More than most people, I understand the burning desire to get one more great “Terminator” film out of the weirdest, most haphazardly-run mega-franchise in modern film.
After all, the 1984 original remains one of the greatest indie action films ever made. Beautifully plotted and incredibly well-built, “The Terminator” is one of those movies where everyone involved was in tune and they turned out something special as a result. And 1991's “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is one of the great action sequels, escalating the scale of the mayhem while offering some very smart twists on both character and plot.
Since then, though, they've tried several times to hook the audience and draw them into further adventures, and they've never really cracked the code. “Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines,” “Terminator: Salvation,” and “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” all have fans, but none of them managed to resonate as widely as the first two films.
I don't envy Alan Taylor, director of “Terminator: Genisys,” because this may be the most aggressive effort yet to get this series back up and running. Screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier have certainly come up with something that takes a different way into the mythology, and when audiences meet Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, John Connor, and the mysterious new characters Schwarzenegger's playing named “The Guardian,” they're going to get both new and familiar in the same package. And why is the film called “Genisys?”
There is a major component of the “Terminator” franchise that is taking on a new form altogether in this film, and “Genisys” is the name that's been given to it inside the film.
Today, Arnold Schwarzenegger shared a picture of himself on-set via Facebook, our first glimpse at the official spelling of the title, and also published a quick paragraph:
Hasta la vista, baby.
I want to thank the cast and crew of Terminator Genisys for a fantastic shoot. It was challenging, it was fun, and it was rewarding. From our director to the producers, from the camera team to catering, from visual effects to hair and makeup – we couldn't have done it without you. I can't wait to see our finished project and I know we'll remind the fans why they fell in love with the Terminator. On July 1, 2015, I'll be back.
See, one of the things that scares me is when Arnold leans on old dialogue like that's supposed to be enough to win us over. What I'd like is to see a movie that doesn't spend its time winking at the past, but that creates new scenes and new thrills and new reasons for us to invest.
I'll be there as soon as possible to see this one… who am I fooling? Of course I'll see it. But we've been down this road enough times to know that, like time travel, getting a “Terminator” sequel right is more a theory than a fact at this point.
“Terminator: Genisys” will open July 1, 2015.