The good thing about time travel is that if a horse dies, instead of beating it you can just travel back in time and beat it before it has died. Luckily this horse is alive and well. “Terminator” is back in another installment and this one is bringing things full circle…kind of. We know the story, machines take over the world as SkyNet Awakens. Sarah Connor is in danger because she will eventually give birth to the leader of the resistance, John Connor. And as a last ditch effort the machines send back a terminator to take care of those pesky Connors before they have a chance to become the rust in their gears. This time around however, things are different as the timeline has been altered and the war against machines becomes something different entirely.
“Terminator: Genisys” does something that is difficult and rare with a tentpole franchise like “Terminator.” It breathes new life into the franchise and actually amps the anticipation for a follow up. A rare feat as usually sequels this far down the line can feel like a forced money grab and derivative. “Terminator: Genisys” does none of these things and also pays homage to the classic films with scenes that are throw backs to “T2” and the original.
So how do they do that you ask? Well let’s see.
Cinematics (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 3
Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”) directs and provides us with some amazing visuals in the process. The film looks great and there are some incredible car chases and fight scenes. The helicopter chase is a little… ermm… completely outlandish but is still fun for effect. Everyone loves to see destruction and this film doesn’t disappoint with an amazing apocalypse scene at the Golden Gate Bridge that is just… wow. The acting left a little to be desired. Except for Arnold. Arnie is just as badass as ever and definitely anchors the movie. The others were a bit less inspiring and while distracting didn’t fully deter me from enjoying the film. Emilia Clarke struggles to be wounded and vulnerable most likely because she is so used to being the in-charge queen (Game of Thrones) we are accustomed to seeing her as. Acting aside, “Terminator: Genisys” is a spectacle and while not the most incredible or outlandish action film this year (“Mad Max,” “Furious 7”) it definitely holds it’s own.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
“Terminator: Genisys” at its cybernetic core is a “Terminator” movie, meaning it seeks and destroys. The story is a bit confusing and if you really want to draw things out and ask questions you would be in for a long night and a headache. But if you take the story for face value it’s cool, fun, and a blast to sit through. It is a bit difficult to do that because you have to go deeper than that to understand the current timeline, but I digress. No wait I don’t digress, why don’t they ever just go back and kill the grandmother or great great grandmother. That always bothers me! Sheesh… but I guess that’s why the machines always lose, they don’t think it through.
“Terminator: Genisys” is just a fun popcorn movie. With that being said there are some things that detract from all the awesomeness. For some reason everyone is constantly arguing amongst themselves which is, just in my opinion, probably extremely unhelpful when trying to defeat a fully sentient AI system Hell-bent on enslaving and destroying the world. This all culminates in an escape scene where everyone is about to get out but Sarah Connor for all her savvy and wit up to this point decides “WAIT!!” lets talk this out before A) the terminators or B) the feds come kicking down the door. I had to laugh out loud on that one. No worries though because the action picks up from there. It was just an odd moment that I had to point out.
Arnie delivers clever one-liners as bullets are dodged, asses are kicked, and things get blown up. It is quite enjoyable.
Rewatchability – 3
I really like “Terminator: Genisys” a lot. For being a summer action blockbuster it served its purpose quite well. I would definitely check it out again. Perhaps not in the theater but definitely again. If you are going to see it in IMAX 3D, it is okay but not a necessity. The Terminator fights are pretty amazing so seeing those again would definitely be something I wouldn’t mind doing. Sitting through some of the cringe-worthy arguments might not be how I would want to spend my Friday night but I would gladly endure them for the action and excitement of this movie.
(My Re-watch –ability chart)
- 0=Pretend I never saw it and have no desire to
- 1=Never watching again
- 2=Would probably sit through if it popped up on HBO or FX
- 3=Would DVR it and watch again or recommend to watch with a friend
- 4=wouldn’t mind killing time to see it in the theater again. In fact I would like to do that
- 5=I am going to see this in the theater again, maybe twice more as well as stop what I am doing and watch every time it is on TV.)
- Entertainment Value
While the franchise has given us some pretty spectacular moments in film, there have also been some less then stellar additions to the franchise (T3, Salvation). "Terminator: Genisys" should actually fall in line closer to the original and T2 however some clichéd performances hinder the movie from reaching its true potential. The film is really entertaining and if you are a fan nothing should deter you from checking it out. Actually I would recommend just about anyone to check it out.