Whew. I was starting to worry this might be good.
Perhaps I should dial back the skepticism a bit. After all, they're bound to eventually make a "Terminator" spin-off/reboot/remake/sequel that's not annoying and pointless, right? All they have to do is keep cranking them out every few years with a new cast of actors with some career heat, and I'm sure they'll stumble over a good movie at some point.
Sure, they've announced three different times now that they're going to "kick off a whole new trilogy," and each time they've announced that, they've failed, but that doesn't mean anything. I'm sure it was simply because the public wasn't ready. This time… this time it will all be different.
Sure, Jai Courtney and Sam Worthington would confuse me if I had to ID one of them in a police line-up, and sure, Courtney seemed mercifully spared of the horrors of charisma in "A Good Day to Die Hard," but I'm sure it's a great idea to pin your wildly expensive franchise film on him because the public just hasn't caught up yet.
There is a part of me that feels bad about being this cynical regarding all things "Terminator," but all sarcasm aside, I can't think of a story I want to see continued any less than this one. I get it… there's a huge name recognition factor when it comes to "Terminator," but this is a case where every single attempt to extend the life of the series beyond the end of James Cameron's involvement has felt like spinning wheels, treading water, wasted effort. I know people swear by "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," and I don't think it's a bad show by any means, but does it in any way make me feel like that's story I needed after the end of "Terminator 2"?
Every time someone tells me how much they want to see the Future War, I ask them how fond they were of the Geonosis Battle Arena in "Attack Of The Clones." One of the drawbacks to living in the era of Every Nerd Dream Come True is that some of those nerd dreams worked better as vague allusions to larger events. At this point, I fully expect a trilogy of films in which Roy Batty visits the shoulder of Orion and has lunch at the Tannhauser Gate, because god forbid those things simply exist as a poetic evocation of the vast richness of an individual's life. We should SEE them, even though the entire point of the line was that we can never see all the things someone else sees, and when they die, they take whole worlds with them.
According to the report in today's Hollywood Reporter, they screen tested everyone for this, and I guess Courtney has good chemistry with the Clarke twins Emilia and Jason(*), who are onboard as Sarah and John Connor. That's great. Presumably Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier are still writing the film that Alan Taylor will direct. That's great. All of these things are tremendously exciting, except I'm still not sure why anyone ever needs another "Terminator" money unless they are a profit participant in the film, and even then, I'm not sure anyone's going to get what they want out of this.
It would be lovely to turn out to be completely wrong about this, but it's increasingly hard to believe this is suddenly going to turn out to be the miracle that course corrects everything for the franchise.
On a positive note, Courtney wasn't bad in "Jack Reacher." So there's that.
"Terminator Genesis" will be in theaters July 1, 2015, no matter what I say.
(*) - not actually twins or related in any way. I know.