Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Terminator Genisys (2015)

Directed by Alan Taylor

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney


All of this time travel stuff is starting to be a bit much. We’ve effectively made a pretzel of possible timelines, and things are so convoluted now that I’m having a hard time keeping up. Keeping time travel plots simple and understandable takes a lot of care and discipline, and I feel like we’ve gone off the rails here.

And a few other plot points… Terminators of the future put humans into camps? Why? They’re called terminators, not hostage-takers. The Colorado attack that destroys the machines is laughably glossed over. They rushed through the drama of sending Reese back. This is one of the largest plot points in the whole franchise, and it all happens so quickly. They made a time machine out of spare parts in 1984? How do they have a photo of 1984 Sarah when it clearly slipped out of Reese’s hand and burned up in the original Terminator? When the upgraded Arnold appears near the end, how are they so sure it’s Arnold and not a resurrected T-1000 mimicking him?

Many, perhaps most, of the scenes and lines are copied from earlier Terminator movies. There’s a fine line between homage and unoriginality.

Effects, though, are good. The shot of the T-1000 melting in acid (?) is particularly good. The young Arnold is fantastic. Would have enjoyed seeing more. Bad comedy, though. Some of Arnold’s moments are a sort of charming and funny, but playing “Bad Boys” when they are getting mug shots? Really?

Jason Clarke and Courtney are both miscast. Clarke is just too villainous-looking (which works for this particular incarnation of John but not for the franchise). Reese should have been more understated and vulnerable, like Michael Biehn was. Courtney’s a face and a body, but not much else. Lacking uniqueness and charisma, he seems to part of a new generation of actors like Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund who are ordinary but somehow get lead roles. Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor sort of looks like Hamilton, but she’s too darn short. And she delivers every line of dialogue with intensity, which is kind of annoying.

I was excited to see another installment in the franchise, but plot holes and casting issues prevent this thing from standing up on its own.

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