Terminator Genesys is a reboot/sequel to the once great Terminator franchise, which was started by James Cameron. The first two Terminator movies are science-fiction classics, and still hold up to this day. Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation we’re subpar movies at best and at this point all I wanted for Terminator Genesys to be better than those two sequels. And while it is better than both 3 and 4, this is unfortunately not a good movie folks.
The story is set in the future, where the machines have risen up against mankind as the resistance is trying to fight back. John Connor (Jason Clarke) leader of the resistance, must sent Kyle Reese back from the year 2029 in order to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) who’s destiny has been radically altered after being saved by a reprogrammed terminator (Arnold Scharwzenneger) whom is known as the Guardian.
Right of the bat, Arnold is by far the best part of this movie. He’s great once again as the Terminator, and completely delivers one hundred percent. He’s the one shining bright spot of this entire film, hands down.
Jason Clarke was okay as John Connor. He’s a great actor, but most of his speeches kind of fall flat and I never bought the fact that he was the leader of the resistance.
Emilia Clarke, who is simply fantastic on Game of Thrones, is fine as Sarah Connor. At times it works. She kicks ass in the action scenes, and sells that she is the badass mother of John Connor. But at other times, it’s like she’s doing a bad Linda Hamilton impression. Often times it’s as if she’s trying to hard to impersonate Hamilton’s version of Sarah Connor, instead of bringing her own personality into the mix. But I don’t blame Emilia Clarke, because I know what an amazing actress she is. I blame the script and the direction she was given. The script is cringe-worthy at times, and the dialogue is terrible. It’s cheesy and there’s a lot of exposition for the audience because we’re too dumb enough to figure things out for ourselves.
But by far, the biggest downside of this film is Jay “I ruin every film I’m in” Courtney. That man should not be an actor. He’s bland, lifeless and just plain awful. He should have been a robot. That would have worked. Not Kyle Reese! Jay was also in Die Hard 5, another franchise that he ruined in its horrible fifth installment and the worst part of Jack Reacher, a film, which I really liked, but he was horrible in it.
The special effects are kind of garbage. They look cheap. The scenes that take place in the future are tensionless, and most of the action is bloated and not memorable at all. And if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen most of the action beats of this movie except maybe the last act, which is really sad. But that’s not the only thing that the marketing ruined for us. No. They decided hey, why not ruin a major plot point of the film that the audience isn’t supposed to know until the second act of the movie. In case you haven’t seen the trailer yet or the posters, I’m not going to say what that plot point is, but it was really dumb on the studios part to make the same freaking mistake that they made while they marketed Terminator Salvation (which is also a mediocre movie, directed by McG, and I’m being nice) and ruining the film’s major plot point. Why would you do that? That’s disrespecting you’re audience.
There’s also terrible humor that just didn’t mesh with the intensity that was happening (An example of this, Jay Courtney asks Sarah Connor if Arnold can be programmed to make jokes while clearly he just did a moment before). Alan Taylor also directed Thor 2, and that movie had way too many jokes sprinkled throughout that kept shifting the tone. The tone here is also all over the place and never stays consistent.
But my biggest flaw with Terminator Genesys is how much is changes the Terminator franchise. The story becomes convoluted as all hell, nothing makes sense, and the ending brings the franchise in a terrible direction.
The only positive thing I can think of saying about this film is how the first thirty minutes are mildly entertaining since they use some of the same footage of the first Terminator with a CGI young Arnold. That part was well done and well thought out, I’ll give the filmmakers that.
Studios need to stop making horrible sequels just so that they can use a popular name and slap it on to the project just so that they can make a quick buck. Good entertainment equals more money. Bad entertainment equals—well, you get the drift. Is that so hard to comprehend?
Overall, while this fifth installment is better than 3 and 4, and the first thirty minutes are enjoyable enough, and it contains Arnold Scharwzenneger and Emilia Clarke (who isn’t bad to look at), Terminator Genesys is however bogged down by mediocre action, an awful script, Jay Courtney and the raping of a once classic movie franchise that should have been better than what we got.