When John Connor Pulled a Darth Vader

July 5, 2015 at 12:07 AM | Posted in Film Reviews, Geekdom, Movies | Leave a comment
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John Connor just went to the dark side of The Force. The hero has fallen – and it was all disappointing.

I’ve been a big fan of the Terminator movies since I was a child. I was in grade school when I first saw The Terminator and loved it. I also loved its sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and the fourth installment Terminator: Salvation (let’s forget about the third one). The franchise always captivated me because of its compelling storyline about man versus machines. So when I saw the trailer of Terminator: Genisys, I got really excited. I had high expectations that it would be as good as the previous ones (except the third film). But now that I’ve seen the latest installment of the franchise, I’m not so sure.

terminator-genesis-poster-arnold

Photo credit goes to http://www.movies.mxdwn.com

I was expecting the liquid metal, T-1000 to be the main villain in this movie, or at least a new Terminator. I didn’t expect John Connor to be the bad guy. He’s supposed to be the hero – the leader of the resistance against the machines. But halfway through the movie, he turned out to be the main villain. Skynet got through him. It infiltrated his body and turned him into a human/machine hybrid. Now he was fighting for and with Skynet, not against it.

What really disappointed me was that the movie didn’t even show if John or any of his army actually attempted to fight Skynet when it was infiltrating his body. Like we’re supposed to accept the fact that the resistance was too weak and wasn’t prepared enough for a sudden attack. I wanted the ending to at least show if there’s anything left in John’s humanity. Heck, I wanted John (the human not the hybrid) to survive. I get that the writers wanted a tragic story but for me that felt a little flat. Those scenes with the hybdrid John Connor wasn’t as moving and heartbreaking as that scene in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith when Obi Wan Kenobi fought with the dark Anakin Skywalker (“You were the chosen one!”). Sarah Connor was more emotional about “Pops,” (a.k.a T-800, the Terminator sent from the future to protect her) than her son turning against her and the crusade).

The period of the time travels got a little confusing, too. So Sarah never became a waitress in 1984? If the hybrid John Connor was killed by T-800 (a.k.a Arnold) in 2017, then would that have affected the past and the future? I didn’t get the explanation as to why a young Kyle Reese from the past could meet the older Kyle Reese from the future. Perhaps I need to rewatch the entire franchise again to better understand this.

And by the way, T-1000 was underutilized in this movie. He was so badass in those scenes that it reminded me of how I felt about him when I first saw him in Terminator 2: Judgement Day – terrifying. The actor who played him was so good even though he had only one dialogue. I wanted to see more of T-1000!

Emilia Clarke did a fine job playing Sarah Connor, although the writers could have written her character to be more connected and bonded with her son than “Pops.” But I really missed seeing Linda Hamilton in that role. I hope she could appear in the next installment of the movie, even just for a cameo.

Of course it’s always good to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. That Arnold versus Arnold scene was so cool! I loved that Terminator: Genisys incorporated a few elements from the previous movies – the scene where Arnold was crawling on the floor with a dismembered arm looking almost defeated, the shoes that Kyle Reese was wearing, T-1000 melting and disintegrating, and the classic lines: “Come with me if you want to live,” and “I’ll be back!”

Terminator: Genisys wasn’t as fantastic as I hoped it to be but it wasn’t all that bad either.

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