TERMINATOR: GENISYS [2015]

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Directed by Alan Taylor, Written by Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons

I just saw this with my father, cos I thought, hey, why the hell not? I remember back when I was a youngin’, Terminator 2 was the first movie my dad ever showed me. I couldn’t have been more than ten years old, but my Dad sat me down and explained how all the time-traveling worked as we watched it. I’ll never forget that, so this was the perfect movie for us to see together, and on my birthday no less! 🙂

I was not disappointed.Terminator+Genisys

As soon as it started I was rubbing my hands together, and while it didn’t carry through as consistently as, say, Fury Road, it certainly held my attention for its duration, and keep in mind, I generally don’t like CGI-filled blockbusters. These sorta movies just aren’t my thang. But this one had me hooked and it didn’t lose me for a second.

This one has received mixed reviews, and from what I have read the main problems people had were the multiple time lines, and the convoluted plot as a result. I think I also read some people taking issue with the script, which I agree with. The script is the film’s biggest weakness by far. However, I don’t think it spoiled the film. After all, it is an action movie; I wasn’t there for the dialogue! I was there for the action as well as the time traveling fun, and for the most part, it delivered. The action wasn’t on par with Terminator 2, but comparing this to T2 isn’t really fair. It is its own movie with its own style. The fight sequences were a lot of fun, and memorable too.

Both my father and I love time-travel films that make your head spin, and this film delivers in that department. We love trying to figure out movies that involve time travel (The Infinite Man, Predestination, Time Lapse, the list seems endless, even when talking of recent films!) and we both enjoyed that aspect of this flick thoroughly. I loved the inclusion of multiple timelines, and especially the odd quirk that had Kyle Reece (Jai Courtney) inheriting the memories of another person. I thought that was a excellent addition.

Additionally – and something that is somewhat scary – the theme of the Terminator movies is more apt and relevant than it was 20 years ago. At one point a character says how everything he does is now connected, and this isn’t far from today’s society considering the increasing prevalence of social media. With folks’ heads constantly buried in their tablets or smart-phones, a concept like Skynet or Genisys resonates more in today’s society than it ever has in the past. Our reliance on technology will be our downfall, however it happens, I’m sure of it!

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Another positive aspect of this film is the creation of a Terminator that somehow outdoes the T-1000. It was incredibly cool to see our liquid-metal friend at the beginning of the film, but this film’s villain somehow manages to up the ante; a hybrid of human and machine, made of tiny fragments of magnetic material that allows him to shape-shift, creating some truly memorable scenes. The fact that he was half human-half machine really added depth to his character, as his ability to mimic was heightened. The recreation of a few scenes from the first two films was also well realised, and a welcome bonus for fans of the franchise.

This movie is certainly not without its faults though. Emilia Clarke is a fantastic actress and did the best she could given the material she was working with. However, she is certainly no Linda Hamilton – though if I am honest, I can’t think of a current actress who could have filled her shoes. Unfortunately for such a tough character, Emilia too often looks doe-eyed and doesn’t have anything close to the toughness that Hamilton portrayed. Jai Courtney was also poorly cast, as much as I hate to say that being an Aussie! But his very first conversation with John Conner is as bland as my wallpaper, and it didn’t get much better. It seemed he was there for his physique and nothing more. However, Arnie has not lost his effect within this franchise, and while the script is weak, he was a welcome addition. He has not lost any of his powerful screen presence.

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Not a perfect movie by any means, but I had a lot of fun watching it. My father actually preferred it to Fury Road! He is a little crazy though.

2 beers short of a six-pack.

4/6