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Terminator Genisys (2015) Review


By: Endo Morgan On July 8th, 2015

Synopsis:

“When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline.
Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future.”

Producers:

Megan Ellison
David Ellison
Bill Carraro
Dana Goldberg
Paul Schwake
Laeta Kalogridis
Patrick Lussier

Director:

Alan Taylor

Writers:

Laeta Kalogridis
Patrick Lussier

Extra Credit for Character Creation:

Gale Anne Hurd
James Cameron

Cast:

Jason Clarke
Jai Courtney
Emilia Clarke
Lee Byung-Hun
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Nolan Gross
Matt Smith
J.K. Simmons
Dayo Okeniyi
Courtney B. Vance
Douglas Smith
Sandrine Holt
Michael Gladis

Music:

Lorne Balfe

Cert:

PG-13

Run-time:

126 Minutes

Review:

The latest installment to the Terminator franchise set its hopes high, Terminator Genisys; written by Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Shutter Island adaptation), Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry 3D) and directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World, Game of Thrones) touted itself as the true sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, making all the right noises in its infancy with grand suggestions of a return to the roots of the saga- something all fans wanted.Watch Terminator Genisys Free

 

Imaginations ran rampant as the movie neared its release date with speculation and predictions abounding in an internet outpouring of “what if”s and “what about”s, causing the movie to be over-thought and overestimated before it had even been set free into the ether. The trailers and promotional material didn’t exactly inspire faith as we were shown- with much fanfare- exactly what we were getting ourselves into. Exactly.

As I sat down in my theater seat, palms sweating (not with excitement but anxiety) I forced myself to relax and absorb what I was about to experience. Two small children began bickering a few rows behind me as the opening scenes started to unfold with a flourish.

PG-13 Kids

The movie starts with decimation, war, damage, battle, managing to miss the mark of what James Cameron had set up with The Terminator (1984) but this ain’t no James Cameron movie (something I had to keep reminding myself of). I waited for something I could hold onto, hoping to feel those old familiar feelings; wishing for some nostalgia as promised by the writers, director, actors and producers.

Indeed, I did find something familiar about Terminator Genisys,- yes, recreation, repetition, imitation and sadly… echoes of T3’s garish color tones. An angry ball began to gather momentum in the pit of my stomach- some recurring sediment left over from past failures of the franchise.

Series T-800 Robot in Terminator Genisys from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.

I felt saddened by all that is lacking; heart, connection, emotional attachment. For a movie which had screamed aloud with ambition I found too much was wanting,- this movie is devoid of risk, of danger, of any real loss. Genisys attempts to gain its mantle by destroying any history the franchise has gained,- it rips loose the threads of the timeline and throws caution to the wind; setting in motion a lackluster and reckless myriad of convoluted split ends.

Guardian Terminator Genisys

I felt cheated by the comedic elements as Arnold repeatedly smiles inanely at Sarah and Kyle; the aged Guardian appears only to be a plot piece and nothing more than a regurgitation of sentiments put to better use in T2 (and with more subtlety). The humor allowed the movie to feel as though a parody when I should have been feeling depth and poignancy in the scenes which were meant to have weight and impact. Arnold’s age felt badly used and almost a betrayal,- not just to the film but to the man himself “old, not obsolete” someone should tell the writers and the marketing team that it is the fans- the viewers- who determine which lines are quoted long after the credits roll, not the cynical creators intent on box-office revenue and merchandising gains.

The aged Terminator was the elephant in the room; even the children sitting behind me failed to laugh when Arnold grinned emptily or desperately attempted to outdo Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese in a display of feathers whilst loading guns in the makeshift armory.

Terminator Genisys Guardian

The much hyped fight scene of Arnold Vs Arnold isn’t long enough, thought out enough or utilized enough for it to linger long in the memory after viewing as it really only lasts around two minutes- which disappoints more than anything, especially as it was one of the biggest tools the studios had to promote Genisys with. The scene itself clunks along anticlimactically; somehow gaining speed whilst feeling slow, shallow and slapdash. Where did the brutality go? Down the toilet with the giggles.

