The ‘80s and ‘Terminator Genisys’

By on July 8, 2015


Emilia Clarke (left) is Sarah Connor; and Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Guardian, in “Terminator Genisys,” which had a very lukewarm opening over Independence Day weekend.

Emilia Clarke (left) is Sarah Connor; and Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Guardian, in “Terminator Genisys,” which had a very lukewarm opening over Independence Day weekend.


They’ll be back … or not

The 1980s have rebounded! Boom boxes and excessive hairspray have managed to stay away, but most things ‘80s — especially entertainment — are back en vogue (and have been for an eerily long time). Theoretically, history repeats itself every 20 years. Well, with this stretch of fads the ‘80s have proven to be mightier than other decades. My nine-year old daughter watches reruns of “Full House,” and she isn’t alone. Care Bears and Converse are still kickin’ it. Even “Jem and the Holograms” (starring Molly Ringwald) will reappear in movie form in October. Truly outrageous!

Little is more iconic and resonant of the ‘80’s then “The Terminator.” Making his androidistic debut in 1984, the Terminator T-800 Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 swiftly rocketed to popularity and solidified Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foothold in action film legend status. The original film spawned four more movies cementing the franchise as one of the most popular of all time; the latest of those movies hit screens over the 4th of July weekend … and it looks like this may be the end for the cyborg we’ve grown to know, fear, and love.

Theoretically, “Terminator Genisys” was a flop at the box office in third place. The massively popular “Jurassic World” became the fifth highest grossing film of all time over the weekend and “Terminator Genisys” couldn’t even knock Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out” out of second place.

In this latest storyline the android formerly known as the Terminator is now called the Guardian (Schwarzenegger). His charge is to protect Sarah Connor (this time played by Emilia Clarke — made famous by her role as Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”). Connor is no slouch, hardened by years of alternate timelines and battles with other terminators. She is visited by the time traveling Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney, “Divergent” and “Insurgent”) who is also given the responsibility of protecting Connor and helping her destroy Skynet, the all-encompassing computer program, which ultimately causes the downfall of humanity and the rise of the machines. The twist comes when the trio is confronted by the ultimate computer life form in the guise of good guy John Connor (Jason Clarke, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”).

This looks like the end of the Terminator, due to poor ticket sales and poor reviews. I didn’t think the movie was bad. The team of writers employed some old fashioned self-deprecation and created bits of humor to keep the movie campy and serious at the same time. The action is great; there are chases and fights as to be expected in this type of action sci-fi. Overall, it is just fun to revisit a character I came to enjoy back in the ‘80s.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, remakes and re-envisions are here to stay. I guess I’ll just have to give in and realize every successful movie will “be back.” I am looking forward to another flashback to the past later this month when Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison team releases “Pixels,” the story of alien life taking the form of 1980s video game greats like Pac Man and Donkey Kong. (Did you know Donkey Kong got its silly name when an error in translation between creators and manufacturers misnamed the legendary Monkey King?)

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *