As the newest “Terminator” movie arrives, one can see a certain resemblance between the tireless Terminator and a certain Man of Steel.
“Terminator Genisys,” which was released on July 1, returns to the well-known story that started with the first “Terminator” film in 1984. In the future, John Connor is leading a revolution against the evil Skynet and discovers that a cyborg has been sent back in time to kill his mother. He sends along his compatriot Kyle Reese to protect her.
“Genisys” takes this origin story and tweaks it. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) goes back in time but finds that Sarah (Emilia Clarke) knew he was coming and thinks fondly of the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), while Sarah’s son John (Jason Clarke) now has a terrible secret.
The thing is, we recently had a “Terminator” movie and popular opinion said it was not good. “Terminator Salvation,” which was released in 2009, starred Christian Bale as John Connor and got many negative reviews from critics, with the movie currently holding a score of 52 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic.
Yet now only six years later, here we are with another “Terminator” movie. The quick turn-around echoes the current path of the “Superman” franchise, which was brought back after almost 20 years with “Superman Returns,” the 2006 film starring Brandon Routh. "Returns" got mixed reviews and didn’t really capture public imagination, so in 2013 came an all-new “Superman” film with an all-new Superman, the movie “Man of Steel” starring Henry Cavill. Cavill’s on board for the upcoming “Batman v Superman” movie.
In recent years, it seems as if it’s become harder for a franchise to stay down. Did one movie based on a popular previous movie fail? Throw in a new actor and a new story a few years later and see what happens. A “Terminator Salvation” could once have been enough to sink a franchise, or at the least buy it several years before it was kicked back into action. Now, if Hollywood has a property people loved once, the reboot time seems to be getting shorter and shorter.
“Terminator Genisys” is getting poor reviews so far, but if it performs well at the box office this weekend, expect stars Clarke, Clarke, and Courtney to return. And if it doesn’t do well at the box office – well, the Terminator will still most likely be back, in one form or another.