Depending on how you feel about football, and cybernetic robots fighting to the death, the battle between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks might not be the most exciting matchup of Super Bowl Sunday 2015 – now that Paramount Pictures is set to debut new footage from their quasi-Terminator relaunch, Terminator: Genisys. However, with a host of competing trailers set to debut during the big game (including confirmed spots for Jurassic World, Tomorrowland, and Insurgent, among others), the studio has opted to unveil their Arnold Schwarzenegger-powered Super Bowl spot a few days early.
While last year saw major first-look reveals, most notably the (controversial but highly entertaining) unveiling of Optimus Prime riding Grimlock in Transformers: Age of Extinction, this year’s broadcast appears to be stacked with second-look follow-ups that attempt to shed a bit more light on upcoming blockbusters. Such is the case with the new Genisys spot – which, more than anything else, relies on action shots (rather than story building) and attempts to prove that a silver-haired Terminator is even more badass than his younger counterpart.
Marked as one of our Most Anticipated Films of 2015 as well as a Risky Box Office Bet (with the potential to reignite or outright crash the franchise), Terminator: Genisys has some interesting things going for it, but based on the first trailer, along with this second sneak peek, it also appears to lean heavily on CGI spectacle – an approach that did not sell audiences on its predecessor, Terminator: Salvation. Similarly, despite obvious attempts to make Genisys reminiscent of mega-hit Terminator 2: Judgement Day, what we’ve seen so far actually bears a closer resemblance to the series’ arguably worst entry: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – which also featured a heavy dose of an aged Schwarzenegger leaping, fighting, and flying through the air.
Nevertheless, Genisys has pulled significant talent, in front of and behind the camera, with starring roles for Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), as well as Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and direction from Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor. Unlike previous efforts, Taylor has also managed to turn Schwarzenegger’s aging body into a key plot point – offering viewers a new variation on the iconic T-800. Whereas the original Terminator was a thoughtless killing machine (equivalent to a horror movie villain), James Cameron’s T-800 in Judgement Day turned the franchise on its head – making the former baddie into a selfless (and often funny) hero.
Check out the new poster for Terminator: Genisys below:
The third film simply continued Cameron’s “Schwarzenegger is a hero variation” – but with absolutely no evolution to the concept (and a less interesting relationship between the T-800 and his human counterparts). Then, the fourth film replaced Schwarzenegger entirely with an expressionless CGI model akin to the original Terminator – which, comparatively, makes the idea of an aged T-800 protector/father figure an interesting development (even if it’s not nearly ambitious as the second film’s game-changing twist).
Of course, the trailers also feature both the malevolent T-800 (from The Terminator) as well as a T-1000 (from Terminator 2) – so, it will be especially interesting to see how Taylor intends to make each of those encounters as engaging as earlier counterparts. In the end, Genisys will live or die by the execution of its ambitions – specifically whether or not it can successfully play-off prior entries while also forging a new direction for the series.
Terminator: Genisys will be in theaters on July 1, 2015.