disbelief, that somehow they found a way to be worse than the lazy reboots, because it seems they did really try with this one. Unfortunately, it’s just so misguided and so unfaithful to what has come before that it offends me. It brings me almost to the level of hatred I had for the Star Wars prequels. Terminator and Terminator 2 were movies I absolutely loved as a teenager and basically, this movie is the equivalent of Skynet sending a robot back to 1991 to repeatedly punch me in the groin while I was watching T2 for the first time, thereby changing the course of history and preventing me from ever liking it. And this time, the robots won.
I’m not even giving this a rating. I’m too angry.