Terminator Genisys might win an award for most green screened fight scenes and stunt guys pulled by cables. Or maybe for the highest number of convenient explanations pulled from a characters ass. I think Evel Knievel was in this because, holy shit there were quite a lot of leaps in logic here. I think disbelief had to be suspended as much as the stunt men during the action scenes.
Ok, let’s see if I can summarize this one for you. In the future, John Connor sends Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor. But when he gets there, things are not at all what he expected. This is because the time line has changed! Zoinks!
The real problem with Terminator Genisys is the explanations for those changes. They usually come in a one sentence statement that makes you think, “Wait, you just pulled that out of your ass right this second, didn’t you? Was it even in the script? Do you even know what any of the words you said mean?” Yeah, it’s like how Star Trek Next Generation explained things, sometimes. Just say a few pseudo-science terms and add something about the “Time-Space Continuum” and they’ll buy it.
But I think there’s too much riding on this franchise to brush shit off that casually. And speaking of franchise, this film definitely leaves you knowing full well that there’s another Terminator film coming. And that’s a little lame because it adds to the feeling that it’s all a bit lazy. Sure sure, depending on if character X lived or died in that timeline, you could be experiencing memories from more than one time line, and blah blah blah. Say what now? Hey, whatever gets us to another Terminator movie, man.
So yeah, there’s the problem with this one. As far as the good things, and there are some, they’ve managed to load this full of crazy action. They also do a lot to connect this to at least the first two Terminator films. The effects are all much improved, as you would expect after so much time. And they manage to explain Arnold’s aging. And there are as many cheesey lines of dialogue as you might expect, though they seem to fall a bit flatter than usual. All the Terminators from the previous films are here, the original T800 (Arnold fights his younger self!), a T1000, and then a little something new, becuase, hey, you have to up the ante, right? And the progression is a logical one, and pretty cool, too.
The cast is just fine here. Arnold is his old self, and holds up pretty well. Emelia Clarke is a good Sarah Connor, and easy on the eyes. Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese is adequate. Jason Clarke is John Connor and is solid. J.K. Simmons shows up because, well, it’s what he does. Hey, he’s a busy guy. Matt Smith, yes, the once Doctor Who, makes a surprise appearance, but no, sadly not as The Doctor. Too bad. Should have made this a movie about the Cybermen. Terminator Genisys even manages to include the Miles Dyson character and his son. Man, there’s a LOT going on here.
At the end of the day, I would say I was mildly entertained at times. You know, when I wasn’t thinking, “Oh, you just made that up when you showed up on set that day, didn’t you?” Or, “Wait, what year did you just end up in? Should that character be that age?” ” What time line is this? How is this happening?” You really need to do a lot more suspending of disbelief than is comfortable. Terminator Genisys isn’t the worst of the franchise, though. But then, it isn’t the great revitalizing entry in it either. Also just shy of the three kittenhands mark. It’s Ok, but you could catch on cable or streaming later. I saw this in 3D and I really didn’t need to. Nothing special there.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, still pretty convinced that Mad Max: Fury Road will be the best film of this summer.