Terminator: Genisys [MOVIE REVIEW]

I cannot remember the last time I have seen so many critics and friends I trust just completely hate on a big movie part of a franchise like this. From the stupid title to the ridiculous synopsis and the terrible trailers that seemed to spoil so much that you would think would be a twist in the film. Nothing seemed to go well for 'Terminator: Genisys' (I still feel really stupid typing "Genisys")... so now after I have seen it, was the hate warranted?

Surprise, surprise people! The movie with the bad title, the bad trailers, the bad posters, the bad synopsis, the bad plot, the bad acting (in the trailers) and the bad writers... is in fact a bad film! The absolute best way to describe this movie is the word "clusterfuck" because that is quite literally what it is. In fact, get a dictionary and look up that word and you will see a picture of the 'Terminator Genisys' poster on there right next to 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'. I would even go as far as saying 'Terminator Genisys' is the 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' of 2015... which is just depressing. Now you may think that I am blowing it out of proportion just so I can hate on the movie - check out my reviews of 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' and 'Terminator Salvation', I do not want to hate on this franchise just because it does not have James Cameron behind the wheel. For me this just managed to tick so many points necessary to make me angry and somehow did it while I was still aware that all the promotional materials leading up to the film sucked and that the early reaction from critics was not good. It may have to do with the fact that I actually got into it in the beginning. It felt like the movie actually might be good at the start and we got to see things we had not seen before - and then it just goes insane.

This is a film that takes so many elements of the previous installments of the franchise and pretty much deletes their existence in order for this new movie to work. It includes the setup of both the first and the second and then just goes absolutely crazy and change the timeline completely. When 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' erased the past to set up a better future - it worked perfectly because 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' sucked so now they were erased from the timeline. Here in 'Terminator Genisys' however, they erase the timeline from the 2 good Terminator movies. What we get is such a clusterfuck of things happening. In fact what made the most sense in the film was the explanation for why the Terminator looks old now which I liked and kind of worked. What did not work though was the "effect" him being old would have inside of him. He says "I'm old, not obsolete" in 1984 (which is a great line by the way) and then later on in the 2017 his arm suddenly starts to slightly malfunction so he punches a table with it in order for it to work normally again. He then turns to Kyle Reese and says "old" which Kyle responds with "but not obsolete". Clearly this is written like a setup for the Terminator having certain limitations now. He would probably not work as properly as he should which could raise the tension... but then it is not brought up for the rest of the film. It added nothing to the story which just begs the question... why was that scene in there?

There are people who are going to walk in expecting to see Matt Smith and if you are one of those people - do not see the film because of him, you will be disappinted. Despite the fact that he was one of the four actors they got on the cover of Entertainment Weekly (it was literally him next to Kyle Reese, John Connor and Sarah Connor) - he only has about 3 minutes of screentime and he is not even really physically present during most of them. He appears so little in the film I am surprised they even put his name in the opening of the film. For the little time he got though, he was great and it was a lot of fun to see him on the big screen. He needed more screentime though and I am not just saying that as a fan - he needed more screentime because his role was such a vital part of the film. When he first shows up - it is right out of nowhere and it is portrayed like it is some kind of twist when it really is not because we have no clue who the hell he is. I know I am spending quite a lot of space talking about an actor and character who only appeared in 3 minutes tops but this is what you get. Quite literally the only reason why I will see the next Terminator movie is to see more of him in the film because it really felt like he was wasted. 

I was really looking forward to seeing J.K Simmons in this movie - but then when he shows up he is just another one of those generic stock-characters who knows something that others does not and they will not believe him. Of course he stumbles over his words and he drops the papers he has in his hand and the cops are just ignoring him, thinking he is just a lunatic. This has been done to death I was almost expecting him to come back in the end as a bad guy like 'Batman Forever', 'Batman and Robin', 'The Incredibles', 'Iron Man 3' and 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'. The thing here though, there is absolutely no reason for the cops not to believe what he is saying. I will do my best not to actually reveal what it is but basically... J.K Simmons has the actually proof in his hands - and they just do not buy it even though literally every single aspect surrounding what happened supports what he is saying. Then when that is done... J.K Simmons practically disappears. He is completely dropped from the film and is never even mentioned afterwards. When looking back at it I am just thinking... was there really no way to write this without J.K Simmons character?

The best part about the film though by far is naturally Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. He is a lot of fun in this role and it is awesome to see him again and he nails every moment. Second place has to go to Jason Clarke as John Connor. If I were to choose between him and Christian Bale in 'Terminator Salvation' I would have to go with Clarke because he felt more like the character to me. He talked more like a person and actually laughed a bit while Christian Bale's version of the character was just super serious, one-note and boring. Sadly though of course John Connor becomes a terminator later on (this is apparently not a spoiler according to the filmmakers after they showed it in the trailer) which is when the film completely falls apart for me. Also whatever they say about them revealing the "twist" in the trailer being okay - it totally is not. It is 100% set up in the film like it is supposed to be some kind of big twist that we were not supposed to know.

Alan Taylor's direction is decent, and that is possibly all I can say about it. The movie looks good for the most part but it really feels like he comes short on getting good performances out of the actors because even though I just praised several actors... I know they can all do better than this. The only one I felt was just as good as he can be is Jai Courtney... and he is bland and boring like usual.

I usually do not complain about PG-13 in movies but here I feel it needs to be said. PG-13 is ruining movies. Seeing as I re-watched all the Terminator movies in preparation for this one I still have them fresh in my memory so watching 'Terminator Genisys' and seeing the PG-13 splashed across the screen when I know where this franchise came from... is just depressing. No I do not crave nudity for the sake of nudity but if the movie is very obviously going out of its way to cover it up through strategically placed camera angles and lighting... it just looks like a cheap way to get more people to see it. The Terminator franchise is not PG-13... it is R. When John Connor gets shot by the T-800 you do not see any bullet holes (he shot him with a freaking shotgun) and you do not see any blood until much later on the ground. This is a pussified Terminator movie made specifically to make money. Simple as that. It did not have an artistic vision behind it, it was not made to continue the story or even be a Terminator movie and there is no way you can tell me different when it does not even look like the first 2 Terminator movies in terms of gritty action.

'Terminator Genisys' is the worst Terminator movie and it is one of the worst movies I have seen all year so far. It wastes several actors, it poorly justifies its existense, the plot is completely nonsensical and erases 'The Terminator' and 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' from existense and apart from some nice looking CGI - it has still not gotten any better in comparison to what we got in the second film over 20 years ago. I do think however you might enjoy it because it does have its moments, the problem for me is those moments happen far too rarely for it to make a real impact. It is just a big convoluted clusterfuck of a movie and I cannot wait for others to completely tear it apart when it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray (Mr. Plinkett return?) because there is a lot of material to talk about.


- Lucas


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