I’m back. That’s the tag line on one of the many Terminator Genisys posters. Is the T 800 really back? Or are we grasping at straws like we were when Terminator Salvation came out six years ago? That movie vastly underperformed, and with Magic Mike XXL coming out right up against it, this one looks like it will be on that track as well.
Emila Clarke, everyone’s favorite dragon hunter is Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney is Kyle Reese, who is sent back to protect Sarah by John Connor, who’s played by Jason Clarke. Of course as I noted earlier Arnold Schwarzneeger is back as The Terminator. Will this be the first chapter of a new trilogy? Paramount sure hopes so, with the rights reverting back to James Cameron in about two years, they have to milk this cow while they still can.
Let me preface my review by saying I watched all the trailers, so the big twist that was given away in the trailers about John Connor being a terminator was spoiled for me. Had I not known that I think I would’ve been really shocked when that moment came about in the film. When I thought about that moment again after it happened, I realized how shocking that would’ve been if I hadn’t seen the trailers. John Connor, leader of the resistance against the machines, is now a machine. Everything from the two classic Terminator movies has been undone. That doesn’t really bother me. Alan Taylor took what we knew and flipped it on its head. I commend him for that. He did a really ballsey thing with this story. He knew that the fans would be outraged and rightfully so. I can see why fans would be upset for sure. I like that they are starting from scratch again. If you’re going to reboot that’s something you have to do. Could they have done better rebooting the timeline? Sure they could have. Some of the film is a bit convoluted for its own good. I followed everything that was going on between the timelines and why they had to go to 2017 instead of 1997.
My gripe with this movie isn’t with the movie itself it really is the marketing. If you put all the trailers together, you may have missed a couple key things from the film itself. Every huge action set piece is given away in the trailers for the most part, which is unfortunate, because the action is solid in this movie. I was glued to the screen while watching these set pieces. I just let myself be amerced in this world and I had a lot of fun with it. Seeing the old T800 vs. The T800 from present day was amazing. The CGI on that was top notch. That fight scene may have been my favorite. The scene when Kyle Reese hits earth, and he smacks down hard is explained, which I thought was a nice touch. You never really knew why Arnold always fell gracefully and Kyle Reese fell so weird. We know why now. Seeing some of the old scenes from previous installments. Obviously James Cameron is light years better than Alan Taylor, with today’s technology it’s still neat to see.
A couple negatives are to be had. The acting here is either serviceable or just mediocre. Sometimes it’s a bit cheesy and over the top, especially from Clarke and Courtney. The dialogue is laughable at times, probably unintentionally. I didn’t buy Clarke and Courtney’s chemistry and thought that it was contrived. You need to buy that relationship and here I didn’t. I feel like Jason Clarke was criminally miscast here and didn’t like him at all as John Conner. He’s very wooden at times, as is Jai Courtney as Reese. While Reese is usually wooden and very stoic at times, Conner can’t be that way. You need to buy him as a leader and at points I just couldn’t get behind him.
I had fun with Terminator Genisys. Is it a great movie? No. Is it a great Terminator movie? No. It is a lot of fun and hopefully spirals us into a new franchise of Terminator films.