Hello there people of the internet, man it feels like I’ve been gone for a while now (even though its only been a few days), but after some recovery time I’m back with a fresh film review in the form of Terminator Genisys. Now I’ve made it no secret that since the first trailer hit the web I was not a fan, it looked interesting, but also like a jumbled version of Terminator’s greatest hits. I was curious but wary, but it was after the second trailer came out that I (along with the rest of the world) not only got more interested in Genisys but also believed that we saw a massive spoiler in the trailer. From that point I had hope that the film would be at least decent. So I watched it last night and now it’s time to pass judgement!
The story can be summed up as the following:
“John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be. Now Sarah and Kyle along with an aged T-800 Terminator go on an epic journey to change fate and save the future from Skynet.”
The plot overall was decent, but was a very messy affair. Now what I liked about the film was the first 20 minutes or so. It was clear, simple, different, yet nostalgic, cool and fun. I have to give the filmmakers props for their faithfulness and references to the older Terminator films as there are references galore for hardcore fans that know their material especially when it comes to Terminator 1 & 2 and a there’s even a bit of 3 and Salvation in there too. But after that initial nostalgia trip and the film goes off on its own tangent that’s where things get convoluted. This film tries to do so much, at times the story is hard to follow because there’s so much going on with the time travelling, new and returning characters and presenting new scenarios. However the story goes to places without explaining certain things, some of the time travelling elements get really confusing and come across as more messy than smart and there’s some emotional aspects in this film that just don’t feel earned or carry as much weight as they should do. And finally the film has humour and some of it work but other times it’s not as funny. Oh and I have to mention the whole John Connor thing that was spoiled in the second trailer, I won’t go into specifics for those unaware of it, but the second trailer really did ruin a massive aspect of the story and while there’s more to the film, the marketing team and whoever put that trailer together should be fired for revealing something that would have been much better off seen in the film on its own.
As for the cast they vary from being decent to being bad, I think it is just due to the fact some of the actors are miscast in their roles. But one thing that does remain constant is Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator (aka Guardian/Pops). Schwarzenegger is the best thing about this film, after so many years the man still has it, that awesome screen presence, the dead stare, great delivery with dialogue and it feels right. I could probably see Schwarzenegger do this role for good few more years as he’s not lost his touch and it he was so great to watch. Jason Clarke as John Connor he was pretty good and I liked his energy for the role, but again he just wasn’t the best in this role. Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor. Having someone like Daenerys Targaryen in the role of Sarah frigging Connor seems like a good idea, but Clarke doesn’t have the right kind of physicality, screen presence or badassery that we associate with this iconic character. Clarke does a decent job, but not a great one and its mean to compare Clarke to Linda Hamilton but she can’t pull it off. Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, man he wasn’t good. Courtney is an actor I don’t mind and want to see improve, however he’s always in such bad films and his performances aren’t the best and that is the case with this film. Courtney just doesn’t have the right kind of emotional depth to him and when you compare him to Michael Biehn, Courtney doesn’t compare, he doesn’t have the wit, charm or the everyman look to him. Lee Byung-hun was pretty good as the T-1000, I just wish there was more of him. J. K. Simmons as Detective O’Brien was pretty funny and I liked him but I was hoping that Simmons’ role was going to be a little more significant in the film. As for Matt Smith’s role in this film, I won’t reveal what it is because it is a massive spoiler, that being said it was pretty disappointing though I did like Smith’s American accent.
When it comes to the presentation. Visually the film looks nice, the CGI for the most part is very clean and sharp and is used well in the big set pieces sequences and the action for the most part is pretty good. But the film just doesn’t have anything super memorable about the action sequences, there’s nothing that is unique or totally badass them and in the modern age of action films that’s not a good thing. I did appreciate the use of colour, lighting and atmosphere the film tried to put across. As for the music, Lorne Balfe’s film score does nothing to elevate the film. It has no charisma, drama or memorable themes and this film barely capitalizes on the iconic themes from the previous films.
In conclusion the Terminator Genisys is decent, but isn’t the film I was hoping for. In a way I knew the film would end up in the way that it did, but I had hoped that Alan Taylor and the star power behind this film would produce a better result, but that is unfortunately not the case. That being said, the film was better than I expected with some great references to the first film and a great central performance from Arnold Schwarzenegger. If this film was streamlined and a little more focused, it would have been miles better, however what we’re left with is a decent return to the Terminator franchise. Hopefully the sequels can only go up from here.
So what do you think of Terminator Genisys? Did you like the film, think it was alright or hate it? Please leave your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. :)