He Said He’d Be Back…
“It’s wild… it’s just amazing what they’ve accomplished with the visual effects and then to see yourself the way you were, it’s really fantastic. They’ve imitated exactly the motions and the fights, the way I walked. All this can now be duplicated exactly the same way…” – Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The hardest thing is deciding what to tell you and what not to.
Should this Post tell you that this sequel turns out to be nothing special, barely more agreeable than the last two misguided efforts? That’s a tough one. Will it change your decision to venture to the cinema… knowing? And to think “they” plan to make two more sequels – as part of an intended trilogy – which may be of rapidly decreasing quality?!
God, you can go crazy thinking about all this…
Sure, you can’t deny it’s fantastic to see Arnold Schwarzenegger, back reprising his most iconic role, but it seems that Terminator Genisys has seriously let him down. Originally undecided as to whether to watch this, in the end, what pulled me in was the prospect of a clash between old (not obsolete) “Pops” versus the T-800 from the original movie.
If there is one golden rule in the torturous world of film criticism, then avoid movies that deliberately misspell any part of the title in some lameass ploy to sound cool. Sure enough, this misfire seems to be no exception…
“It was one of those: ‘Let’s give it a round of applause’ moments. I mean, Arnie said that line to me, in a helicopter… if that’s not career defining, I don’t know what is” – Emilia Clarke.
So, what good points can we take from this movie?
Emilia Clarke puts in a good, gutsy turn as a decidedly different 80’s girl who can balance her checkbook. There is such a charming subplot about how the “Guardian” came to protect the nine-year-old Sarah Connor lurking somewhere in that script; development of this angle would have added such sorely-needed emotional depth to proceedings, but – typical – we got no more than the briefest of hazy flashbacks.
What about this Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney)? Sent back to a 1984 none of us expected, then – before you can say “mimetic polyalloy” – he has to hurl back to the strange and disconcerting “future” of 2017! Jeez, poor boy. A tad too much tampering with the temporals for my liking. How much more of the space-time continuum can they screw up?
It was intriguing to see J.K. Simmons involved in this; however, after an astonishing (well-deserved) Oscar-winning performance in Whiplash, he is wasted here, with nothing significant to contribute.
And as for John Connor (Jason Clarke), well, how they’ve handled him this time round is just… wrong. Didn’t like it at all. What can one say – what can one do – when the smartest aspect of the whole movie is having both Connors played by two Clarkes?
Terminator Genisys is watchable – notably less painful than the last two; but it could – certainly should – have offered so much more. Towards the end, one dissatisfied viewer was seen marching for the Exit, presumably seeking to keep intact the timeline he knew and loved. Sarah Connor herself at one point summed up this whole fruitless exercise rather well: “I know it needs work…”
“They’ve reimagined it. They’ve upgraded it. It’s left me in a state of paralisys. It’s crushing every brain synapsys. This is a personal crisys and I may need analisys… Terminator Genisys is the antythisys of enjoyable” – Peter Bradshaw.
Hey, buddy, did you just see a real bright light?
Riding a wave of nostalgia has done wonders these past two months for other fondly treasured franchises such as Mad Max and Jurassic Park, but does it – should it – work for The Terminator? Reshooting the sequence in which the original T-800 arrives at Griffith Park Observatory in LA, was actually quite a nifty move, and the twist was kinda cool – yet if they’re going to digitally recreate 1984 Arnie, then it’s only fair that 1984 Bill Paxton should reappear as well.
The general consensus of reviews basically dismissed Genisys as “witless,” “artless,” thus a pointless exercise. A major factor in the success of those first two movies was the abundance of cool and quotable lines, but here – and you know how much Brad digs groovy quotes – there are no lines worthy of note. Also, there are a few attempts at humour, but they fail miserably. The whole package does look hastily and shoddily assembled, as if by machines (ha!) – the 600 series, most likely (we spotted them easy.)
…And James Cameron himself personally endorsed this?
If you need me, you can find me drowning my sorrows down at Tech Noir. (You know it, it’s on Pico.)