by Anthony Tyson 7/14/15
I love the terminator franchise. Hell, I could even get through the practically unbearable Terminator: Salvation due to my love for the franchise. With that said, I think I speak for everyone when I say that this franchise needed something amazing to put it back in the lime light. When I went into Terminator: Genisys, I put all expectations out of mind and for the first approximately twenty minutes- I thought this might be the Terminator we all wanted. As the movie progressed however, I was faced with the reality that the overall experience was just..... Meh.
The first thing that really stuck out to me, was that the action (in the beginning) was just amazing. As this movie starts out in the post-apocalyptic future, it begins with the battle that revealed the location of the time travel device used by 'Skynet' to transport the 'Terminator' from the original movie to the past. This battle has an amazing Bill Pullman-like speech from 'John Connor', and some insanely good futuristic action sequences. The heavy tone really worked, and so do the first scenes with 'Kyle Reese' and 'Sarah Connor'. Watching them take down the 'T-800' along with the older Arnold, followed then by the 'T-1000' as well, was just a damn fun time.
The unfortunate thing was that this was not to last, and the movie just starts losing itself as it goes on. The reason that this occurs is largely due to the lack of focus in the film. It starts by being an action sci-fi epic in the beginning, with a much more serious tone- and it works. With those epic battles in the beginning, and then the fight with the two terminators, you are invested! That all falls apart however, when the focus then drastically shifts towards a more romantic cheesy action flick after the first 30 minutes. Terrible one liners, nonsensical plots, a wasted JK Simmons role, and then a weird 'Skynet' child thing that reminds me of the god-child from Mass Effect 3. Not the best comparison if you are familiar with that game's controversial ending.
Then there is the "romance" between our two main characters, and the complete lack of any believable chemistry between them. Especially if you compare them to their original counterparts from the first film! Jai Courtney is as annoying as ever, playing the stereotypical guy role, and acting way too macho than he actually is. He comes off as stupid, and distracting- especially with the lines he throws out in dialogue between himself and Sarah. Speaking of, Sarah Connor is unfortunately ruined as a character here. Not only is her badass survivor mentality practically ruined by her Terminator savior in beginning, but she has such awful dialogue in general that just makes her come off as a whiny and pretentious little girl. Linda Hamilton would be gravely disappointed.
The major saving grace is also the most surprising however, as Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his iconic role. I was expecting so much cheese, that I was bracing for him to be awful. Fortunately however, he is a complete badass still and completely nails his lines with excellent timing. He is funny when needed, and also serious when required- which is fortunately most of the time. Between Terminator: Genisys and Maggie, I really think Arnold is back: I'm just worried audiences are too far out of touch to give him a chance. I only hope he gets it, as the movie managed to be decent enough that it does set up for a possibly compelling sequel.
Worth a watch in discount theaters for fans, rental for anyone else.