Review: Terminator: Genisys – Beware Google!

Reader Rating3 Votes
The new cast make the characters their own
An actually new status quo is introduced
Arnie is BAHCK!
This works better as a conclusion than a franchise set-up
The casting directors mixed up their Game of Thrones casting sheets

Terminator: Genisys just might be the best Terminator movie since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day… which isn’t saying much since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation outright sucked.

With Arnie back in the saddle, Genisys unashamedly works the nostalgia factor of the franchise with a story that exploits the best of both The Terminator and Terminator 2.

Wisely, though, the chemistry between Arnold and co-stars Emilia Clark, Jai Courtney and Jason Clarke are allowed to organically form over the movie without pretending to be Linda Hamilton and co. Unfortunately, regardless of the actors’ chemistry and effort to explain all the time wimey complexities, much of the movie’s impact was sadly lost when the trailer pretty much revealed everything.

See what I mean? Why would you do that? Why reveal the only twist of the whole movie? I mean, I know trailers have become a little spoilery, but c’mon!

With the “big reveal” of the movie spoilt, Genisys is left with little more than the actual story which, burdened with the duty to explain just why none of the previous Terminator movies matter anymore, doesn’t have much of a chance to shine. Sadly, there is little in the way of story to relish, though the attempt to leave no ends loose must be appreciated.

Also, it’s really odd that while Emilia Clarke is actually about a year older than Linda Hamilton when Hamilton was Sarah Connor, this new version of the character somehow seems younger, making it even weirder that the movie is driven a character who has yet to either meet the characters she seems to love so much or fear a future she hasn’t witnessed.

Also, the future that the protagonists are being threatened with? Yeah, we’re already there. Between Google and iEverything, Skynet’s Genisys would have seemed far more threatening had we not already been so jaded by the subject of technological integration. While, yes, this could function as a very urgent cautionary tale, the theme feels somewhat motivated by pre-21st century paranoia. It’s almost like having a whole bunch of war movies circulating the tired theme of terrorism by every country in the world against the U.S… oh, never mind.

The biggest issue plaguing the movie however, is that it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Besides the usual sprinkles of character humour and traditional Arnie moments, certain scenes delve deep into humorous sequences that only serve to confuse the audience into thinking they might be watching a crossover between the Terminator and Jump Street franchises… which would actually be brilliant if it ever really happens.

Despite its flaws, Terminator: Genisys does its best to be an entertaining movie while living up to its original predecessors. And while it doesn’t entirely succeed, it just may be the salvation the franchise needed… because Terminator Salvation sucked. Sorry, just needed to be real clear on that.