Terminator Genisys – Double Trouble Review – I’ll probably be back

DAN – As soon as it was announced that a new Terminator movie was set to grace our screens sometime this year, the first thought that came to mind was “flogging the horse”, with the annoyingly named Terminator Genisys (Erm, dictionary anyone?) being the FIFTH instalment of a series in which the first two both settle in the category of classics, whilst its’ successors only manage to solidify themselves into the category of, “okay, but not brilliant”. With Arnie taking a break off from the franchise in Terminator Salvation, his return in the Alan Taylor directed Genisys, was at least some sort of reconciliation with my personal love for the series, with Mr. Schwarzenegger always having that monumental feat of being a truly brilliant screen presence, regardless of how bad a film he is in may be (Think of “classics” such as Eraser for example). Unfortunately for Arnold and friends, including Emilia Clarke (Erm, Game of Thrones), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Jai Courtney (Die Hard 5), and the lovely Matt Smith (Doctor Who), the sign of how mediocre a film like Terminator Genisys actually is can be traced back to the first theatrical trailer in which for its’ entire duration we are treated to echoes, lines, and even direct scenes from previous entries in the series and after finally watching the movie in its’ complete package, that’s pretty much what I took from it, with Genisys being a movie essentially jealous of its’ better, older siblings and it subsequently attempting to mimic them into becoming something it most definitely isn’t. Rant mode activated.

The plot of Terminator Genisys, if it can actually be called a plot, focuses on the war-torn John Connor’s (Clarke) attempts to finally foil the Skynet invasion of Judgement Day by sending back good friend and fellow soldier Kyle Reese (Courtney) to the 1980’s by use of a Skynet designed time-machine which has already sent back a Terminator to kill off Sarah Connor, the mother of John, in order to prevent the resistance of man from ever coming to fruition. Uh, hold up, isn’t this just the plot from the first Terminator? Yes. It is. But wait! In an attempt to do something wholly original, Genisys attempts to make us believe that the events of the first two Terminator movies in fact never happened with a plot line that is one, completely ludicrous, two, not clear-cut or understandable in the slightest, and three, certainly abides by the 12A certificate by presenting no sense of threat, shock or horror throughout its’ two-hour runtime and in fact, keeping with the Matt Smith casting, actually felt like a two-hour Doctor Who episode, solidified by the cheesy, saccharin sweet ending in which my love for the Terminator series was seriously put into question.

Aside from the nonsensical plot, Genisys was evidently a film in love with its’ previous incarnations, with way too many in-house references to the first two Terminators, whether it be cheesy, over-used lines such as “get out”, or “I’ll be back”, direct copy of villain choice, with the brilliant Robert Patrick portrayal of the T-1000 in Judgment Day being replaced with a shoddy, boring, no-one that thankfully was on screen less than I actually expected, or just the same characters, albeit in a much more boring and shallow reincarnation. I mean, I love Emilia Clarke as much as the next man but to be honest, she is no Linda Hamilton, and Clarke’s portrayal of Sarah Connor just felt wrong and flat, with no sense of depth or a case for me to actually believe Clarke could be this character. I’m sorry Emilia, you have been miscast. Of course, in any case in which a film has so many negative attributes, there are some positives, with the film being rather silly and fun in some places, with some of the effects being so cool it actually produced a little snigger of joy now and then, but when it comes to the fulfilment of a movie, I personally need more than that, and Terminator Genisys may indeed be action-packed and explosive ridden on the surface, but its’ depth is essentially non-existent, resulting in a popcorn movie for the masses rather than a much-loved classic like its’ older, and indeed better, siblings.

Dan’s Score – 4/10


PETE – Well, it seems like Dan and I have swapped roles this week. Since Jurassic World’s giant disappointment, I was left hoping that Terminator would do something different and dazzle me. Fortunately it did. Sure, its not the greatest movie in the series but it didn’t simply repeat itself with a half-arsed money spinner with a plot that was vacant of any consistency.Terminator is another movie from my childhood that I actually feel was a decent reboot. Lets hope its not a new trilogy…

The plot was basic. It was a little complex and over convoluted with the general use of time travel but the rest of it is very simple. I wasn’t expecting something with a story like Interstellar, I wanted something entertaining with a plot that wasn’t ripped off from the previous generations. It was a creative use of the situation which tied the series up with a nice bow. Sure, its basic and the big surprise of the movie was ruined in the trailers, but this is one of the reasons I tend to avoid them. Its simple, but gives the originals enough of a twist to become different and have a creative angle on a series that’s been drawn out for many years.

What really lets the movie down is the visual FX and CGI. On the Terminators themselves, it was fairly good but it tried to hard to use visual effects similar to that of the originals as some sort of fan service but it looks so blunt and disjointed amongst other good examples in the same scene! The way people fly off a rolling car isn’t like a ragdoll, its more like a still being slid along the screen in animation closer to SNES Mario. Its as if one of the artists was being fired and just fucked with everything he could while the better in the group simply continued with everything they had without even a look to see just how bad some of it was.

Perhaps it was fan service, but the fan service I enjoyed was Arnie. Who doesn’t love the man? He’s a power house on and off screen, his acting is pretty poor which aids the whole robot thing and he’s been given an element of humour to him rather than cold blooded killer we’ve seen before. Although not along the lines of the original but an enjoyable take nonetheless. As for the rest of them, meh. Emilia Clarke is a woman I’ve had little contact with in my consumption, her role in Game of Thrones seems to be the driving force behind her but her performance in this doesn’t give me hope for when I eventually get around to watching GoT. Die Hard’s Jai Courtney is another that suggests poor things about his other pieces of work and I’m extremely disappointed by Jason Clarke. His role in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a solid performance which put him onto my watch list, this is just weak and lacklustre. As the dominant villain, he should have been far darker and twisted to really suggest his power and ability.

Visually poor, acting was fairly flat and the story wasn’t half bad. It is a popcorn movie and it always has been, I won’t lie, but I can’t see how the reincarnation of Jurassic Park using exactly the same basics of big bad dino, stupid people making a park and annoying children can be deemed as a good movie for the previous incarnations while Terminator is slated for daring to change the formula and wrap up its loose ends. I enjoyed it. Its funny, some great action scenes and a rather interesting take on the past.

For me, its a 7/10


Posted on 06/07/2015, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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