I saw Terminator Genisys last night. Before I start into my review, let me give you a little background on my love of the Terminator series.
I very clearly remember watching Terminator 2 for the first time when I was young. I remember being fascinated and terrified by the idea of a computer taking over and trying to kill humanity. I remember loving the strength of Sarah Connor. And I remember crying for the Terminator as he was lowered into the steel. Sarah Connor immediately became one of my role models. I watched and loved the first Terminator movie not long after, though it still didn’t replace T2 as my favorite. The music was immediately added into my small collection of cds at the time. And I’m fairly certain I wore out 2 copies of the first movie’s score by the time that I hit college. My love of the franchise extended to the point where, during my first year of college, I made a horrible movie called “Terminator: The Musical?” with some friends. This movie still exists in various personal collections around the world.
When Terminator 3 came out, I was excited and hopeful. Only to have that hope shattered. The movie was TERRIBLE. Then came the Sarah Connor chronicles. I gave them a hopeful try and stopped partway through when it really felt like they lost the overall meaning of the series. The fourth movie, Salvation, was better but the horrible score (it’s the only thing by Danny Elfman that I’ve ever said that about) and the plot that I really just didn’t care about left me thinking that the series might be better if left alone. After all, no one would ever make movies of the T2 book trilogy that I so love (by S.M. Stirling. Give them a read!!).
All of that to say, I love the Terminator franchise. I do. And I’m weirdly protective of it. I don’t hold back discarding movies and scores made in the franchise that are awful and don’t keep to the high standards set by the first two movies. I’m very picky about my Terminators.
And now, Genisys. The initial reviews from my friends were primarily negative. I was told that as such a big fan, I would likely be okay with it but it wasn’t great. I was already hesitant as I knew the movie was going to be messing with timelines. Which can lead to horrible things if the story isn’t told well. But I went to watch it, still harboring some tiny flame of hope.