I will be freely discussing the new movie Terminator: Genisys, now in theaters. There will be spoilers, so if you don’t want the movie spoiled for you, stop reading now. Seriously, the spoilers start here, with a recollection of events allowing me to count just how many Terminators exist in this movie.
Okay, first, SkyNet sends a T-800 back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor.
Terminator head count: 1
Then, John Connor sends back Kyle Reese to stop the T-800. But an old T-800 stops the young T-800 with help from Sarah Connor.
Terminator head count: 2
SkyNet sends back a T-1000 to stop Kyle Reese. The T-1000 doesn’t look anything like Robert Patrick, but it’s played by an Asian guy so… close enough.
Terminator head count: 3
Sarah Connor saves Kyle Reese with help from the old T-800. As it turns out, old T-800 saved Sarah Connor from a T-1000 when she was 9 years old and trained her to be the badass that she is today. I guess that’s going to be the center of the next Terminator movie, if they feel like screwing up this franchise even more.
Terminator head count: 4
After traveling to the year 2017, Sarah and Kyle meet up with John Connor, who turns out to be a Terminator who was sent back to 2014 by SkyNet to make sure SkyNet is activated. I’m not going to try to explain it. I’m just going with it.
Terminator head count: 5
What I don’t want to go with, though, is the fact that since Sarah and Kyle jumped from 1984 to 2017, that means the first movie never happened and neither did the second. So… yeah… let’s just throw away the only two good things that came out of the Terminator franchise. That doesn’t even sound like a credible idea on paper.
Anyway, the explanation for how John became a Terminator is that John was captured by SkyNet and then infected on a cellular level with machine-based matter. But a problem that arises here is that if there’s metal in every cell of John’s body and metal can’t go through the time machine, then how did SkyNet send John back in time? Again, don’t think, just accept it.
Oh, and when SkyNet captures John, we briefly see that SkyNet took on a body. So…
Terminator head count: 6
Also, since Sarah and Kyle jumped from 1984 to 2017 without conceiving and giving birth to John, then that means he was never born and couldn’t stop SkyNet nor be captured by SkyNet, transformed, and sent back in time to make sure SkyNet was activated. Realizing this, seeing 2017 John running around in 2014 felt very awkward.
Although, I did come up with a way of explaining all of this jumping around through and changing of the timeline without any of the characters causing themselves to disappear from existence. What I came up with is an idea that once a time traveler exists in a specific timeline, they are now protected from the changes made to the timeline because they are now stuck in that time. In other words, once 2017 John is sent back in time to 2014, he now exists in 2014 and cannot be erased from that time even if he’s not conceived in 1984 and doesn’t exist from there onward. Hey, if quantum theorists can take guesses at shit, then so can I. And you know what? At least mine can make sense out of the Terminator storylines.
And by the way, yes, I did just bust the classic paradox, ‘If a man travels back in time to kill his grandfather, then the man will never be born to travel back in time to kill his grandfather.’ Not true. Once the man travels back in time, he now exists in the past and can’t be erased by preventing himself from being born. He simply creates a new timeline, one in which he lives out the rest of his life in what is now the present to him. And since I just terminated a classic paradox…
Terminator head count: 7
Getting back to Genisys, another thing that felt awkward was a portion of the climactic battle in which Sarah and the gang are attempting to blow up SkyNet before it’s activated. In retaliation, SkyNet kept jumping the countdown to its activation up, but never to zero. Seriously, it skipped from 13 hours and 39 minutes all the way up to 14 minutes, then from 11 minutes to 8 minutes. I kept wanting to yell, “Hey, SkyNet, ZERO is when it happens!”
Anyway, of all of the ways in which it seems the writers, producers, and director of Terminator: Genisys were trying to destroy the franchise, I still found myself kind of enjoying the movie. I had to keep repeating in my head, “Don’t criticize, don’t judge, don’t think, just go with it,” but overall, the action wasn’t all that bad. I mean, I’ve seen worse.
But do you know what I can’t believe never happened throughout all of these events? Even with all of the nods to the previous films, there’s not a single female Terminator anywhere in this movie. Do not even the people behind the Terminator franchise want to remember that Terminator 3 happened?
In fact, if you want to say that they terminated Terminator 3…
Terminator head count: 8