Having read a few reviews beforehand, I expected to be disappointed by Terminator Genisys, which is currently holding a dismal 27% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. However the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score for Age of Ultron is currently 74%, and that film was a narrative disaster, so let’s perhaps not hold up professional reviews as indicative of a film’s worth.
I’m going to disagree with just about everyone (including my personal favorite geek news site, The Mary Sue) and tell you that it is absolutely great and a worthy addition to the franchise. I even rewatched the original Terminator last night to make sure that I wouldn’t be approaching Genisys mired in rose-colored nostalgia.
Largely, people’s enjoyment of the film seems to be directly proportional to their ability to accept Emilia Clarke in the role of Sarah Connor. I fell in love with her as Sarah from the moment I first heard her say, “Come with me if you want to live” in the trailer, so this was absolutely not an issue for me. Many complaints about Clarke seem to hinge on the fact that she is such a petite woman, but let us please not forget that despite the fact that Linda Hamilton was undeniably ripped in T2, she was also a petite woman. Beyond that, Sarah Connor is not and never has been a character who relies on physical strength. She survives through her wits and her weapons expertise; physical fitness, although important to her, was always secondary. There’s no need for her to be physically imposing because she’s not going hand-to-hand with a Terminator (something a human could never hope to do anyway).
The thinly veiled body shaming isn’t just sexist; it’s indicative of a lack of understanding of the character.
All of that said, I’m not writing this to tell you why other people didn’t care for Terminator Genisys. I’m writing this to tell you why I loved this film. Spoiler alert: It’s because of two of the things nearest and dearest to my heart—explosions and feminism. Continue reading