My Rating: 6/10 RENT IT
WARNING!!! The following contains major spoilers from Terminator Genisys, most of which you already saw in the trailer.
In this installment, John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to save his mother, Sarah, from a Terminator which was sent back in time by Skynet. Upon reaching the new timeline, he discovers that everything has changed. Sarah is working with a much older Terminator now, named Pops, and the two of them manage to kill the two terminators from the original movies in about thirty minutes of screen time…. Prompting us to ask the question; why the hell did it take them so long the first time around? Shortly thereafter they decide to try to stop Judgement Day from happening by destroying Skynet, only to discover Skynet has turned the leader of the resistance, John Connor, into a Terminator who will stop at nothing to kill his parents, Sarah and Kyle.
It has been six years since the last Terminator movie. It has been twenty-four years since the last good Terminator movie. Walking into this film I had hoped that these filmmakers would potentially take a page out of George Miller’s book and create something both reminiscent of James Cameron’s original masterpiece as well as bringing in some exciting modern threats. I should have known that all we were going to get was a two hour long CGI robot fight with some bad acting on the side.
I don’t believe I’m being too harsh when I say this was the most pointless entry in the franchise’s history. Sure, it creates a new plot and enemy in the physical form of Skynet, played by Doctor Who alumni Matt Smith. It even paves the way for future movies. But it is so boring.
The characterization of Sarah and Kyle is a joke. While Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney definitely have chemistry, neither of them can spit their lines out well enough to make it believable. The action would have been more exciting with the use of more practical effects. Because of their heavy reliance on over-the-top CGI, the stakes are lowered dramatically. We see Terminator John Connor and the T-1000 do extraordinary moves, only to get knocked down by a single punch from Arnold Schwarzenegger. Everything is so grand and unbelievable that it just sucks you right out of the movie. The action wasn’t much different from a Transformers movie.
Now there are some brief gems in this movie which do raise my overall rating from a 5 to a 6. Firstly is J.K. Simmons. They could’ve given us two hours of Simmons rambling on like a crazy person about Cyborgs and the end of the world and it would have been a better movie than what we got. His five minutes of screen time are the most enjoyable in the whole movie.
The second hidden gem is Matt Smith’s portrayal as Skynet. It is brief and probably only accounts for about two minutes of screen time, but it is one of the only instances of real acting we get in the entire movie. Arnold and Jason Clarke are also perfectly adequate.
The third and final highlight of this film is the end credits. For two reasons; 1. It means the movie is over, and 2. It is the only part of the movie to play that awesome score from the original movies, composed by Brad Fiedel. Which brings me to my final point… Overall, this movie doesn’t feel like a Terminator movie.
This movie isn’t necessarily the worst Terminator movie, but it’s the only one which feels like it doesn’t belong. I hate to create a scapegoat, but it seems the movie suffered due to poor directing. This is the second film by Alan Taylor, the first was Thor: The Dark World. Now, he blames Thor‘s failure on the over-controlling Marvel Studios, but I’m starting to think he’s just not that great of a director. He’s 0-2 thus far. Let’s hope he can change our minds down the line.
This is the third movie in the past month I’ve given a 6/10. That depresses me. Come on guys! Let’s start churning out some greatness!!!
What do you guys think? Was I too hard on Arnie’s return to the franchise? Not hard enough? Let me know what you think in the comment section!