Terminator Genisys

Terminator Genisys

In Theatres: 
Jul 01, 2015
Running Time: 
126 minutes

The first two Terminator films will always remain the best of the franchise so it’s no surprise that Terminator Genisys would try and recapture their best moments by creating an alternate timeline in which Sarah Connor is well aware of what the future holds and doesn’t need Kyle Reese’s protection. The core concept remains the same; destroy Skynet and prevent and prevent the machines from taking over, but its journey there is anything but a straight line.


It’s the year 2029 and Skynet is in control of the world, but resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) and the rest of humanity have taken great strides in fighting against their machine overlords. Realizing the end is near, Skynet sends a terminator back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and prevent John from being born. John, knowing this was going to happen from the stories his mother told him as a child, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) into the past to protect her. It’s the same main plot line we’ve seen previously, only this time the past isn’t the same one we saw in the first Terminator as events have altered its reality.


Terminator Genisys is nothing more than a service to the fans, relying on all the best scenes and franchise catchphrases and adding a little twist to them. Sarah Connor isn’t some waitress who needs saving. She’s already a badass fighter by the time Reese arrives thanks to her own personal terminator protector she’s named Pops (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Apparently sending Reese back triggered a terminator being sent after her when she was just a child instead of in 1984 so she’s had years to learn of the impending nuclear apocalypse. How that happens is left up to the imagination and inevitable sequel should Genisys do well. Most of the story is that way. The time traveling, dimension alternating plot only gets more jumbled the longer you think about it.


Instead, the film is reduced to mindless action scenes meant to recall memories of happier Terminator times. Watching Pops take out a “fresher” T-800 model is awesome to watch. So is revisiting the T-1000, which features a great and stoic performance from Lee Byung-hun in the role that made Robert Patrick a household name. It’s all fun to watch, but Genisys doesn’t really add anything to the franchise. It’s just an excuse to cash in on the fandom and hear Arnold say, “I’ll be back” once more.


Genisys manages to separate itself from the previous films by turning John Connor into a new model Terminator and sending him back in time to kill both Sarah and Kyle, a twist that could have been interesting if it wasn’t spoiled by the trailers. It’s interesting to see the predicted hero and leader of the franchise become the villain, but the film fails capitalize on it by giving us the same battle for humanity between man and machine.


Terminator Genisys is entertaining, but doesn’t do anything to move the franchise forward, instead going back to the franchise’s roots for a nostalgic feeling. Unfortunately most of the story gets lost in its alternating timelines. Like a terminator, it’s a stylish shell with not much emotion.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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