I’ll be back? More like Agh, my back!
This movie is about as much of a glorified fan service film as you could possibly imagine. Genisys has taken parts of all the other terminators and slapped them together in the hope of a decent movie. It’s basically trying be Skyfall but for the Terminator series.
I actually walked out of the theatre thinking that the film was better than anticipated but after a few slack days of not writing any reviews now I look back on it the film is actually fairly bland. Funnily enough it’s just moments from the previous movies slapped together.
What’s iconic about the first movie? A young Arnold sent back in time to kill the Connor family? Cool. Add it in. What about the second film? Well obviously Arnie as the protector! Cool, bung it in. The third? They go back to destroy SkyNet before it begins? Sure why not, throw that in there. I think we need something from Salvation as well? Well that has to be the big mechs and slave labour camps! Great, throw that shit on top and we are done!
That’s pretty much the playbook here I mean we even have a duplicate of the iconic scene where Arnie first get’s warped to LA. We even have one of those liquid metal terminators the T-1000 complete with the ‘Chinese Robert Patrick’ look. Is that me being subconsciously racist? probably but he does share a resemblance I’m sure of it.
One thing it doesn’t have is the female model T-X from Terminator 3 but it makes up for it with a brand new machine and if you don’t want spoilers then skip to the conclusion and I’ll see you next time. This new machine has a sort of graphite looking shape-shifting thing going on that is akin to the black stuff at the end of Transcendence or Lucy but a bit more cubist, like the way the microbots move in Big Hero 6. It looks pretty groovy for the most part.
This new machine is actually John Connor. The machines have somehow infected John and made him into “not a machine, not a human” but more. Funny story. Guess who is still the little bitch of SkyNet? Yeah John Connor. It makes no sense as to why he is fighting purely for the Machines if he is supposedly more than that. It would have been a much more interesting plot if the Ter-connator had his own agenda that unfolds throughout but no, sadly we are left with the well worn subject matter of Terminator versus Connor.
This new machine is obviously where all the CGI budget went because some of the other parts of the film looked cheap and tacky. These scenes are none more notable than when the film portrays a war torn future. The sentry bots look like superimposed chrome plated dildos with machine guns… jeez, that’s a weird analogy.
Somewhere inside me is the 17 year old who watched Terminator 2 in awe so I can’t help but enjoy parts Terminator Genisys. The Story isn’t one of them. I just need to point out that this storyline ultimately changes the timeline of all previous films which some will find an unforgivable crime.
Anyway brush this aside and you do get Arnie’s best performance in a long time. Sarah Connor has tried to humanise the terminator to blend in which gives credence to some of the more casual looking movement from Arnie. The film also deals with Arnie’s OAP status surprisingly well because that he ages throughout the film, which makes sense in the plot’s context. The jewel in the crown is obviously seeing old Arnie brawling with young Arnie.
Because the terminator has been humanised the relationship between Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese and the T-800 is surprisingly good turning T-800 guardian/protector character into a friend or even a family member. It’s the best thing they could have done as a 70 year old man simply isn’t as threatening as a terminator.
Overall the films pace rushes along so it’s never really boring but doesn’t bring enough fresh ideas to make this a knockout. To some this will seem like a bland pastiche of the Terminator franchise but to some it will be an entertaining enough summer blockbuster. Or at least it should have been but the box office sales are more along the line of a flopbuster. To me it’s not worthy of being a total flop but ultimately it’s you who has to pass that judgement on the day.
- Arnie on Arnie action
- ‘Pops’. Our friend the terminator
- New terminator is kinda cool… at least visually
- Same old same old story
- Re-hash of the older films, no real innovations
- some questionable CGI moments