FlixChatter Review: Terminator Genisys (2015)

Ted_review
TerminatorGenisysPoster

I initially had no desire to see this new Terminator flick; from the trailers that I saw I thought it lacked creativity and originality. But then a couple of weeks ago, James Cameron gave his blessings and said fans of the franchise will enjoy it. Being that I’m a fan of Cameron and love his two Terminator flicks, I decided to give this new sequel a chance.

Ignoring the events of the previous two films, things kick off in the future where John Connor (Jason Clarke), his best pal Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) and a bunch of soldiers are battling the evil Skynet’s cyborgs. Connor has found a way to defeat the cyborgs and shut down Skynet permanently. But Skynet has a plan in place to win the war, they have created a time machine and sent one of their terminator cyborgs back in time to 1984 to kill Connor’s mom. In order to stop the cyborg and help Conner’s mom, Reese volunteered to go back in time.

Basically this opening scene was meant as a prologue to the first film. Then the film jumps to 1984 where they recreated the opening scene of the first film, we see the Terminator (young Arnold Schwarzenegger) just arrived in L.A. and was just about to kill the three punks but an older Terminator (old Arnold) came to their aid. A fight between the two Terminators ensues and then the younger cyborg was put down.

TerminatorGenisys_ClarkeCourtney TerminatorGenisys_OldNewTerminator

We then see Reese arrived at another location in Los Angeles; he’s also met with another Terminator, the T-1000 (Byung-Hun Lee). When he’s about to get killed by the T-1000, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and the old Terminator came to his rescue. If you’ve seen the trailers then you pretty much knows how the rest of the movie will play out, our heroes gets chased by the evil cyborg and they have to destroy Skynet. The only difference here is that Sarah already knows what’s going to happen and she’s already prepared for Judgment Day. This is one of those films that think it’s smarter than it actually is. The writers came up with alternate timeline and time travel and just assume that the audiences have seen the previous movies. Sadly none of it made any sense and frankly I just didn’t care. The point of a reboot is to come up with something new and refreshing, here they just rehash elements of the first two films and threw in some “new” ideas. None of it worked and I was bored halfway through the movie.

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Even though he gets top billing, Arnold was just there to be the action hero and comic relief. The main leads are Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke. We’re supposed to care about these two characters like the first film but the two actors have zero chemistry. Jai might be the blandest actor since Hayden Christensen; he’s one of the current young actors that Hollywood is trying to make into the next big action hero. Clarke is no better, she’s trying to channel the brave and tough version of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah from the second film, but sadly she couldn’t convince me that she’s badass. As for the main villain, well if you’ve seen the trailers then you’ve already know that John Connor is the antagonist in this one and he’s also quite bland. If there were a great example of miscasting actors in prominent roles in a big film, this would be it. None of the actors fit into their respective roles. The only person belongs in the movie is Arnold and he’s great.

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On the technical side, the movie is flawless. Director Alan Taylor and his cinematographer did a great job of capturing look and feel of Cameron’s previous Terminator pictures. The 3D effects were very effective; the action scenes were well staged and best of all, no hand held shaking cam action sequences. Speaking of action, the franchise is known for its long action sequences but Taylor somehow decided to edit down the length of each action scenes, with the exception a helicopter chase, many of the action scenes were short and not really creative at all. Again here they tried to rehash elements of Cameron’s films and nothing else.

I guess the trend of this summer’s big films are reboots/sequels and Terminator Genisys is no different. While I thought the concept worked for Mad Max: Fury Road, it didn’t work for this movie. If you’re fan of the franchise then you might enjoy it, for newcomers you might get confused by all the references to the previous events in the past films. My two-and-a-half stars are only for the movie’s excellent Dolby Atmos surround sound and very cool 3D effects. I think it’s time for this franchise to get terminated.

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So have you seen Terminator Genisys? Well, what did you think?

