© Paramount Pictures Germany GmbH

Terminator: Genisys
U.S.A. 2015

Opening 9 Jul 2015

Directed by: Alan Taylor
Writing credits: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier, James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Principal actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons

The Terminator is back in the fifth installment of the franchise which brings the story back to its beginning. In the original The Terminator (1984), a cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent from the future to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines. Her only hope is Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future who is sent back to protect her at all costs. In Terminator: Genisys (2015), when Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) appears in 1984 he finds that everything has changed. This isn’t the first time a cyborg has been sent back in time to kill Sarah (Emilia Clarke) and neither is Reese her first protector.

The thing about movie franchises is that they often peak in the first couple of films and then slowly become worse and worse. In the case of the Terminator franchise, The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) are rather beloved, and the subsequent Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) and Terminator Salvation (2009), not so much. Terminator: Genisys will likely fall somewhere in between. It is neither a complete waste of time nor is it as iconic as the first two films. It is pure entertainment, but also very forgettable.

Part of the problem likely stems with the fact that it’s a reboot. As the franchise is filled with time travel, it makes it ridiculously easy to change everything we already know. That is what has happens in Terminator: Genisys. Instead of going after an adult Sarah Connor, the machines at some point went after a child Sarah Connor. Don’t ask me how this has happened, actually don’t even ask the characters in the film; no one knows! And when you think too hard about how it’s possible, the whole time travel thing starts to get too confusing and you know what? It’s just better to ignore the whole thing and just accept it and move on. Actually, that’s good advice for the whole film, ignore the plot holes and just sit back and go along for the ride. This can make for an enjoyable film watching experience, but does not make for a very memorable film.

Fans of the franchise will likely find things to enjoy and as a standalone it works decently well. For those who don’t care to overthink their action flicks, this might be a good choice, but be aware that its weak second act may be enough to put some to sleep. (Rose Finlay)

Second Opinion

I must admit I was excited to hear that there would be another episode in the Terminator film series which made its debut back in 1984. I, of course, had high expectations as I headed off to the press screening with the words “I’ll be back” revolving around in my head. This film is a continuation of the classical science fiction end of the world scenario where millions of robots are doing their best to extinguish the human race. It begins with the hero John Connor and his young assistant, who have to eliminate the final weapon of destruction which needs to be taken out before the world is lost.

The film is like a rollercoaster ride that takes us from a futuristic time period and thrusts us back to the time before the birth of our hero, John Connor. During this time travel, we even get to have a good look at the naked backside of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body as he beams across time and lands in a dark alley. I had to laugh at this point because it was hard to believe that, at Schwarzenegger’s age, his body looks so perfect especially since the moto of this movie is “I am old but not obsolete.”

The script leaves much to be desired. It is humorless, unoriginal and boring. I actually fell asleep twice in this film, and that is the first time that has happened to me. The digital effects of the new terminators were artistically interesting but it certainly wasn’t enough to hold this film together. Just forget spending the money on this film. There are plenty of other films well worth the money. So all I can say is “hasta la vista Terminator Genisys.” I can only hope they are not planning waste our time with more bad scripts on Terminator 5, 6, an (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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