Making sequels is one of Hollywood’s favorite pass times (that, and making movies … alright, it’s pretty much just all about making movies). For all the criticism Hollywood receives for constantly releasing these sequels, it’s easy to understand why it happens so often. It generally makes better business sense to release a follow-up to a commercially successful film than it is to bet money on an untested property. That being said, just because you can release a sequel doesn’t mean that you should, as some movies simply don’t need them. Whether because the first movie was better as a standalone or was simply a bad movie to begin with, the following sequels were all made because their predecessors were considered successes, but that doesn’t mean they should have been made or that anybody even asked for them in the first place.
While technically more of a soft reboot than an outright sequel — honestly, it’s getting hard to tell with how convoluted the Terminator timeline has become over the years — Terminator Genisys represents such a new low for the franchise that even longtime fans find difficult to defend. It’s understandable why Skydance Productions wanted to essentially wipe the slate clean after the lackluster reception to 2009’s Terminator Salvation and on paper at least, Genisys looked like it had the right ideas in place to make that happen.
Bringing back series star Arnold Schwarzenegger was a good start, even if he is a bit long in the tooth to be play a convincing killer cyborg at this point and bringing in Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke to play Sarah Connor at least had the appearance of being an inspired casting decison. The problem was that in its quest to make the series less tangled, it only ended up making things worse. It also didn’t help that the film tried to retcon the plot of James Cameron’s original film, but played out like a watered down, less interesting version of it. Even Schwarzenegger’s presence couldn’t help Genisys be much more than a mediocre effort from a franchise that arguably should have called it quits when the George Bush Sr. was still in office.