Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
Terminator: Genisys hits theatres this week and we have all the action covered for you here on ComiConverse!
Growing up, there was one movie that I watched nearly every week on cable and that was Terminator: Judgement Day because it blew me away with its immense action and brilliant storyline which was ground-breaking for the time.
In the eyes of many, the movie is one of the best action sequels ever created, but ever since that outing the franchise has gone through various changes, with new directors and visions thrown into the mix.
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There was a laughably bad sequel Terminator: Rise of the Machines (T-X was pretty hot) – though we did get one brilliant TV Series which was short lived. Since legendary beginnings, the once great franchise has tried various attempts to remain relevant in Hollywood, with each movie failing to recapture the series great days.
Now finally after 24 years of ongoing problems and troubling developments with the series, we have this latest instalment Terminator: Genisys, which acts as the series retcon device that is meant to be the start of a new movie trilogy with Arnold Schwarzenegger returning as the aged T-800.
When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future.
Terminator Genisys is directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World) who offers an attempt at revisiting the original timeline with some changes.
In the movie, instead of the Arnie being sent back to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) he protects her, but during this Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is sent back to 1984 to save her, only for him to find out that things are a bit different than excepted with the T-800 becoming her guardian.
This twist is interesting at first, but sadly the plot becomes convoluted with too many undeveloped ideas, along with weak writing that provides no context as to why the Terminator has become such protector figure to Sarah.
It’s good that Genisys doesn’t follow the same formula from the first few sequels which all epically failed. Sadly the film stumbles at with originality. Many of the characters are highly formulaic, which is sad, because there are some very talented actors in the mix.
I also think that the casting for the Kyle Reese’s character was all over the place, with Courtney sometimes coming across hating everything in his midst with his boring dialogue, but he does have some good scenes especially with Schwarzenegger.
Emilia Clarke, on the other hand, provides us with her take on Sarah Connor and she does well with the material, even though there are some missed opportunities for growth to be had with this character. Hopefully, this will be done within the planned sequels.
Jason Clarke plays John Connor, whose character has a big twist in this film that I will not spoil. He does well with that, but in the end he’s just another rehash of the hardened soldier stereotype, who never really feels human (pun intended).
Arnold is awesome in this movie, which is strange because his story arc is pretty funny. He has brilliant chemistry with the other actors and provides those classic lines with such class. He is back to kick some ass.
J.K. Simmons is also featured in this movie in a goofy role that never comes together on the big screen. Its all pretty embarrassing for somebody of his talents.
Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith is in this movie as another menacing character who works really well in the context of this film’s plot. Byung-hun Lee is awesome as well, as he plays the T-1000. Lee provides some of the best action in this film with every scene feeling fresh and full of awesomeness.
Terminator Genisys is an interesting attempt at bringing back this franchise, but ultimately fails at delivering the brilliance of T1 or T2; despite having some good elements.
This certainly is better than Salvation which seemed boring in so many ways, but sadly the movie is not the fresh take of this franchise that we needed. If there are sequels, hopefully they will have a better direction.
Fans of this series will be pleased with the movie’s themes, but may be depressed with the confusing plot.
The bottom line is that this film has not given the series the kick it deserves.
Will things improve for Terminator franchise going forward. Who can say?
The future is not set.
Jordan Samuel is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @LoadingBa