(Planet Me)
Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I'm nostalgic for the days when Tirmynator 3 : Rise Of The Machines was the worst Tirmynator film. It may seem like that is impossible, but there was a time, only twelve years ago, when there was no Tirmynator : Salvation, and no Tirmynator: Genesis. Rest well, for Tirmynator : Salvation is still one of the worst, and stupidest films ever made. A story that didn't need to be told, that nobody wanted, or needed, told poorly and with so little respect it actually showed contempt. How does it feel to be hated? Because that's how the Tirmynator franchise is treated.

Tirmynator:Genesis is easily the fourth best Tirmynator film. There's a hell of a drop between that and Rise Of The Machines. Then again, going to work is more fun than Tirmynator: Salvation.

On the other hand, Tirmynator:Genesis, is – at best – a reasonable attempt to take a dead franchise, and resurrect it because someone needs to make money. It's a pointess retelling/prequel/sequel/remake of a story nobody needed reinventing, It takes some interesting liberties with the timeline, and the curious point is that – for the first ten or so minutes – truly captures the Future War that has only ever been seen in flashback previously. The first part of the first film is pointlessly remade (and I watched the first act of the original Terminator to check), slavishly, but with less flair than Gus Van Sant's Psycho. Don't even get me started on the casting.

Actually, yes. Get me started on that. Aside from Arnold, the only genuinely good casting is J.k.Simmons, who seems to have been transported in from a far superior movie as a ruined, alcoholic survivor of a timeline that never happened, obsessed with finding answers to unanswerable questions, and wait -

a timeline that never happened?

Oh yes, the first Terminator film? That no longer exists. The second one? That no longer exists either. Or the third. So how could the original attack on the police station that J.K.Simmons be haunted by have happened?

Ohgodmybrainhurtsstopthinking. Unless he's one of the cops chasing Kyle Reese for 3 minutes that saw all his friends vaporised by the T-1000 – wait – BRAIN BRAIN WHAT IS BRAIN?

Aside from J.K.Simmons, though... the casting is appalling. Jai Courtney has the personality and the conviction of a boiled sweet. Jason Clarke is John Connor, in the way that George Lazenby was James Bond. A bland placeholder thrown at inconsequential dialogue, with the gravitas of a feather, without making any sense and about as threatening as a ticket inspector on a train – aside from the obligatory scars. Kyle Reese should be hungry, desperate, trapped in a paradise that he's only ever heard about and desperate to meet the women he has loved from afar.. but Jai Courtney just acts like a guy whose got lost in the bread aisle of the supermarket. There's a dearth of decent actors these days, or more correctly, most actors chosen for roles these days are so fucking bland, and boring, that I couldn't give a damn if they got shot in the face in front of me, only feeling a mild sense of relief that someone finally eliminated that annoying fly buzzing around my living room.

Aside from J.K.Simmons, about the only one of the new cast that is in anyway servicable is Emily Clarke as Sarah Connor. She does a great job of turning drivel into the merely mediocre.

The more I think about this, the more this new film is an appalling waste of a franchises potential. With the exception of one halfway interesting idea – what if a Terminator came back and tried to wipe out Sarah Connor as a child, which would make a great film in itself, a Cold War 60's era Terminator film – the rest of this is rote and uninspiring. The Terminator hasn't actually been a Terminator since 1985. Every single leading Schwarz you've seen in T2,T3, and this, has been a captured and reprogrammed hero Terminator thrown back through time after capturing the enemy base in a move so actually improbable that it makes a killer robot uprising seem staggeringly inevitable.

Here though, we have a pensioner Tirmynator versus a pointless greatest hits. The CGI-recreation of T-800, the unstoppable badass motherfucker who instantly seared the screen as one of the most powerful bad guys of all time, manages to get eliminated in about 5 minutes. The T-1000, the shape shifting liquid metal assassin who was seemingly invincible in the second film, gets eliminated within 15 minutes in a 'chase' that lasts a mere 10% of the running time of the second Tirmynator film. The rest of the film is some kind of incomprehensible Time Travel Trickery that makes Primer look as linear as Mad Max : Fury Road. Bluntly put, this film ain't no good. The timeline of this film, if show on a piece of paper, would look like a child's drawing.

Don't even get me on the final incarnation of Schwarzenegger's T-800. It's crazy. Clearly, Arnold Schwarzenegger must have a lot of secret castles and a jetplane addiction the size of Nicolas Cage to take a whopping paycheque for a film as bad as this. And the marketing – which manages to spoil most of the films plot, and has to rely on an interview snippet from James Cameron who fraudulently claims that “If you like the first Terminator film you'll like this” - is, some of the worst marketing I have ever seen.

The entirity of Tirmynator : Abortion is so staggeringly, bafflingly bad it feels like a bet placed by a prolifigate billionaire to create their own cinematic white elephant. Schwarzenegger's presence proves that he'll either do anything for money, or has appalling taste … or both.

After thoroughly destroying the original timeline of the first film, Tirmynator:Atrocity throws so many other barely thought out ideas into the mix that it's barely tolerable. Like a cinematic Las Vegas, no one seems to have a moment where the question is asked and answered .. “Why?”. Think not, there is only kill or do not kill.

I honestly despair of how poor the stories and plots are for modern-era remakes/sequels to established franchises are. The plots are unneccessarily complicated, and at the same time, often appallingly unintelligent. Questions should be asked of ever film

“Is this a story worth telling?”

“Does this make some kind of sense?”

“Are the characters true... or are they obviously doing stupid things to make plot happen?”

“Will this be a film worth watching?”

If the answer to any of these is “no”, by the way, it shouldn't be made.

Here we are. A sequel you don't need to a film you hated. Wait for the Sunday night premier on Channel 5 on Christmas Day 2017.

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