Terminator: Genisys Review
I wish I could have walked out with a smile like this after seeing "Terminator: Genisys."
What has always surprised me is that the "Terminator" franchise is ripe for different ideas and possibilities, and it could have been a franchise full of longevity. It could have been one of our most long-lasting series' that we continually got giddy for. But somehow, the dream died. I feel like when James Cameron, that was the moment the dream died, because the franchise was never the same after his departure. I know from the marketing for "Terminator: Genisys" that Cameron says it is a rebirth for the series. That is a bold statement from the guy that got this all up and running. That is bold statement to get people to go and buy tickets. James Cameron in the marketing shows that Genisys really is a new beginning, something exciting that we will never forget.
There are a couple of things "Terminator: Genisys" gets right. I for one have always been fascinated by the future war. I have always loved what led Kyle Reese to back in time to protect John Connor's mother. When "Terminator: Salvation" came out in 2009, I was pumped to see the future war, and sadly not much of that movie really worked. Had "Terminator: Salvation" used the essence of the old "Terminator" movies and had a better storyline, we'd be raving about it still today. There is lots of awesome future war battles in the beginning of "Terminator: Genisys," but that is where it stops. It is only in the beginning, it is only used to wet our appetite for the movie to come. You know all the scenes of future war in the first two "Terminator" movies, that is about as much as we get, just more expensive. Those scenes are really cool, but just as the movie feels like it is going to kick in, the film begins to halt. I will also say that if you have loved Arnie in this series, you will love him again. Although I think he is both a curse and a blessing in this outing. I deeply felt that "Terminator: Genisys" was full of mistakes.
Mistake Number One: It caters too much to the PG-13 crowd. I get it, it is a PG-13 rated movie. But that doesn't automatically mean that a movie has to be bound by certain expectations and clichés. "The Dark Knight" was a movie that pushed the rating to absolute breaking point. For a reboot to two R-rated films to dial it back so much, you can just feel the water running off the movie. Why box in your own movie? Why custom build to fit a certain type of mold when there is already something so great to base it off of? Why not take the movie in a completely different direction entirely? Why do all blockbusters have to work the exact same way in order to be taken seriously? Cameron proved that the R-rating was just that...a rating. What you do with that rating and how made all the difference.
Mistake Number Two: The script was built to appease the teenage Twitter crowd. When Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) refers to her pet T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as "Pops," I cringed. When she tells Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) that he was designed to blend in and Arnie proceeded with several stupid jokes, I cringed. I am not sure if this movie was overall sillier than T3, but it comes shockingly close, and I found that highly preposterous.
Mistake Number Three: Trying to discuss this film's plot will cause a massive headache. The introduction to the film is basically a remake of the 1984 film up until Kyle Reese makes it to the mall, then it becomes an entirely different movie altogether. Then another, and another and another until I was exhausted by the whole thing. The entire introduction could have been whipped out the movie entirely, and the film would have still ended how it ended here. In fact, I kind of wish it did. I wish the movie explored the 2017 reality more, I wish it effected the characters more than it does. I liked that the film touched based with the idea of multiple timelines, but does nothing with the idea itself. The film focused on its worse qualities while its better qualities laid by the wayside.
I can tell you that Jason Clarke does what he can as John Connor, although I will say they ruin the character completely. I can tell you that J.K. Simmons is wildly entertaining as a certain police officer that our heroes run into on several occasions. I can also tell you that there was a certain crowd director Alan Taylor was trying to find with this movie, and I doubt he found it. This is probably going to enrage the fans of old-school "Terminator." I hope now, after the third attempt that no more "Terminator" movies will be made. Let's just leave it alone now.
FINAL GRADE: D+