Nel 2029 John Connor, leader della resistenza, continua la guerra contro le macchine. All'attacco di Los Angeles, le paure di John rispetto al futuro incerto cominciano ad emergere quando le spie TECOM rilevano un nuovo complotto da parte di Skynet, l'intelligenza artificiale che lo attaccherĂ da entrambi i fronti: passato e futuro, in un conflitto che cambierĂ definitivamente la guerra per sempre.
The year is 2029. John Connor, leader of the resistance continues the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John's fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when TECOM spies reveal a new plot by SkyNet that will attack him from both fronts; past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.
Commento critico (a cura di JUSTIN CHANG, www.variety.com)
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER IS BACK (AGAIN) IN THIS TIME-SHUFFLING REBOOT OF A SERIES WHOSE BEST DAYS ARE LONG BEHIND IT
âIâm old, not obsolete,â mutters Arnold Schwarzeneggerâs aging android in âTerminator Genisys,â and his words could be a wishful mantra for this nervy, silly, almost admirably misguided attempt to give the 31-year-old franchise a massive cybernetic facelift. More or less rewriting everything we thought we knew about the Connor genealogy, the properties of liquid metal, and the rules of post-1984 time travel, this f/x-encrusted reboot feels at once back-to-basics and confoundingly revisionist, teeming with alternate timelines and rejiggered character histories (the most perplexing of which finds Sarah Connor now continually referring to Schwarzeneggerâs Terminator as âPopsâ). Consider it the 3D blockbuster equivalent of disruptive technology, and while online fans have already voiced their displeasure, the movieâs willingness to veer crazily off-course feels less objectionable than the monotony and sense of self-parody that
kick in long before the whimper of a finish.
The return of a top-billed Schwarzenegger (here playing three different versions of his most iconic role) should lend Paramountâs July 1 release a bit more box office oomph than Warner Bros. managed with âTerminator Salvationâ (2009), which the actor skipped while finishing the second term of his political career. Still, a mere six years after that poorly received mediocrity (the movie, not the political career), itâs safe to say the âTerminatorâ movies werenât exactly crying out for this sort of extreme overhaul. And in a season when the studios have been busy updating their pre-millennial action-cinema touchstones, itâs unlikely that this new film will find itself in the same commercial league as âJurassic Worldâ and âMad Max: Fury Road,â let alone the next chapter of âStar Wars.â That Paramount has positioned âGenisysâ as the start of a new âTerminatorâ trilogy canât help
but smack of undue optimism.
Fan uproar aside, the seriesâ underlying mythology is hardly an inviolable one, and for a while itâs easy to admire the daring with which screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier shake things up and reframe the events of the earlier films from a bizarre new perspective. Exploiting the narrative possibilities of time travel on a more vigorous and elaborate scale than its relatively self-enclosed predecessors, âGenisysâ effectively returns us to the events of James Cameronâs âThe Terminatorâ (1984), stirs in the buddy-Arnold dynamics of âTerminator 2: Judgment Dayâ (1991), borrows the man-machine-hybrid plot device from McGâs âTerminator Salvation,â and more or less pretends that Jonathan Mostowâs âTerminator 3: Rise of the Machinesâ (2004) never happened (ânever happenedâ being an admittedly unstable concept in this particular universe).
Accompanied by a familiar blast of Brad Fiedelâs original âTerminatorâ theme, a prologue solemnly announces that 3 billion people died in
the nuclear conflagration of Judgment Day on Oct. 29, 1997. Some 30 years later, the malevolent machines of Skynet are losing the war with a surviving remnant of humanity, led by an impassioned revolutionary named John Connor (Jason Clarke, his face marked with scars). So far, so familiar â except that when Kyle Reese (Australian actor Jai Courtney) gets zapped back in time to rescue Johnâs mother, Sarah, a last-minute twist suddenly alters his trajectory: When Kyle lands in a dark Los Angeles alley in May 1984, the machines are already waiting for him in the form of a lethal T-1000 who possesses blades for hands, reconstitutes himself at will, and is played by Korean star Byung-hun Lee. (Clearly, this version of Skynet isnât just self-aware, but also hip to the realities of the all-important Asian movie market.)