TERMINATOR GENISYS

Kyle and Sarah lacked the chemistry necessary to imbue the movie with the romance of T1, Jai Courtney fails to achieve anything but a wooden performance and staid aesthetics (a cardboard standee would’ve sufficed) and Emilia Clarke manages to be both miscast and childlike without ever appearing gritty or determined- Linda Hamilton’s boots are too big for the pint-sized actress to fill, too big and too kick-ass.

The script is schlocky and comically written causing any real story to be grotesquely mired in an almost vacuous attempt at mainstream mollification- something which subdues important roles, as with Jason Clarke’s John Connor; the legendary savior of mankind becomes a side part, a dated foil for a premise which doesn’t really add anything to the franchise and sadly manages to decimate the canon back-story from which it draws its inspiration.

Terminator Genisys John Connor

Mr. Clarke’s role is little more than a “baddie” surrounded by other baddies,- all of whom never really seem to meet their demise; there are no real consequences as the action swiftly moves on; leaving an unending stream of explosions and raucous cacophony which lacks emotional and intellectual meaning. There is no pay-off, no reward for staying to the end,- simply an end… of sorts.

The T-1000 as played here by Lee Byung-Hun attempts to keep fluidity and grace in a role seen before (and with more oomph); that’s not to say he didn’t do his best given the material he had to work with- sadly he can’t quite touch the performance of Robert Patrick’s earlier incarnation; a work of sheer thrill and seamlessly stunning acting. The CGI for the T-1000 was also better back in 1991; for some reason the repetitive need for the studios to re-use the old tricks and quirks of the character simply doesn’t meet the standards set by Mr. Cameron and his team for T2, only managing to mirror (in vain) aspects beloved by fans.

Terminator Genisys Poster

Lorne Balfe’s soundtrack is well used, lending the movie a quality which outshines the production itself; the score is epic and artful, beautiful and atmospheric… it’s just not the soundtrack of a Terminator movie and is wasted on Terminator Genisys even more so.

End Note:

Altered timelines, deleted timelines, nanobots, multiple incarnations, an all-knowing-all-seeing T-800, nexus points, killer apps- the future looks bleak and for all the wrong reasons; if Genisys had the imagination it thinks it does then the story wouldn’t need to hinge quite so heavily on confusion whilst supposedly aiming for transparency. The studios are clearly relying on questions and loose ends to garner sequels- well, that and Asia.

Terminator Genisys resets the Terminator franchise with all the imagination of Terminator 3: ROTM and suffers an identity crisis of almost Marvel proportions; failing to create the nostalgia it so desperately seeks. This isn’t the Terminator I remember, nor does it whet the appetite so keenly awakened by the dark beginnings of the franchise.

Categories: Aaron WilliamsonAlan TaylorArnold SchwarzeneggerBrett AzarCastCharactersCourtney B. VanceDana GoldbergDanny DysonDavid EllisonDayo OkeniyiDetective CheungDetective O'BrienDirectorsEmilia ClarkeJ.K. SimmonsJai CourtneyJames CameronJason ClarkeJohn ConnorKyle ReeseLaeta KalogridisLorne BalfeMegan EllisonMoviesMusicNolan GrossParamount PicturesPatrick LussierProducersProduction CompanyReviewsSarah ConnorSargeant PerryScriptsSkydance ProductionsT-800 EndoskeletonTerminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)Terminator: GenisysThe GuardianWriters

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10 responses to “Terminator Genisys (2015) Review”

  1. David Anderton says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I would still say it’s slightly better than T3, but not T4.

  2. Sandro Visconti Costa says:

    Oh my friend, I’m sorry for you, thank you for your honesty, you didn’t sale yourself for the movie business, that’s why your site is the best. Arnold got nuts, he has to pay Maria Shrivers pensions, only explanation. 2018 is coming and I’m sure Jin will do the right thing, that’s my hope for the future. I didn’t watch Genisys and don’t pretend watch and anything relative with it untill after 2018. Congrats for your beloved work here mon this site.

  3. pilu says:

    tottaly agreed. Very bad movie. Sometimes I think is a mix of Back to the Future (travel in time, & comedy).

