"John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be."
I watched "Terminator Genisys" on Friday afternoon, but I'm writing my critique during the small hours of a Sunday morning and will backdate it to Saturday night. Why? Because time travel, that's why. If any of that confuses you, you probably shouldn't watch this movie, but you can still consider my introductory sentence to be a segue into yet another half-arsed review of a PG-13 Summer sci-fi/action movie which I don't really care about.
Yes, to cut a very long and convoluted story short, "Terminator Genisys" is pretty bad apart from all the 3D gimmicks, big bangs, and explosive action scenes. Fans of "The Terminator" will not be disappointed because, let's face it, if you are a true fan of this genre of craptacular spectacle then nothing anybody says will (or should) prevent you from liking it if you want to. Moviegoers who are used to such subtle things as sympathetic characterisation or a narrative which makes any bloody sense whatsoever should look elsewhere for entertainment.
The nostalgia brigade will undoubtedly be marvelling at the CGI which makes Arnold young again and then be lamenting at how old he looks in reality. The line, "Old but not obsolete!" gets repeated a number of times to make all the infantalised middle-aged men who are watching a movie meant for children feel better about their hero and themselves. I picked up on it too and thought it was sad.
|Terminator Genipiss in 3D! That's not gimmicky at all!|
On the plus side, the recreation of scenes from previous Terminator movies (particularly the first one) seem spot-on to me without being able to physically compare them side-by-side. Apart from Arnie, the other actors are completely different, but as continuity has never been an important factor in the Terminator series, criticism of this aspect is redundant. "Terminator Genisys" still looks the part and feels like a real Terminator movie, and it's much better action-wise than "Terminator 2: Judgment Day". I'd rather rewatch "Trancers" or "Timecop" than that kiddified shit ever again.
The action scenes and all the clever CGI nonsense in "Terminator Genisys" are actually pretty great, and there's hardly any lag in what really only amounts to a "chase movie" overall. Among the numerous tropes, the "Which one is the real one?" gag also gets played out just to remind those of us of a certain age of how many times "The Six Million Dollar Man", "The Bionic Woman", and even "The Gemini Man" TV shows pulled the same thing back in the day. Lazy writing, clearly, but this is only another typical Summer cash-grab after all. "Iron-Man 3" was much worse, so bite me (to coin a phrase).
It's not worth trying to get your head around how the alternative timeline doesn't match up to anything already known, negates the majority of the other sequels, and won't ever provide an answer to the paradoxes about how and why John Connor can be conceived by a couple who are in the wrong time for him to reach the right age to be a leader in the future war with Cyberdyne or Skynet (or whatever the hell it is), but then again, maybe he's no longer meant to exist. I can't work it out, and I really don't care that much to try to. It's all a load of horseshit anyway.
One ironic quirk is that Matt Smith from "Doctor Who" turns up in a small but important role which made me almost chuckle. I absolutely loathe the "Doctor Who" episodes which he starred in (not only because I'm a David Tennant fan), and in my opinion, none of them make any sense either. It's not Matt Smith's fault but the writers, of course, yet it provides an unfortunate in-joke for those of us in agreement about the matter.
Nerdy computer users waiting for Microsoft's much anticipated Windows 10 on July 29th will also grin at how the Genisys operating system is worked into the storyline, but all I could think of was how "Genesis" is spelled wrong and has nothing to do with the Sega Megadrive. Didn't get the last part? It's a Brit thing, don't worry about it.
|Yes, she gets nude again. No, you don't see anything.|
Ultimately, the best thing which "Terminator Genisys" has going for it is the chance to see Daenerys Targaryen from "Game of Thrones" as a brunette. Emilia Clarke is a worthy new Sarah Connor in that she's much better than Linda Hamilton but not quite as strong as Lena Headey. Yes, I really liked "The Sarah Connor Chronicles", and I'm still pissed off that it was cancelled.
Emilia's acting abilities aside, she reminds me a lot of Danielle Harris from certain angles but much sexier. She kind of gets nude too, but you don't see anything because this is a PG-13. Boo! Mind you, I'm sure there'll be a porn parody. "Sperminator Genitalpiss" anyone?
But that's quite enough of that. You can watch "Terminator Genisys" in 3D or 2D theatrically if you want, or save your money for the Blu-ray or DVD later in the year. You won't miss anything important by waiting.
"Terminator Genisys" is a polished turd, but it's still a turd like every other theatrical release so far this year. It makes me glad that I'm not reviewing movies anymore.