Film Review – Terminator Genisys (2015)

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Title – Terminator Genisys (2015)

Director – Alan Taylor (Thor 2: The Dark World)

Cast – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, J.K Simmons, Matt Smith

Plot – Time traveling hero Kyle Reese (Courtney) must save Sarah Conner (Clarke)…. again, while one time bad guy terminator now called Pops (Schwarzenegger) will protect them…… again while a raft of baddies from Skynet try to kill them……. again.

“I’m old, not obsolete”

Review by Eddie on 5/11/2015

“I don’t think I will be back” – the new slogan that Arnold Schwarzenegger should consider using after the lacking Terminator Genisys failed to ignite any type of box office glory or audience love upon release earlier this year.

Strange to think that a movie that made in excess of $450 million worldwide could be considered a failure but with huge amounts of money invested and more films promised a lot rested on Thor 2:The Dark World director Alan Taylor’s entry to the beloved franchise and with two preceding films before it in the forms of Rise of the Machines and Salvation that weren’t exactly quality films, Genisys’s failure to do anything more than raise the odd smile really does seem like the final death knell for this once indestructible franchise.

The crux of Genisys problems quite simply stem down to the fact the time traveling component of its story is both tired and overly complicated and in a modern age where set pieces need to try harder than ever to wow its audiences, Genisys’s abundance of action moments fail to raise much excitement.

Terminator built itself up on the back of both thrilling action, simple and effective stories and likeable characters and while his there in a physical sense the Governator has well and truly outgrown his iconic character and his appearance in this newest entry is unfortunately just kind of sad. He still gets to smile awkwardly and rehash old catch phrases but the time has passed where that was enough to win us over.

With the Terminator himself being a real non-event the new additions to the series as old character favourites, Australian’s Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese and Jason Clarke as John Connor fail to fire without being dire and Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke really fails the iconic Sarah Connor with a performance that casts serious doubts on her ability to function outside of George R.R Martin’s dragon filled world.

If this is indeed the last entry into the Terminator series as we know and once loved then it’s a shame and while Genisys has tiny moments that save it from 1 star relegation it does now feel as though the world has passed this series by and for it to succeed in any form in the years to come it needs to go places we’ve not yet been, which will mean no more homages to past glories and no more “I’ll be back’s”.

2 conveniently experienced helicopter pilots out of 5

34 responses to “Film Review – Terminator Genisys (2015)

  1. To be fair, have any of the Terminator films really been any good, other than the first? And even that was very derivative. The second was pretentious and self-important, saved by amazing (at the time) special effects. The rest have been pretty poor. It is a shame. It could have been a great franchise but was badly mismanaged. I guess the money came first rather than telling a coherent saga; hence all the time paradoxes.

  2. I wanted to call this Terminator 5: Plothole City. This thing made no sense and was completely forgettable. When I was doing my end of the month video in July I barely could remember anything about it and it had just been that same month. Arnold was fun but get Jai Courtney off of movies. They keep trying to sell us him as the next Bruce Willis and it isn’t working. I’m glad this one didn’t do that well; although it got a huge upswing in China for some reason. I don’t know why if there is a next one we don’t look outside the Connor family. Surely there must be other interesting families we could learn about in this future?

  3. *Clicks on Genisys review,* thinks, “This oughta be good….” 😀

    Here’s the thing with all these hardcore ’80’s/early ’90’s properties rehashed for today’s market: Studios are content to pour millions of dollars into gigantic budgets and plentiful CGI, as well as old, has-been stars that don’t pull their weight anymore. They’re not willing to put any effort or minimal risk into rebranding the R-rated violence, grounded FX, and decent screenplays that could actually make these movies good, and are what made films like Predator, Total Rekall, Robocop, and Die Hard famous in the first place. This is bizarre, considering how studios are in the business to make money, and given that they could probably nab much better budget-profit ratios by scaling these films back FX-wise and marketing them to older viewers who might actually give a damn.

    That being said, this film *did* make enough money in Asia and worldwide to “”””””justify””””” (is that enough quotes?) not one, but two more sequels. The completely apathetic commercial response in North America is cause for concern, but to my knowledge it’s merely forcing the producers to pause before making additional artistic hack-projects in the years to come.

  4. I feel exactly the same way. God, I remember when the first movie came. Everyone was walking around saying, “I’ll be back”, in that Austrian accent. The more films that came, the less impressed I became. Saw this one opening weekend. To say I was confused would be an understatement.

  5. My father and I actually really enjoyed the time travel parts of the movie, I like a movie that challenges me in that way. It could have been executed better for sure though. Apart from that I’m with you on all fronts, Jai was as bland as butter and Emily Clarke was not once convincing as Sarah Connor…. though can you think of an actress that could ever pull it off like Hamilton did?

  6. I loved both 1st and 2nd. They were my favourite films for years! In the 2nd I really enjoyed Linda Hamilton’s out-there performance. I never bothered with 3 or 4, which both looked poor, although I did enjoy the Sarah Connor TV series, with GoT Cersei making a surprisingly much better job than Emilia Clarke of the role. Having just watched Mission Impossible 4, it shouldn’t be impossible for follow ups to be also of high quality, so I don’t know why film makers seem to find it so difficult.

  7. Great write-up Eddie, we’re pretty much in agreement. I would say this felt like a wasted opportunity, but I don’t know if there was ever truly an appetite for another Terminator outing. I quite like Rise of the Machines, but neither that film nor the latest two come anywhere close to the brilliance of first and (especially) the second.

  8. Great review. I’m in the minority here. I actually liked the alternate timeline stuff. I agree with a lot what you said though. Some of your review was pretty funny too.True, the acting and action were disappointing but the nerdy scifi bits were cool enough.

  9. I so wanted to love this film, but I found that I put off seeing it for weeks after it came out because I was so afraid it would be rubbish and further damage the love I have for the franchise as a whole. When I did watch it for the first time, I was rather fond of it, but upon each re-watching I find something new that troubles me and now I feel like its the most frustrating of all of the films. In the end, I feel like this has just been another EPIC missed opportunity to breathe new life into the franchise. Great review. You were hard, but you speak the truth .. and damn that’s depressing.

    • Sad to hear Racheal but glad you saw it for what it is. It’s a real shame they messed it up so bad as as you said there was opportunity here and they did not meet it in the slightest.

  10. I’ve been putting off seeing this, and now I see why! It all just looked so generic, even from the trailers, and I forgot it was from director Alan Taylor who did the horrible Thor 2. I think I will just pass on this one, great review dude!

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