  4. feedbucket says:

    Complete agreement. Someone on another forum took the words out of my mouth:a love letter to the first two films written by someone who didn’t understand them. Lots of lip service to the origins of the franchise but no emotional heft to make up for the absence of depth in storytelling.

    I can’t help but wonder what the film could have been like if the director were allowed to follow a singular vision — something I think Salvation doesn’t get enough credit for — rather than try to appease what I’m sure was some kind of studio mandate to emulate the brain-candy, family friendly, Marvel films.

  5. Henryk Riba Baczewski says:

    I don’t know what’s going on! Terminator genisys is a very good movie! I enjoyed it. Not only me: All the people in the cinema liked it! I know T1 ad T2 are masterpieces and are better than TG, but what you expected?

    What is happen to all of you is that you didn’t go to enjoy the movie: you just go to see the mistakes and what’s wrong, as well as that you don’t understand it so you say it’s bad (I don’t saiyng that all of you don’t understand it, but I understood it. If you can’t understand it, it’s not the fault of the film, so don’t grumble!)

    If you want to be haters of genisys, forward. But if they don’t make a sequel for the people that don’t watch it for seeing the unfair bad reviews…
    And of course TG is a lot better than T-3, especially the crap of TS!

    I don’t want to offend or something, I just want you to understand what’s going on with the fatal feelings of TG. And never say to me I’m not fan of terminator if I practicaly loved TG, because I loved T1 and T2, being T2 my favorite movie of all time.

    Greetings and thanks to read this far!
    *sorry for mistakes, english isn’t my language)

    • kaneda says:

      Whats going on? Zero level of realism. Unnecessarily complicated movie plots that had simple story. PG 13. Bad CG (visually is great, but animation and character movement is too much arcade). Not much irony or sarcasm, only cheap gags… That is why Mad Max Fury Road is so great.
      I’m not Hater. But i paid for the film, which is not the old Terminator. It’s a simple “Marvel” reboot with marvel’s after credits scenes…

  6. Andy43 says:

    Good review and I have to say you absolute right!
    First when I read all the bad reviews I thought that could not be the truth.
    The action is good and the special effects are great only a few scenes were weak.
    Young Terminator was great made,but I think it goes better.
    But the script is a mess and the chemistry between Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney (both miscast).
    The only good thing what the movie has is Arnold I thought he makes a great performance
    for the material what was given to him.
    The producer and director don’t understand to make a Terminator movie.
    Sure when you don’t thing about the time travel mess and the plot holes then the movie is great.
    It’s sad for me as a great Terminator fan and still hope the Franchise is not dead!!

    Scientist Man Explains Terminator: Genisys

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXJiSZhA5cg

  7. pol says:

    very poor script:
    -How Is posibly it exist a time machine in 1984, and not in 2017 with ciberdyne system working on it? how they go back to make john born in 1984?
    -How is posible they know about a microwaves device, but kyle doesn`t know what is a waitress?
    -How is posible the character of matt smith is the reincarnation of skynet but it doens`t turn off in 2029 when skynet fall? or kill everybody before kyle travel in time?
    -Why john connor dont kill kyle and sarah since the begining in 2017?
    -When travel the T-1000? from the future? why kyle doesnt know the t-1000 model?

    very, very bad movie
    (sorry my english)

  8. davidw28 says:

    I went into this movie desperately wanting to like it, despite the terrible marketing campaign and bad reviews I had read. Turns out the bad reviews were correct. This movie is flawed on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to begin.

    The very foundation of the movie sets it up to fail. They could have opted to take a few risks and try something new, potentially giving the franchise a breath of fresh air, but instead Genisys spends its entire duration desperately trying to find excuses to rehash all of the things we’ve seen before.

    Almost everyone in the movie feels miscast. The movie itself feels cheap and plastic. Even the humour isn’t really funny because it just feels like the one liners or scenes such as the grinning Terminator are there just to check a box.

    Overall very disappointing and it saddens me to say as Terminator fan but if the only Terminator movies we will get from now on will be part of this new intended trilogy then I actively hope this is the last.

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