Terminator Genisys – Review
Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises one of his most significant roles in what is the fifth installment of the lucrative action packed films called essentially the Terminator films, with this new effort bringing his cyborg leading character to life again, albeit a bit older, a lot grayer, showing signs of aging and overall displaying a tad of sentimentally and humanity in the new effort called “Terminator Genisys”.
Along with Arnold, the supporting cast is eclectically impressive ranging from Emilia Clarke (Sarah Conner) who is probably more well-known from her current role as Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; Jason Clarke (John Connor) who’s impressive film resume includes “Public Enemies”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Jai Courtney (Kyle Reese) who has been seen in “Jack Reacher” and “The Divergent Series; and finally J.K. Simmons who recently won the Supporting Actor Oscar for his role “Whiplash”.
The story starts pretty much where all the others have in the future where we see the beginning of the end of normal life on earth as an artificial self-serving intelligence called Skynet unleashes an all-out nuclear assault against humanity because it perceives humans as the real threat to the planet. And as in the original 1984 Terminator we see the dreary remains of earth as humans have banded together to fight the machines who have taken control of earth with their flying machines and metal skeleton red eyed cyborgs.
Early in “Terminator Genisys” we see the humans fighting essentially what they see as the final battle to defeat the Skynet cyborgs by an assault to where resistance leader John Connors believes the brain of Skynet is located. Once they captured the facility the cyborgs are in fact defeated for good or maybe not. John Connors realizes before Skynet was shut down it sent back a Terminator (looking like the original Arnold Looking cyborg from 1984) to go back in time to 1984 to kill his mother Sarah Connor which means John Connor is never born and the recent victory never took place.
John Connor decides to send his most trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese to both protect his mother and killed the cyborg which will preserve their recent victory in the future. Got it? Makes sense so far? Good, because it goes all downhill from here.
PROS: As expected the special effects, the reimagining of the young 1984 Arnold in the film, the updating of the liquid metal alloyed cyborgs and the overall visuals of the film are very tight, state of the art and just very impressive overall.
CONS: The story structure is confusing as hell. First, they start explain stuff in the dialog which means when you have to do that for the viewing audience that is usually a huge neon flashing sign that the film will have huge problems executing it story. Second, there is so much going back and forth about who came back from what time period or what is the future and when someone will be there or not be there I pretty gave up trying to stay connected to that aspect of the plot. Third, I have no clue who is the father of John Connor after watching “Terminator Genisys”. Why? Because the film is all over the place structurally. I mean they literally showed some scenes that were almost visually verbatim and identical from the first two more superior Terminator films, but then they tell you in the dialogue from this Terminator Genisys film that everything that you remember about those two films never ever happened. Got it? Again, similar looking scenes and screenplays from the originals films that never happened. I am not making this up folks. I mean by the time they got through explaining about whose baby mama drama John Connor was or wasn’t I fully thought it was time for Maury Povich to come on the screen to say “the test says…………… you are the father”.
CONCLUSION: As always I never tell anyone not to see a film. I believe there is always some value in all films, as in the case with Terminator Genisys the action was general good enough to keep me in my seat with eyes general fixed to the screen for the 2:00 hour running time. HOWEVER, if you pay good money to see this film in the theater now instead of waiting to view it on basic cable a year from now, I would say that is truly a mistake. Really, this should be one of those few times you should just trust me to save your money for use on something far more meaningful with a greater prospect of bearing some real tangible benefit to your life, say like buying a $12 dollar ticket for a $500 million dollar Powerball prize.
Terminator Genisys has the Arnold back, it has all of the cyborgs back and it has some decent action scenes back, but it has none of the spine tingling dramatically weighty thrills back that made the first two films really memorable.