Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Another Turn On A Ride That Never Ends

I got to see most of Terminator: Genisys last week. I came in around the time Kyle, Sarah, and Pops managed to kill the two Terminators they were fighting in the sewers. Which I means I missed the part of the movie Byung-hun Lee was in. He was Park Chang-yi in The Good The Bad The Weird, which I'm assuming means he was the best part of this movie.

Which isn't me saying I hated the movie. I missed all the exposition about how this might be an alternate universe/ time travel mechanics stuff people hated, which was probably to my benefit. Why complicate things? Just leave it at "Stop Skynet". There were parts of it that I thought were good. Emilia Clarke seemed like a solid Sarah Conner. She was somewhere between Linda Hamilton's Sarah from the first Terminator, and Hamilton as Sarah in T2*. She's got the combat training, but she's better interacting with people, probably because she wasn't institutionalized. Also, she had Pops. The idea of the Terminator being the surrogate father to Sarah for years, and during all that time he's learning about humans, becoming more human, that was interesting.

I would have been very curious to see what he did during those 30 years he was on his own after sending Sarah and Kyle from 1984 to 2016. He had to travel through time normally, by living it, and we know he worked construction for awhile, and he gathered a lot of weapons and ammo, but did he willingly interact with people in his free time? Keep learning about people? He clearly never figured out big smiles, but he was polite with that cop whose car he stole. Did he run into any other aborted attempts by Skynet to change things and deal with them?

Jai Courtney didn't make much of an impression as Kyle Reese. Just kind of a big, clueless meathead. The bit where he learns he's John Conner's dad, and he originally dies protecting Sarah, that had potential. That moment of feeling completely trapped by strings he didn't know about, that could have been something, especially given Sarah feeling the same way, but it's sort of mentioned and then they move on.

Matt Smith is in there briefly as some host for Skynet's latest attempt to Get Conner, before it jumps to John himself. Which makes two movies I've seen in the last month where he plays a sort of bad guy (I'd like to see Lost River again before discussing it here). Which is weird to me, because I know him as what I perceive as a bow tie wearing dweeb on Doctor Who, so him being this crazy weirdo we're meant to be scared of doesn't quite track. Though I guess to some of the aliens in that show, the Doctor is a terrifying crazy weirdo.

* My dad and I were watching Terminator 2 a few weeks ago, and he said he though Sarah must have always been a little crazy to reach the point she's at by that film. I argued she seems perfectly normal in the first movie until a cyborg from the future starts trying to murder her, and that sort of thing, combined with all the revelations about the importance of a son she hadn't had, and that his father is this guy who came back through time to protect her, would be sufficiently traumatizing to push her in this direction. And the rest is things she did to keep herself and John alive and prepared. My dad was not convinced.


Kelvin Green said...

I think you could leave that as "Jai Courtney didn't make much of an impression" and cover his entire career so far.

CalvinPitt said...

Ha! I think I'd read something to that effect in a Suicide Squad review, but given what else I heard about that film I didn't know if that would be a reflection of him or the movie.

This might be the only thing I've seen him in. Let me check IMDB. . . OK, he was in I, Frankenstein, I saw that, but can't recall him at all. But I try really hard to block it from my mind. It makes Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent performance retroactively shittier.

But yeah, Michael Biehn is no master thespian (that I know of, anyway), but his Kyle Reese has this feral desperation that made an impression. Courtney was a block of wood, and not even an interesting one with a lightning scar.