Working with a crew that includes production designer Neil Spisak and cinematographer Kramer
Morgenthau, director Alan Taylor fastidiously re-creates individual shots and scenes from Cameronâs 1984 movie â right down to the appearance of the evil T-800, achieved with a massive silicone replica of a nude, bulked-up, 37-year-old Schwarzenegger. But before the T-800 can do any real damage, heâs ambushed by Schwarzeneggerâs slightly older, leaner good-guy Terminator, treating us to the brief spectacle of an Arnold-vs.-Arnold faceoff before Sarah Connor (English actress Emilia Clarke, âGame of Thronesâ) steps in to finish the job. Turns out Sarah has been under the protection of her Austrian-accented guardian since she was 9 years old, and she knows full well that Kyle has come back in time to save her life and inadvertently father her child. She even gets to bring some gender parity to the proceedings by uttering the signature line âCome with me if you want to live!â
All this unfolds in an unusually cheeky, self-conscious
register, and âTerminator Genisysâ proves most diverting (or, depending on the viewer, infuriating) when the characters are trying to make sense of who they are, what theyâre doing and what will or wonât happen as a result â none of which will mean much to a viewer coming in with no prior knowledge of the series. The movie does give us an enjoyably dumb crash course in time-travel specifics that explains how a ânexus pointâ can give rise to parallel timelines and alternate memories, opening a narrative wormhole thatâs intended to justify the movieâs wholesale reimagination of its material. (Itâs roughly the same gambit J.J. Abrams pulled off, albeit much more cleverly, in his 2009 âStar Trekâ relaunch.)
In the refurbished âGenisysâ timeline, Judgment Day has been postponed from 1997 to 2017, the same year that Skynet plans to seize control via a spiffy new worldwide operating system called Genisys â
a twist that neatly updates the seriesâ techno-paranoia for the smartphone era. And so Kyle and Sarah make their way to San Francisco circa 2017, where Pops is now played by a conspicuously older and grayer-looking Schwarzenegger (as the film helpfully notes, the hardware is willing but the flesh is weak). Amid this web of Silicon Valley intrigue, they also run straight into John Connor himself, who welcomes Mom and Dad with open arms â and not in an altogether reassuring way.
To summarize the plot further would risk inflaming the readerâs outrage and probably give all of us a massive headache. Suffice to say that, in arranging this vaguely Oedipal family reunion, âTerminator Genisysâ aims to reset the entire franchise by eliminating John Connorâs revolutionary heroism as the narrative constant around which everything else must revolve. In eliminating this premise, however, the filmmakers donât offer much in the way of
compensation: The what-the-hell invention of the first half gives way to a growing sense of desperation in the second, as our heroes find themselves running from one skirmish to the next, while the baddies keep showing up and finding new ways to say âYou canât win!â before going up in flames. For his part, Taylor orchestrates the action sequences with the same stolid proficiency he brought to âThor: The Dark World,â whether heâs staging a massive vehicular smash-up on the Golden Gate Bridge, or filming the gleaming puddles of CGI that ooze from the Terminatorsâ rapidly mutating bodies.
For all its initial playfulness, the script never rises to the level of surreal, cortex-tickling pleasure it seems to be aiming for, and for all its self-awareness itâs weirdly devoid of humor. Even the possibilities of naked coed time travel â and the potentially world-altering consequences of whether or not Sarah and Kyle
hook up â seem to evince more embarrassment here than amusement or pleasure. (The nudity, like the violence, is strictly PG-13.) What comedy there is unfortunately comes mostly from Schwarzenegger, straining as ever to turn his utter humorlessness into a source of humor, and at one point trying to add âBite meâ to the immortal âTerminatorâ lexicon. Still, the star does what heâs here to do â namely, imitate a lethal slab of granite and ensure a measure of continuity with the rest of the series â even as he largely cedes the spotlight to Courtneyâs hunky earnestness, Jason Clarkeâs unsettling intensity, and Emilia Clarkeâs semi-successful attempt to channel the fire and grit of Linda Hamilton.
It is, on the face of it, a ludicrous and faintly depressing spectacle, like watching a âTerminatorâ highlights reel stiffly enacted by Hollywoodâs latest bright young things (which makes the appearance of J.K. Simmons all
the more welcome in the minor role of a police detective). Yet while âTerminator Genesisâ is far from a perfect movie, it may well be a perfect product of its time and place, one that ably reflects the ruthless economy of the industry in general and the thematic logic of this series in particular. The âTerminatorâ franchise, by now, has become its own worst Skynet â a monument to self-regeneration that endlessly repackages the same old thrills in ever sleeker, sexier models, and that gladly screws with its own past to ensure its future survival. You canât quite call it obsolete, perhaps, but damned if it doesnât feel awfully futile.
Nota: Si ringraziano Universal Pictures International Italy, Xister Pressplay e Silvia Saba (SwService)