|Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to be a little too human in Terminator Genisys|
While most children grew up watching films like Bambi or The Lion King everyday, I was watching, The Terminator. I saw the original Terminator back in 1985 at the very young age of seven. My friend who lived across the street, had a videotape copy that somehow never made it back to the video store. That was great news for us cause, we got to watch it everyday for what seemed liked months back then. We'd get to see all of the bone breaking, phased plasma rifle (in the 40 watt range) blasted, eye-plucking, dead cat smelling, carnage, that a T-800 could offer but, god forbid, if we happened to be watching when Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn decided to make a little Edward Furlong. At that glorious moment of pelvic collision that made a young man curiously tingly all over, we would have to turn our heads (on milf's orders). That was cool. There was a mirror on the wall opposite of the TV anyway. Never count out a young man's ingenuity when it comes seeing a pair of breasts. I memorized nearly every part of that movie so, believe me when I say, I know when something's off when it comes to The Terminator's many sequels.
Something happened on the way to a good movie with Terminator Genisys. The first third of the film feels like a warm blanket flashback to 1984 Los Angeles but, from an imaginative child's perspective. It's like a video game set in god mode, where you can add different elements to the standard mix for an over the top exhibition in fun. Remember the three pre-wash day punks at the Griffith Observatory who go The Full Monty for Arnie? How bout two Arnie's this time and throw in a sniper rifle for good measure. Remember the cops searching for Kyle Reese in the department store while he looks for the right sized pair of Nike Vandals? How bout one of the cops is a T-1000 this time. Remember how Back to the Future part II had alternate versions of the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance? That's this film but with more robots than just Lea Thompson. During those moments, I was content in the thought that this film wasn't going to mess things up. Then the rest of the film happened. What seems like a cool idea (Doing a Star Trek 2009 to the Terminator franchise), is only partially realized. After the cool intro, the film falls into predictable territory. The effects are cool but, so are they in a Transformers flick as well. Once out of 1984, the film rehashes similar plotlines from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and this year's Avengers: Age of Ultron. There are plenty of fun nods to previous Terminators however, this movie should've been able to stand on its own two feet without completely relying on the other films for balance.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in his signature role and Terminator Genisys is better for it. His character and a few others fit fine. It's the story itself that's truly lacking. Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Sarah Connor, is surprisingly well cast. As the film progresses (or digresses), I could see how much she emulates Linda Hamilton. Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard) as Kyle Reese, is decent yet, I can't help but notice that he doesn't project the same level of rugged innocence that Michael Biehn portrayed so long ago. J.K. Simmons (The Mexican) is that one guy that you don't really know why he's in the film but, his few scenes are still worth him being there. My only big character complaint, is for Jason Clarke's (Zero Dark Thirty) John Connor. Clarke is a very good actor however, his role of the savior of mankind, is lifeless (like a robot) and feels forced upon us. I wonder if the studio was afraid of this film failing so, they took elements from this planned new trilogy and presented them earlier? To prove my point, look at the trailers for this film. Clarke's big secret among every single plot point, is revealed in those two little minutes on a smartphone screen. Bad poker, studio. We all lose.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Terminator Genisys
The Good- Clever ways to dispatch a T-1000. Fun Terminator style action. A little dose of humor doesn't hurt either.
The Bad- I find it difficult to believe that highly advanced machines can keep making the same mistakes over and over again. If they can generate millions of equations per second, why can't they come up with a better solution to their people problem? Makes Terminator Salvation look like a better movie.
The Ugly- Stop inhibiting classic sci-fi franchises with those damn lower ratings (PG-13). What if the other Terminators (1,2,3) were held back as well? Do you think that they would have been as successful and important? Maybe they would have had the T-800 fill out a background check when he went to that gun shop? Maybe Sarah and Reese just shook hands instead? Maybe Arnie gave that security guy some flowers instead of shooting him in the legs? Doesn't sound very intriguing, does it?
Final Thoughts on Terminator Genisys
I heard that Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand) was originally going to direct this. Are you telling me that this film could have been even worse!? Terminator Genisys is an overall disappointment, especially after how well it starts off. Maybe you should see it? Maybe you shouldn't? Maybe the studio should make a better movie. It is however a nice Summer filler film that will tide you over until the next big failure. Stay part way through the end credits for another predictable scene. They just don't make'em like they used to.
5.5 out of 10
5.5 out of 10
Running Time-126 Minutes
Links and Apps
Follow us on Twitter @mps5150