“I’ll be back!” These words continue to be quoted and memed in just about every aspect of social media. The Terminator franchise has given plenty of memorable moments over the last thirty one years. And like every movie involving time travel, there seems to be no end in sight for ever closing the series down, doing anything possible to get another film out. This holiday weekend, the fifth installment is unleashed, once more to make the universe more complicated than ever. So let’s get to work reviewing Terminator Genisys and see what’s in store.
If there is one thing that we know about Terminator films it is a robot relentlessly pursuing a human. Genisys is no exception, but this time ups the factor by three as numerous machines hunt our protagonists, at least in the beginning. Nostalgia ran high for me as I tried to catch all the references integrated in this new tale with the timeline, or perhaps timelines, set up by the events. Genisys will throw your mind for a whirl in the beginning as a convoluted display of theoretical physics alters the Terminator timeline. Eventually the pieces start falling in to place, a combination of repetitive flashbacks and dialog will help solidify the main points while also annoying getting on your nerves. Though the pace is fast, the movie does have some decent character building moments amidst our cast that again reference a lot of movies. The characters are able to bring humor to the film as well, as well timed jokes provide relief from the explosions and tension of the movie. Yes some of the jokes are beaten to death, but it isn’t too bad.
However, the plot is very predictable, the foreshadowing painting an obvious picture of what is to unfold in the coming hours. I mean how can you not predict what is going to happen when Sarah asks a random, off the side question, despite being in a combat situation. In addition, the movie has lost the originality that the series was famous for, making the film somewhat lackluster on some levels. Sure seeing the previous Terminator models come back was cool, but honestly I’m getting tired of all the time hopping back to the same point. After all… how many times can Skynet attempt to kill Sarah at the same point in time. Even the character development can’t save the movie, because it devolved into petty arguments that diluted the plot and made it stale. How did I continue to get baited into the tale? The writers managed to introduce some “new” components in the story, questions that still remain unanswered by the end of the movie to net you into the coming sequel. Overall the plot is okay, but not the most exciting.
What about the action? Terminator Genisys has a lot of action packed moments in its two hours, filled to the brim with special effects. The directing team did a good job in spanning the war across all fronts. We get a few shots of the post-apocalyptic Earth war, whose futuristic weapons and CGI combatants make you feel like you are in a video game. In the “past” though the action remains okay, the gunplay in particular starting out thrilling as see Sarah and Kyle handle military grade weapons with ease. Hand to hand, the actions wasn’t special, primarily numerous sequences of Arnold and Jason Clarke savagely smashing each other against walls, or a cheap prop. Brute strength is a recurring theme in this movie, and one that needs to be changed in the future. Even the gunplay gets old, as our heroes continue to pump lead into creatures we all know by now don’t fall to conventional warfare.
Special effects wise, it is not that bad, but also not the best thing I have ever seen. The makeup and prosthetics are good for me, as the department has blended metal and flesh together in a manner similar to the first. In the CGI department the animation is fluid and savage, but the looks of the robots begin to lose its realistic edge, sometimes becoming cheesy looking, as things evolve. Lace all of this with enough explosions to give Michael Bay a run for his money, and you have what Genisys’ actions scenes primarily involve. One thing I want to add, is that I felt the movie did a god job integrating the action with the story, and providing relevancy to most of the battles.
Overall Terminator Genisys is a fine restart to the series, and a decent movie overall. While the directors need to work on balance, originality, and spicing up their action scenes, I feel the Terminator series shows some promise down the line. I can say I enjoyed this one better than Salvation, but it still doesn’t rise up to the standards the first two did. This reviewer recommends going to the theater to those who are: big fans of the series, want a decent action film, or are die hard Arnold Schwarzenegger fans. Otherwise catch this film in RedBox later on.
My scores for the movie are:
Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0