As the bad reviews started to pour in, I contemplating not even writing this review and tearing up my ticket. It would have been a better decision than going through the mind numbing and painful experience that was Terminator Genisys. And I’m kind of mad James Cameron gave his thumbs up towards this atrocious excuse for the Terminator movie. I’ll warn you that spoilers are below and no, I’m not doing a spoiler-free review like I did for Inside Out, because only good movies should be reviewed spoiler free.
This movie starts with the usual Terminator intro montage, Skynet went sentient, nuked the living heck out of everything and this movie picks up with John Connor(Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese(Jai Courtney) leading the assault against Skynet’s time machine and starting the events that lead to the first Terminator movie. Although, this occurs with a twist because Skynet has decided to start screwing with the timeline. But it appears Skynet isn’t the only one who decided to screw up the timeline, the director and screenwriter didn’t know what the heck it should be either. The Terminator series seemed to have come to grips with the fact that Judgment Day was inevitable. We had one movie where they attempted to stop it in T2, another attempt with T3, but at least that movie ended with the realization above. Skynet is going to happen, its just a matter of how will you stop it from wiping out humanity permanently. Even Salvation, with all of it’s issues, still maintained this fact. No more going back to the past, Connor is alive so let’s see how he organizes the resistance.
This time, they are trying to ignore that and start anew although with many changes that don’t sit well. Apparently major changes between timelines can leave a memory imprint on someone so strong that they remember it regardless of not being from that timeline. Yeah, that’s the crux of the movie. The only reason they jump forward to the correct point in time is because Kyle Reese remembered a non-existent event because of major changes to the blah blah blah. I can’t give that any more attention or my mind will crawl out my ears.
Look, Terminator time travel rules haven’t always made sense, but this one really takes the cake. Add on top of that the wooden acting by most of the actors, (And they dragged J.K. Simmons into this? Shame) and I was left with a horrible taste in my mouth for most of the flick. What will drive you up the wall more is the missed opportunity to create something special here. They had some great ideas put forth in this film, just none of it came together to make a decent film. Where I can give the movie some praise? There were some attempts to recreate the John Connor/T-800 relationship from T2 in this movie with the Pops T-800 (Schwarzenegger) and Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) who gets rescued at an earlier age because of timeline changes. (It’s never explained who the mystery person is who sent this T-800 version back in time; why am I not surprised?) This could have really been cool if had been given time to grow. But as an audience member, you will most likely be so lost from other plot points that these moments get glossed over. In comparison, they did a better job with Kyle/Sarah and Kyle/Pops relationship than they did with Sarah and Pop, but not by much. Emilia Clarke really looks similar to Linda Hamilton in a few scenes. While that wasn’t enough to make me like this film, if they were intent on making more, I think she had the look nailed down and was believable.
More things to rip into would be the CGI; they did a great job with the new T-3000, but that was about it. Everything else looked so crappy, the young CGI Arnold model wasn’t convincing at all, and the helicopter scene at the end took the cake scenes that looked like my young niece had rendered them. Machine fights were nice, but they weren’t anything we have already seen before.
My grade for this film is a 5 out of 10. There’s some cool moments, but they are far and few between. The plot will make you scratch your head a few times while watching and it won’t be for a good reason. And you’ll mostly be disappointed by the missed chance at something really cool.
If you are going to be silly enough to watch this film, apparently you’ll need to stay and see the end credits scene where surprise, Skynet is fully aware and survived the blast??? I’m so done with this crap