Terminator Genisys

MV5BNjQyMzYxMjI2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIwNjA2MzE@._V1__SX1859_SY893_Downside of watching a movie at the start of the weekend: I fall behind. Like, every time. That said, I have a possibly relevant anecdote concerning my personal viewing of the film. See, I made plans to see it with a couple of friends on Thursday afternoon. Due to some failures of brain, one of them ended up at a separate theater at the exact same showtime. We figured it out by the time the movie was over, and he said, who cares? We wouldn’t have talked during the flick anyway, so I basically feel like I did see it with you guys! And you know, that’s completely fair enough.

Except… This is a Terminator movie. After the first two films, three movies and a (tragically underrated) TV series have each been provided as sequels, and unlike the first two movies, no two of them seem to inhabit the same… man, I’m not even sure what word to use. Same timeline misses the point entirely, as none of these movies have ever been entirely in the same timeline. I’d say same universe, but since multiverse is a term of art within time travel theory, that has basically the same problem. My point is, they all feel mutually exclusive in a way that the first two films plus any one of the purported sequels do not.

So, which is the one true sequel? I would still pick the TV version, because it had time to really dig in to plot, character, and philosophy in a way that movies necessarily do not, and also because Summer Glau. (There are more reasons I could name, but these are enough.) But I don’t review TV shows, so it seems only fair to pick a best movie sequel also, and Terminator Genisys is the one. I know you’re shocked.

So, my reasons are as follows. 1) It did time travel plausibly correctly[1], which I’m pretty sure the earliest and worst of the sequels[2] did not even really manage. 2) It understood how and when to throw a curveball. 3) It still cared about predestination, which I think the second sequel[3] did not enough. 4) It for sure cared about where humanity fits into things, which the second sequel certainly did not. Nor really the first one, which was by and large soulless if I’m being honest with myself. James Cameron, famous for creating the first two films which as you can see have been at no point up for debate in this discussion, names this the first sequel he can get behind. I say, well, but did you watch the show? Then, without waiting for an answer that might make me sad, I nod and add, fair enough.

Anyway, though, my anecdote has been left hanging. Which is important, because I believe I indicated it had some partial relevance to this whole topic. Which is to say, at this point, there are so many plausible sequels to T2 that probably there are still more that I don’t know about, leaking into the timeline at various points between 1984 and 2029 (or later!), and really, there’s no way to tell which of them my friend in the wrong theater actually saw. For that matter, he may have ended up in the wrong theater because of one such attempted sequel or other. Time travel, man. It’s a bitch.

[1] Or maybe it did not? There’s definitely one huge question mark floating in front of my brain right now, but I would need to watch all three movies and diagram everything out to be certain. Scotch and other people would be involved.
[2] Terminator 3, I guess? Who can remember.
[3] Terminator Salvation

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