Reviewing the Terminator Genisys

Reviewing the Terminator Genisys

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back again. The Terminator franchise attempted to stumble out of the wreckage that was Salvation, the critically savaged sequel with the participation of its original model and also with the lavish endorsement of James Cameron, the series co-creator. We were told that Salvation ‘sucked’ and it was a new dawn with Terminator Genisys. In this alternate timeline, the only important history was one concerned with the genius of the splendidly cheesy The Terminator of 1984 and its superior and sleek follow-up Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This is the kind of thing that avid fans of the franchise are desperate to hear.

But, alas! Terminator Genisys turns out to be nothing more than a part reboot, part remake and mostly failure. Even though the movie was sold with a promise of returning to its roots and also bringing innovation for the new generation, the sequel of Alan Taylor, director of Thor: The Dark World, uses the iconicism of the first two movies, but doesn’t manage to achieve much in its own right. Jason Clarke’s John Connor sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time for protecting his mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from the Terminator. Just like the original movie, Reese arrives in 1984.

However, the timeline is altered somehow because of something called ‘nexus’ and we see Sarah protecting Kyle. A version of the Terminator, which is re-christened the Guardian and played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is helping them and he has looked out for Sarah since she was orphaned in her childhood due to an attack on her family by these machines. The guardian finds Sarah’s affection to him baffling in any timeline and she calls him ‘Pops’. Cameron’s original is recreated by Taylor in the first hour. We see a naked CGI Arnold blasted out from his time-traveling orb, a cigar-chomping driver in a yellow dump truck and the punks are also present.

The feathercut Kyle boasted has gone, but he still shows off the Nike brand by pulling on his stolen high tops. This is an elaborate and nostalgic exercise, which may confuse the newcomer, but will delight the fans. The second half of the film turns out to be a parody of everything that made the first few films unique. The lore is rewired and disconnected, but an entertaining ride for anyone who enjoyed the originals. Because of the 12A certification, Genisys lacks the wallop packed by the first two movies.

Cameron’s movies were unusual for mainstream cinema because of the violence they depicted. Everything felt real, from the horror of the Terminator flaying an arm to make a point or fixing an arm socket for being murderous without thought. This all incited fear and this is exactly what Genisys lacks. The film comes off as soft, techie and phoney. Salvation may have bored you to tears, but this one is sad as this is just a dummy of a once amazing franchise. It is heartbreaking to watch Arnie do the same old stuff such as the slang and the terrible robo-smile.

Too much machines and not enough gore seems to be the real flaw. Yet, there is talk of two more of these. It seems that the machines really have won.

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