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Terminator Genisys (Spoiler Free Review)​

Six years after Salvation, Paramount took the opportunity to milk the cow a little bit more & cash in on the product. Genisys was born & saw the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator.

Genre: Action/Sci-Fi

Director: Alan Taylor

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matt Smith, Courtney B. Vance, Bryant Prince & Byung Hun Lee.

Run Time: 126 min.

US Release: 01 July 2015

UK Release: 02 July 2015

German Release: 09 July 2015

I had a bad feeling about this sequel, ever since I saw the first trailer early this year, yet I was crossing my fingers and hopping that I might be wrong about it. So, after pushing back the release in Germany for a week, I finally went yesterday and saw the movie at the 8.30pm screening. Did I like Terminator Genisys? No, I did not! In fact I'm currently struggling about which one I hate more; Terminator 3, or this convoluted crap fest.

Scott Mendelson from Forbes made one of the best points in his article “Box Office: 6 Reasons ‘Terminator Genisys’ Bombed (in America)”, the audience is not looking for a new Terminator film. We have been bombarded with a lot of blockbusters, regarding this Cyborg’s storyline, for the last four decades and that included a TV series. The first two films directed by Cameron had been box office successes because they not only told a complex yet compelling story, but they also were pioneers in the special effect segment.

After that we obtained a poor, comedic sequel directed by Jonathan Mostow, with bad character development and no heart. McG then helmed the fourth movie (which I consider the strongest of the non-Cameron Terminator movies) and tried to steer the franchise back into the right direction. We also had a short lived two season TV series, starring Lena Headey as Sarah Connor, Thomas Dekker as John Connor and Summer Glau as a Terminator going by the name of Cameron.

Suffice to say, we had enough of a franchise that saw it’s glory days in the 80’s and 90’s and since then has been milked to death just to make some money!

Genisys was directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons and Byung-hun Lee. It was released in the US and UK along the first days of July.

The plot revolves around Kyle Reese, who is send by John to save his mother, after they fail to stop the first T-800 to use the time machine. Once he arrives in 1984, He figures out that nothing in the past is as Connor told him. Sarah Connor is a badass soldier and protected by a T-800 that was sent to save her as a child and Reese’s arrival was awaited by a T-1000 programmed to kill him.

I will not get further into detail as this is a spoiler free review, but if you did see the latest trailers to this movie just let me tell you that you basically saw the whole plot of it as a summary. I know I have been ranting as of late about trailers, revealing too much of the movie or displaying the best scares, jokes or action scenes, but never have I seen such an imbecile marketing strategy as for this film! Let me tell you straight away, rather than wasting your money on a two hour long film you will be absolutely disappointed about, save it and watch the trailer. It is all there!

But let me focus on the story. The first 30 minutes of this movie had been fantastic! It was a back and forth between 2029 and 1984. It tried to explain a couple of things such as why Kyle Reese crashed onto earth when he was sent back in time, while Arnold landed in a perfect bowed position on the ground. It also pays a lot of tribute to Cameron’s directorial style, as they redid the first couple of scenes shot for shot. Then older Arnold comes in and starts a fight with his younger self, and it was awesome too look at.

But after Kyle finally meets a tough and hardened Sarah, who vaguely explains to him that the timeline was altered, everything spins out of proportion. The plot suddenly makes no sense anymore, the timeline is all over the place and subplots appear that are never explained or are simply dropped half way through. And that was my real problem with Terminator Genisys! Those first 30 minutes it bashed so hard on the last two sequels, going so far as to even ignoring the events of T3, just to crash, burn and suck as much as Rise of the Machines.

The structure of the story seemed more like a checklist; drama, action, comedy, romance and repeat throughout the whole film. They did not even do a good job checking off the genres, since the romance felt unnatural, the comedy was unfunny and the action scenes unmemorable.

Arnold was the best part of Genisys; his character was funny and reached a similar depth as in T2. I liked how they explained the ageing of his persona, though what angered me was that he was used once again as comedic relief. They didn’t even go deeper into his story and that was one of the richer subplots. After all he is a machine that was forced to be a father.

I was worried about Emilia Clarke being cast as Sarah Connor, but she actually surprised me. She did a good impression as the young Sarah and she had the looks to support it. She truly sounded like Linda Hamilton in Judgement Day; sadly her chemistry with Courtney was basically zero.

Jai Courtney is such a bad actor, I am sorry but this guy has no charisma or talent whatsoever. It is still a mystery to me how he obtained the part as Kyle Reese. He looked disinterested throughout the whole movie, was not funny and had no chemistry. Courtney did not do a favour to Michael Biehn’s portrayal of Reese!

I am a fan of Jason Clarke, he did a great job in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and he is a talented actor, but he was totally miscast for the role of John Connor. J.K. Simmons had the best background story, but he did not have enough screen time!

Concerning the cinematography, the action in this action sci-fi flick was poor. It used fast cuts and changed angles every minute. One of the best parts of the first two Terminator films was that you were able to enjoy the action scenes, because they stayed focus on angle and played it from beginning to end. Now they swap sides every minute and cut it to make it look more dramatic. The only action scene that was kind of memorable was the T-800 vs. T-800 fight.

The effects were so and so, on one side you had the amazingly looking younger Arnold model! Then you had the T-1000 that looked a tad better than the 1991 version, but not by much. Also the Jason Clark Nano-Terminator looked kind of cheap.


Verdict: Terminator Genisys was an utter let down. The story was all over the place, the timeline made no sense anymore and most characters have been totally bland. The fact that it bashed Terminator 3 just to go down the same path made it a complete hypocritical movie and I therefore give it a 4.0 out of 10.

What did you think of this fifth instalment? Leave you opinion in the comment section. Thank you for reading!

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