So this is it? This is the officially sanctioned sequel to the “Terminator” series? The sequel that says “Remember the first two movies you just saw? Well they don’t matter anymore. You wasted your time”? Because that’s what “Genysis” does. It wastes the audience’s time by creating an alternate alternate alternate timeline that doesn’t just erase the first two movies of the series, but completely muddles up the timeline even more than ever. I’m usually very good with timelines and can figure out convoluted storytelling most times, but “Genysis” gets so lost in a haze of over explanation and contradicting storylines that I just eventually gave up trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
I put my brain on autopilot and eventually just spent the rest of the movie trying not to nod off. “Genysis” is a mess, a colossal bore, and one of the worst sequels of the “Terminator” series. And I’m not exaggerating when I say it definitely over complicates what should have been a simple storyline from the get go. What’s worse is that it even questions the first two movies making fools out of the audience that grew to love the original James Cameron entries. It explains everything for the audience. And just to be careful, it explains the explanations. And just to be sure, it’ll explain the explained explanations until you’ve worn out on hearing people standing around talking when there should be a lot more shown rather than having our hands held.
That’s what “Gensysis” is. It’s one big trip through yet another alternate timeline that we have to have our hands held in. Except this is a timeline where reality panders to the female teen demographic of the “Genysis” audience, while also ensuring not to emasculate the male heroes, as well. You have to bring in those big bucks, after all. So when Kyle Reese enters in to 1984, the time line is altered during his trip through the time machine. Now Sarah Connor is no longer a vulnerable waitress. She’s a tough talking, spitting, and hitting bad ass who lugs around the T-800 with her as a sidekick and pet dog of her very own. See, because female empowerment is in vogue now. No evolution for this character, no sir. Filling in for Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn for this outing are Emilia Clark and Not Sam Worthington in all of their bland glory.
I have no words for Not Sam Worthington, but Clarke is typically a strong actress. Here as Connor, she’s shrill, obnoxious, and just difficult for the sake of being difficult. Not Sam Worthington can’t achieve that worn out soldier persona like Biehn perfected, so here he just tries way too hard. There’s absolutely no emotional turmoil in a character who witnessed Judgment day and his parents obliterated before his eyes, which is a baffling character quirk when confronted. This man should be exhausted from the war, but here he a cocky braggart who exchanges weak barbs with the mouthy Connor. Schwarzenneger is back again as the original T-800 (?) who is nicknamed “paps” by Connor for the fact that he raised her in to a warrior and is her protector.
Talk about daddy issues. He’s mostly a perfunctory side character sent in as a deus ex machina, and he gets his fill throughout the narrative, explaining every single plot twist, and then surviving through four or five advanced cyborgs. For some reason. Reference, reference, reference, nod to the first two movies, reference, and there’s something about nanobots. That said, “Genysis” has every chance to re-invent the series, but it really just scrubs the original films off the map to restart everything all over again making the original two films null for the fan base. That’s not only obnoxious, but it’s incredibly irritating being told the first two movies don’t matter anymore.