Run time : 125:47
CBFC Rating : U/A
After a 6 year hiatus for the franchise and a 12 year hiatus for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator Genisys kicks off what is supposed to be the start of a new trilogy. This time in an alternate timeline, a good Terminator is sent back by somebody (seriously, they never explain who) to protect Sarah Connor as a young girl. When Kyle Reese is sent back in time by John Connor, the past he was told about is completely different. But also, not everything is as it seems with John Connor.
First things first, I am a huge fan of the Terminator franchise. I love the concept of sending somebody back in time and you needed to send that certain somebody because that person is the reason you were born. Terminator 1 and 2 are sci-fi classics and still hold up to this day. Terminator 3 is a really bad movie but I do still like some things in the movie (like the ending). Hell, I even think that Terminator Salvation is really underrated and is actually an okay movie. So it is easy for you to believe that I loved the nostalgia that Genisys brought to the table, specifically in the first act. It felt really cool to revisit the universe I have loved for years. I know it may be overdone but I really loved the reuse of classic quotes from the franchise as well. “Come with me if you want to live”, “What day is it? What year?”, and more are back and no matter who is saying the lines this time around, I still loved it. The nostalgia factor was a huge positive.
The first act of the movie is easily the best part of the movie. I love that they show more of the war against the machines and John Connor and Kyle Reese fighting side by side. We finally got to see the John Connor that I thought about when they talked about him being the leader of the resistance. Christian Bale in Salvation was way too angry and he didn’t seem like the guy people wanted to fight with. What Jason Clarke brought to the table was the John Connor that inspired people and it made sense that people would die for him. I thought Clarke did a fantastic job as John, even later in the movie which I will get to later. Jai Courtney, on the other hand, is not what Kyle Reese is supposed to be at all. Courtney was fine in the movie but he wasn’t the Reese that Michael Biehn was in the original Terminator. They felt like 2 completely different characters and it bugged me throughout the film.
We later get introduced to Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger once again back as the T-800. I knew Clarke would nail the role of Sarah and she really did but Arnie was a bit of a wild card. I wasn’t too sure he could pull off the Terminator again without just being a parody of himself saying “I’ll be back” over and over. However, Arnold was one of the better parts of the movie and it was pure delight to see him as a T-800 again. His humor was mostly great and I really liked how they explained his age. The only thing I don’t like about this T-800 is that Sarah named him Pops. POPS. Don’t name your fucking Terminator! Especially not some dumb ass name like fucking Pops. I digress.
I really liked that this movie doesn’t have the weak and scared Sarah Connor that was in the first movie. When we meet Sarah, she is already the badass that we loved in Terminator 2. The only complaint I have is that Sarah and Kyle Reese had basically no chemistry, mostly thanks to Mr. Courtney. With Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton, their short term relationship worked and it just made sense to me. In Genisys, all the scenes with just Kyle and Sarah were so boring and were pretty annoying.
One of my main issues with the movie is that it tried to be too smart. I liked some of the intelligent things they did (like why Kyle Reese lands so hard when he time travels into the past) but some things were so over complicated and explained so terribly that I felt like I missed something. If you haven’t seen the 2nd Terminator Genisys trailer, SPOILER ALERT, but since you probably have, the “twist” of John Connor being a Terminator I was totally down for and I liked the reveal of it. I liked that it wasn’t just a Terminator pretending to be John but John had actually become a Terminator. Then they decided to show off Terminator John’s whole Genisys plan and it is just so stupid. This plot carries into the 3rd act which really bummed me out and was kind of boring.
However, the alternate timeline was actually a very interesting plot device. It was great seeing the original T-800 Arnold see the hooligans from The Terminator again (see above) and it was so awesome seeing the 2 Arnolds fighting each other. I also loved seeing the first scene with Kyle Reese in 1984 again. I love how they shot it to look just like the way James Cameron did it. Seeing Reese hold up the Nike shoes to his feet to see if they fit then strapping them in the changing room was so cool to see again and it was great how they changed it up at the end.
Another problem the movie has is that besides Arnold v. Arnold: Dawn of Terminating and the very first scene in the future, none of the action scenes are memorable. In fact, the entire 3rd act is very forgettable. I just saw it and I can barely remember how the conflict was solved. The 3rd act was so boring and if you have seen any Terminator movie, you probably know how it ends.
Alan Taylor’s directing was nothing short or above average. The movie was really missing that one awesome money shot that everybody would be talking about afterwards. Instead, it felt like Taylor wasn’t taking any risks with his directing at all. Other things to note are Oscar Winner JK Simmons was one of the best characters in the movie and although he didn’t have much screen time, he was great in the time he had. Speaking of not much screen time, Matt Smith (or Matthew Smith as he is referred to in the opening credits) is in the movie for about 2 minutes and only does one thing. He must of had some other scenes cut from the movie because why would the get him for the smallest of small roles?
Overall, Terminator Genisys is not great but if you love Terminator 1 and 2, you will definitely get a kick out of it. The humor is good and the plot is interesting to say the least but it suffers from some very boring scenes. Terminator Genisys is quite fun but it is nothing more than an adequately serviceable sequel.
My Rating : 3/5 Stars
– Ashok Reddy