After the critical flop that was Terminator Salvation, you’d think studio executives would look for new creative ideas, hire better screenwriters, and stop rehashing franchises that should have ended decades ago. I need to stop getting my hopes up. Terminator Genisys is directed by Alan Taylor and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, and Emilia Clarke.
I cannot tell you anything about the story because no matter how hard I try, something about the movie will be spoiled for you. I am not kidding, this film’s plot is more confusing than The Matrix, Inception, and Interstellar combined! It’s a shame that the writers have no idea what the word “continuity” means. This movie tries to tie in to the timeline of the first Terminator film, but instead of simply explaining some plot holes and telling the backstory, it completely rewrites what was set in stone over 30 years ago. There are a few things they explain, and the first 15 minutes of the movie adequately explains how The Terminator began, but the rest of the movie is ridiculously convoluted. If you know me, you’ll know that I value the story of the movie far more than the acting, F/X, or direction. That is why I love movies like The Imitation Game, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and pretty much anything written by Christopher Nolan more than say: Avatar (which focused on its visuals), Gladiator (which focused on its actors), or Frozen (which ripped off The Lion King). The story is the most important part of the entire production, period. You know why? Without a script, you cannot make a movie. Without characters the audience can relate and get connected to, why should the audience be invested in their endeavors? Without action scenes and a solid sense of pacing, the story will hold no tension or suspense. Get my point? This movie does not. Surprising since Laeta Kalogridis wrote the screenplay for Shutter Island, a very complicated, suspenseful, and well-thought-out movie.
Besides the story, there is little to talk about. One thing I was concerned about was 68 year old Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to being an action hero. However, (much like Chris Pratt in Jurassic World) he really surprised me! He is easily the best part of this movie, he has the best jokes, the best bad*** moments, and he is the best actor. As for the rest of the cast, ehh they’re decent. Jason Clarke does ham it up in quite a few scenes, and Emilia Clarke is no Linda Hamilton, but she’s not horrid either. The CGI is also fantastic, it is significantly better than Terminator Salvation, although the T-1000 does not look as impressive as the T-1000 from Terminator 2. The action is cool to look at, but it is nowhere near the level of intensity that the first two Terminator movies had (probably because shaky-cam is omnipresent).
This movie could have been great. It had the F/X, the actors, and the source material to boot. Unfortunately, the story screws up the continuity so badly that it partially ruined the original movies for me. That is UNFORGIVABLE. The Terminator films have influenced action films like no other, and to see this movie try to rewrite those gems of cinema with such incompetence is insulting! Terminator Genisys gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a D.