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Terminator Genisys - Movie Review

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Terminator Genysis - Movie Review


1 star

Allow me to relay my thoughts on the latest version of the Terminator model as they originally came to me for your reading benefit:

1. No.

2. No.

3. No.

4. No.

5. NO!

That’s right, five solid votes in the “NO” column. If you go, you do so at your own risk because this guy has switched sides and seriously wants the Skynet apocalypse to happen YESTERDAY. James “I’m just a fanboy.” Cameron, who delivered with the first two Terminator movies, has gone on the record to say that THIS ONE is the true sequel to T2 and completely “reinvigorates” the franchise Oh, good grief. THIS ONE, Mr. Cameron, is so poorly executed with mandated action scenes that it reaffirms my absolute disinterest in what you have had to say about film and filmmaking since The Abyss.

Directed by Alan Taylor, Terminator Genisys gets back to brass tacks…at least that’s what it is selling to audiences. Simple and smart…except it isn’t. The year is 2029 and John Connor (Jason Clarke, the sixth actor to play the part) is getting attacked from Skynet on all sides.  They are coming from the past AND the future in what essentially amounts to a sequel that reboots the mythology as it leads up, once again, to Judgement Day. Call it a seqboot if you must. God, I’m already tired.  

Occurring in an alternate reality – thanks to the series’ continued use of time travel – and boasting the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the franchise, the plot reaches toward a fairly interesting concept (on paper) while the film lurches and sputters all over the place in its attempt to relaunch an already planned trilogy from the ashes of what has come before. Whatever promise the story once had, written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, it is quickly scuttled in favor of the usual action beats and recycled quips, leaving audiences with only Schwarzenegger battling bots with the 1984 version of his nude self.  It’s a movie so perfectly timed with the predictable that you could set a watch to it.  

The film – much like Jurassic World did – provides the feel and knowing nod to its originator and, like Back to the Future 2 & 3 did, provides different POVs to the classic Terminator scenes we all know but – because it only recycles the highs of its former glory – the new flick has absolutely no original voice of its own and leaves the rest of its sparkling new cast – including Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, and Byung-Hun Lee – grappling for substantial earth to crawl out onto.

Unfortunately, Terminator Genisys is built upon quicksand.

I guess the latest Hollywood fad is to cherry-pick sequels and disavow the rest. No, Hollywood, you don’t get to do that. The films are already out there. You can’t rewrite your own history unless you start from scratch and make it clear to that effect. This film wants it both ways. Terminator Genisys, while flirting with the first two films in the series and ignoring the rest, is another sign that Hollywierd seriously needs to get its shit together.

And so the Cameron-pronounced T-800 Model 101 renaissance has arrived. Well, who cares?  In spite of whatever neat matrix was in its creation, Terminator Genisys is a disappointing film in which Schwarzenegger and Skynet get Marvelized (post credits tag scene and all). Galloping forward toward the next big explosion with the world once again at stake, the self-conscious sequel ambitiously undertakes to do the seemingly impossible and be creative yet does exactly the opposite. Hmmm. It largely affirms what most of us realize when it comes to sequels and reboots and the current state of Hollywood: the future of our entertainment lies in the past.

With Terminator Genisys, Hollywood admits defeat.

Terminator Genysis - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG - 13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language.
125 mins
: Alan Taylor
Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke
: Action | Adventure
The rules have been reset.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Survival. It's what you taught me."
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 2, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: The year is 2029. John Connor, leader of the resistance continues the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John's fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when TECOM spies reveal a new plot by SkyNet that will attack him from both fronts; past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.

No details available.