TERMINATOR GENISYS REVIEW.
You know what? I freaking give up. I give up like the poor bastard who had to market this movie and gave away the second act twist in the trailer to this bloody movie. I give up because the main actors didn’t give a crap, the director didn’t give a crap, the scriptwriter didn’t give a crap, and the producers didn’t give a crap because they are hellbent on bludgeoning a few more pennies out of this beaten horse.
We begin with John Connor (Jason Clarke) leading the final wave of the Human Resistance against the Machines with his right hand man Kyle Reese (the completely forgettable Jai Courtney). At the moment they defeat the Machines, the Machines make a last ditch effort to stop the Resistance from happening by sending a Terminator back in time to kill Connor’s mother. Yes, kiddos we begin with a recreation of the opening scenes of the first Terminator movie from 1984. Of course, the fans know Connor sends Reese back in time to protect his mother, Sarah, and *spoiler alert for a three-decade old film* ends up impregnating her with John. But in this movie, the 1984 Reese is sent back to is different. Sarah Connor is no longer the frail, helpless woman she was in the original, no now she’s already a badass soldier from her Terminator 2 days and now played by Emilia Clarke (yes, Daenerys). But a bunch of other things are different and so we have our movie.
That might sound convoluted, but trust me it’s not. It’s far DUMBER than anything else. Time travel is always a tricky concept to play around with, but if you have a good story and great characters then the time travel mechanics can be forgiven no matter how wonky they may be. Unfortunately, this film happens to lack both of those qualities and were left with a series poorly shot action sequences and people firing their guns in random ass directions. And now that I think about it, several scenes either rip off or copy sequences from the previous four films.
You basically get a “Greatest Hits” collection of action scenes from the Terminator films that are strung together by a plot more reminiscent of terrible fan fiction smashing the first two movies together. And once again we get the same plot from Terminator 3, which in turn copied Terminator 2: the humans decide to prevent Judgment Day from happening while they get chased by a Terminator that is more deadly than the last. So for this film’s model we get…self-healing nanomachines? That’s it? We went from liquid metal guy in T2 to the robot exoskeleton with liquid metal skin in T3 to this? That’s not progressive curve, that’s a straight down slope in quality of threat.
Not helping matters is that the big bad in this movie is John Connor himself. That might sound like a spoiler, but I like opened up this review, the damn trailer gave it freaking away. Hell the poster straight up tells you he’s the BAD GUY. I do find it amusing we have had now FOUR different actors portray the legendary savior of humanity as foretold in the 1984 film and not one of them have managed to make him interesting. Nope, not even my man-crush Christian Bale could do it, and certainly not Jason Clarke who really feels miscast for the role.
Course he still does a better job than the two leads, Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke. I’ve said it before, but SCREW JAI COURTNEY. Hollywood has been hellbent on getting this guy to be the next great action hero ever since he played Bruce Willis’ son in the last shitty Die Hard movie. The guy has piss all charisma, no screen presence, no charm, and he has no talent. Why on God’s Green Earth this guy is deemed as the next big thing, I don’t freaking know.
And I have to ask, why is that no actor, aside from Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage, who has acted in Game of Thrones can act well in literally anything else?! Emilia Clarke is terrible in this. Sure she’s a pretty face, but. She. Can’t. Act. Her line delivery is flat, she really can’t do the gun-ho soldier routine that Linda Hamilton brought in Terminator 2 with a world-weary, mentally twisted anguish in her heart. Instead she opts for whiny twenty-something and you just don’t give a shit. You give even LESS of a shit about the romance between her and Courtney.
Now in the original film, Linda Hamilton and Michael Beihn had some natural chemistry with each other. You saw their relationship develop naturally over the course of the film that lead to the big reveal that Kyle Reese was in fact John Connor’s father. Genisys straight up says, “Reese. Connor. Connor. Reese. Now screw and make John Connor so we can get this over with.” There’s no flow between Courtney and Clarke, not an ounce of chemistry, so you really don’t believe that they even like each other, much less fall in love as the film weakly attempts to make you believe.
Honestly, the only person who gave a shit in this entire production was from the most unlikely source: Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. He brings the film’s natural laughs and delivers much needed personality to this boring ass movie and single-handedly save this movie from dropping into Some Ol’ Bullshit. But hey, he can’t do all the work, so the movie fails him completely.
Oh yes, and Matt Smith makes a pretty significant appearance in this movie that’s way too brief and a complete waste of his talents. Honestly, why the hell would you cast one of the most popular actors to play Doctor Who and give him a sneering voice that he uses for all of six lines…yes that’s it. Thankfully J.K. Simmons is given a little more to do and he brings some decent moments to this train wreck.
Once, The Terminator and T2: Judgment Day were considered the greatest action films ever made. I still believe that even after what I saw tonight. But the past three films have demonstrated that this series is freaking over. People have said over and over again that this series should have stopped after the second film and Genisys will not stop people from believing that. If you don’t care about the Terminator series, then you really have no reason to see this movie. There’s plenty of far better films to see right now (hell this movie made Jurassic World look considerably less idiotic), so don’t waste your money. For the fans, you might get a kick out of this but only as a…
PS: Never would have thought I would have wanted to see a Magic Mike sequel over a Terminator sequel…but here we are.