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Review – Terminator Genisys


Yes I know. I fed the machine. I contributed to what appears to a trend in Hollywood of inferior sequels making money that give way for more inferior sequels to beloved movies. I am part of the problem. This time however I was fine with it.

Terminator Genisys is the fifth film in the franchise started back in 1984 by director James Cameron. This time around Alan Taylor, who also directed Thor: The Dark World takes the helm of the science fiction action series which also has the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to one of his most famous roles. Emilia Clarke of Game of Theones takes over the role of Sarah Connor, joining her fellow actress Lena Headey who played Connor on the short-lived Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series. Jai Courtney from the television series Spartacus is Kyle Reese and Jason Clarke from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes plays future leader John Connor.

I went into this with low expectations. I know the previous 2 films have mixed fan reception, but I never took too much issue with them. However, nothing I had seen from the trailers looked particularly interesting and I was wavering on whether or not to see it. I recently watched the first 2 films however and decided to give it a shot.  Was this the redemption of the Terminator series? Not really. Was it a fun action/sci-fi flick that respected they films that came before it? I feel it was and it did.

The film opens with events we did not see in the original film, John Connor sending Kyle Reese back in time to 1984 to protect his mother Sarah Connor. We are treated to a pretty faithful recreation of the opening events of the 1984 film. The terminator and Reese both arriving, the interaction with the small gang, Reese running through a shopping mall. It was a nice fan service moment, but it did serve a purpose to show us how things had changed in the timeline. Once Reese is saved by Sarah does he get the rundown that things aren’t what they were supposed to be.  

Speaking of Sarah, I loved Emilia Clarke’s portrayal. She is at a level where she is more experienced than T1 Sarah, but not quite as hardened as her T2 counterpart. She longs for her own choices in her life. There were moments where the camera would capture her at a certain angle or a piece of dialogue she speaks that really invoked Linda Hamilton. I know prior to release she was a major question mark but I enjoyed every moment she was on screen.

Jai Courtney as Reese was also quite well as far as his acting of Kyle. However the man we see in the first Terminator who was tormented after years of battle is not really seen here. Arnold is Arnold as always. Just older. Some of the humor he has in the movie actually does work because it’s all part of the narrative and how Sarah works with him to help him assimilate into human culture more. It’s very purposeful. Jason Clarke as John Connor is the weakest link. I just never felt that leader quality that other actors who have played him had. Even Christian Bale gave a bit more gravitas to the character. 

 The action is what you would expect from a PG-13 blockbuster in this day and age. Nothing looked bad at all to me and nothing really stood out as well. 

  To wrap things up, Terminator Genisys does not reach the heights of the first two films and honestly, the series will probably never reach that again, but this is a fun film that despite what it’s trailer shows, does respect the two superior entries in the franchise. I think that maybe as time goes on this may get a slight bit more love than it has gotten. I felt it does Terminator a bit better than its 2 recent predecessors.

Final Rating (3/5)


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