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29 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: Terminator Genisys (2015)

  1. Thank you for the review, now I am 100% sure not to watch it.

    I didn’t want to watch it since I watched the trailer and you only convince me even more

  2. Great review! Ha, I’m a little kinder in my review, but I agree with all your points. I thought the film was great up until the middle when they time traveled to 2017. The performances didn’t bother me so much, as I knew they wouldn’t match up to the original actors. Admittedly, many of the actors were miscast, but I thought they did well with the material they had. I think the main issue was the script. I’m a big terminator fan, so I enjoyed it for what it was, but ‘Fury Road’ ruined the summer for me b/c it was so great nothing can compare.

    1. Thanks Mariah! Yeah the script was a mess, I can’t believe it got green lighted by the studio, I guess they have to make the movie as fast as they could since the rights will go back to Cameron in a few years.

      Yup, FURY ROAD is still the best movie of summer 2015.

    1. I’m with you Cindy. I missed the press screening but after reading the reviews, I think I’ll just watch it when it comes to Netflix.

  3. Jai might be the blandest actor since Hayden Christensen; he’s one of the current young actors that Hollywood is trying to make into the next big action hero”

    So true. He was okay in Felony was but Hollywood is trying to turn him into an actor he is not just cos of his looks/body it would seem

    1. Hey Jordan, I’ve never Felony, the only films I saw Jai in were Jack Reacher and Die Hard 5, in the latter he’s the lead and McClane was just tagging along. I don’t see him as a leading man material at all.

      1. Felony is a decent Aussie cop drama, nothing fantastic but it shows a side of Jai’s acting that isn’t there in his other roles.

        But I’m in agreement with you generally, he isn’t leading man material. I didn’t even like him in Unbroken and he was only in it for ten odd minutes!

  4. I’m with you on just about everything here Ted. Far too confusing for its own good, and the characters really lack depth. It’s not terrible, but it ain’t that good either. Great review!

    Adam.

    1. Thanks Adam! Yeah like I mentioned, the screenwriters probably thought they were quite clever coming up with some “new” ideas and twists for this movie. But I thought everything was just lame and not original at all. Just a waste of money.

  5. I actually really enjoyed Genisys and can’t believe the opinion surrounding it so negative. Sure, it’s nowhere near the level of T1 and T2 but they’re solid classics. I agree with you about Alan Taylor, he did a great job as director and as you cite the film is technically flawless.

    1. I can’t speak for others who didn’t like this film but for me it’s just didn’t work. Mainly because of the bad casting and lack of any originality. They just rehashed elements of the first two films and that to me is a good example of bad a screenplay. The point of rebooting a franchise is to come up with something new and refreshing and this film did neither.

      1. Some fair points, perhaps they felt those elements were essential to bringing the fanbase back. I actually enjoyed some of the plot points revisited and feel that any sequels would carve their own path. Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. Pingback: Five for the Fifth: JULY 2015 Edition |

    1. Yup, Terminator 3 was awful, I know some say Salvation was the worse in the series but I think those people needs to re-watch part 3 again. Salvation wasn’t good but it did try to come up with something new to reboot the franchise. This one and T3 just rehashed elements of the first two films.

  7. It will be out here on Wednesday so I’m planning to see it then. Based on the previous sequels my hopes aren’t very high and your score seems to confirm my fears.

  8. abbiosbiston

    Mr O was very keen to go and see this so I agreed but then he read some reviews and I got out of it. I think I got lucky!

  9. I actually like ALL of the previous Terminator films, so I’m ignoring the bad reviews and seeing this one anyway. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy it, as you said.

  10. Well, too many references to the old movies without trying to acknowledge them; that’s what I thought about this movie.
    I hope the planned trilogy were cancelled or something.

    1. I think the problem with this film was that they acknowledge the previous films way too much and didn’t even try to do anything new. The only “new” idea they came up with was alternate timeline and then they didn’t even try to explain who the heck send back the old Terminator to save Sarah when she’s a child. I know they’re saving that for the sequel, which won’t happen now that the movie is officially a flop. Also, I thought the whole Genisys thing was so stupid.

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