The trailer for Terminator Genisys has finally been released, hoping to pique fan interest for the latest film in a franchise that hasn’t really been good since the 90s. Though the question of whether this film can reach anywhere close to the thrills of the original will stay unanswered until the movie is released, I can’t say that this trailer has helped boost confidence much.
First though, here’s the good. The casting looks promising, especially Emilia Clarke in the role of Sarah Connor. Genisys seems to feature Sarah as a more active character. She’s not only already aware of the threat of Skynet, but Sarah’s the one to actually save Kyle upon his arrival. Rather than “scared and weak”, Genisys’s Sarah Connor drives a truck through a storefront to save the soldier sent to protect her. Emilia Clarke has already shown off her strong acting chops on “Game of Thrones”, and will hopefully bring energy to the franchise. Jason Clarke, playing the future version of John Connor, was one of the bright spots in the most recent Planet of the Apes sequel and could be a big help with this film as well. Jai Courtney, playing Kyle Reese, seems rather like a generic male lead as the trailer only has him running around silently for the majority of it. However, the most interesting thing about the casting might be who the trailer didn’t choose to show: Matt Smith. The “Doctor Who” alumni’s character is still completely unknown. With him being completely absent from this trailer, there’s a good chance he may end up being a significant – or villainous – twist in the film.
There’s also several other encouraging tidbits sprinkled throughout the trailer. It’s enjoyable to see a non-CG version of Schwarzenegger, which has to come as a relief after Terminator Salvation’s T-800.. There are several set pieces that look like they could be fun as well, including teases of a huge action sequence involving a school bus and bridge and another scene that features the Terminator T-800 catapulting himself into an enemy aircraft (and who wouldn’t enjoy that?). The new T-1000 also has a few moments that reference Terminator 2’s villain, like the bullet to the eye, but the teaser also hints at new styles of fighting he might have.
However, there’s a lot about this trailer that makes me think that the franchise might be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, the biggest thing being plot. The few details we get from this trailer don’t tease the audience so much as they confuse. Just as in the first film, John Connor sends Kyle back to the past to save his mother, directly after the machines have sent their Terminator back to kill young Sarah. However, something has changed the past and now everything is different. There are new Terminators, explosions, and two or three different versions of Schwarzenegger’s T-800 running around. Perhaps most galling to long-time fans is the image of the Terminator carrying a child-sized Sarah Connor in a flashback.
Genisys seems to be trying to reboot the franchise, effectively erasing the events of the first movie and creating an alternate timeline, similar to the plot of the Star Trek and Days of Future Past reboots. Unfortunately nothing in the trailer actually promises anything that new or exciting. The same characters are there, and they’re still trying to stop Skynet and prevent Judgement Day. For all the bluster of changing the past, nothing appears to have actually changed in a meaningful way.
In order to begin to compare to the original films, Genisys is going to have to do something drastically different. This is a story we’ve seen four times already, and half of those haven’t left a lasting impression with audiences. I want this film to be good, but the franchise currently has a lot of faith to rebuild with its fans. Although this trailer leaves me with doubts, Terminator Genisys could still surprise us all.Image Credits: Skydance Productions