That Trailer. Let’s Talk About It.


Alrighty then.  I’m assuming by now you’ve all watched the Terminator: Genisys trailer.  It’s interesting spectacle, to be sure.  But is it good?  Is it faithful to the canon?  Is the canon faithful to the canon?

Well, it’s certainly hit and miss.  But excusing that weird, naked handshake between Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) and John Connor (Jason Clarke), I think there’s a lot of things to like here.  First off, I admire the dedication to detail in the 80s backdrop.  In the future we finally see some plasma rifles, and of course the Time Disolacement Equipment if is shown for the first time.  Very cool.

My favorite aspect, and one I wasn’t really sold on until I saw this trailer, is Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor.  I’m not sure they could have found a better actress in terms of physical resemblance:

Sarah compare

I’m assuming, all from this trailer, most of the duration of Terminator: Genisys will be taking place in 1984.  Clarke’s appearance is thus right on the money, as a hardened version of the character originated by Linda Hamilton, being of Sarah’s age in 1984 but with the roughness of her character from 1991 (assuming Terminator 2: Judgment Day takes place in 1991).  I am far less convinced on Jai Courtney stepping in for Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese.

Reese compare

I’m not going to lie: I love Michael Biehn.  He’s probably my favorite actor of all time.  But going beyond that, I am just not certain Courtney can project the same battle-cool-yet-wild-eyed intensity Biehn does so easily in The Terminator.  Time will tell, but consider me skeptical.

But I guess the big thing is Arnold.  Guy is pushing ever closer to 70 as time marches on, so what do they do here?  Well, they gotta kill off the young version of Arnie as soon as possible.  Oddly, they choose to do that as soon as the original T-800 is birthed from the TDE (how do they know where he’ll be?), and instead of simply using creative angles, doubles, and the film’s original footage, they’ve created another CGI Arnold Schwarzenegger for the scene.

T-800 compare

It’s an interesting move, putting all the cards on the table like this.  I know they’re selling this new technology to everyone, but I don’t think the CGI has improved enough from 2009 for them to be putting this front and center.  I’m not too bothered by it though.  It’s getting better, even if it doesn’t quite match up to the original.

I can’t concern myself a lot by the presence of CGI here.  It was T2 that brought it into such popularity in the first place, so it only makes sense they’d go for more of it here.  Kind of feels like it’s coming back home.  What bothers me is how this feels more and more like some kind of fan-fiction mish-mash of the previous movies as the trailer progresses.  I think as a concept, it’s an interesting spin.  But I’d rather see them do something with the established mythos (i.e., the future wars) than keep piling onto the first two movies.  Yes, they’re the good ones.  Can we do something else?

Here’s for fun: