Terminator Genisys (2015)

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Terminator Genisys (2015)
  • Time: 126 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Alan Taylor
  • Cast: Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney

Storyline:

When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future…

8 comments

  • It’s hard to figure out who’s playing John Connor these days (the seminal character from the Terminator franchise). We’re talking four films and four different actors who look nothing alike. You have Edward Furlong from T2 (he’s still working but I haven’t noticed), Nick Stahl from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (lately he’s been procreating the rehab thing), Christian Bale from Terminator Salvation (here’s a movie mogul who’s already too big for his britches), and now Jason Clarke from Terminator Genisys (my latest review). Frankly, the casting directors seem to have been working overtime and now I’ve gotten to the point where I could care less. As for the plot workings of every Terminator casing, I get it. Skynet needs to fall, Judgement Day needs to be stopped, Sarah Connor needs to be protected, yada yada yada. Honestly, I just wanna see action, Arnold with his prickly one-liners and yes, more action. “Genisys” sadly, is more of a time traveling undertaking than anything else. And as far as those types go, the complicated ones just make my head hurt and my you know what itch. Yeesh!

    Now I get a lot of flak for this, but my favorite installment in this heralded film franchise has always been Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (followed by the first two outings from 84′ and 91′). It’s the least complicated, has the tightest editing, contains the foxiest villain (T-X played by Kristanna Loken), and oh what a chase sequence (complete with the destruction of marked police cars, semi-trucks, and deluxe motorcycles). It’s a popcorn flick and something you view during the opening days of summer. Terminator Genisys on the other hand, comes off as a watered-down version of everything doomsday. What’s on screen is about as worthy as 2009’s Terminator Salivation (mentioned earlier) and that can’t be good.

    Anyway, I’m not predicting the future here (a huge topic concerning any synthetic intelligence exercise) but you gotta wonder how Terminator Genisys would do at the box office minus Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m thinking it would not break even or just veer towards direct-to-video territory. Granted, this is Terminator as choppy, tedious art film fodder. The performances (featuring actors/actresses Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, and J.K. Simmons) aren’t entirely compelling, the film score adds no element of darkness or despair, and the action scenes (of the bloodless, PG-13 variety) seem as prosaic as ever. I will say though that director Alan Taylor effectively channels his inner Transcendence (2014). A lot of special effects shots give off a serious whiff of all things graphite and glitter (no pun intended on the Donald Fagen ditty, “I.G.Y.”).

    All in all, I would skip this 2015 release and just stick to the essentials (Terminators 1, 2, and 3). And if you decide to retaliate on my review and waste your $10, watch for Arnie blurting out his signature gab, “I’ll be back”. You’ll exit the theater thinking why and how that could effectively be possible.

    Of note: (Spoiler alert) the biggest thing that irked me about “Genisys” was how it contained scenes altering various occurrences in 1984’s The Terminator. You have Arnold’s T-800 being eliminated early on with pretty much just one gunshot (please). As intimidating and devastating as his monster was in the classic original, this is nothing but a pure insult to any fan of the franchise. Also, the iconic Sarah Connor (now played by Emilia Clarke) is not a waitress in 1984. Instead, she’s a soldier predetermined with an itchy trigger finger. Clarke though, sadly fails to resemble any sort of badassery that Linda Hamilton showed later on in the series.

    Rating: 2 out of 4 stars

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in his most iconic role in Terminator: Genisys, the latest attempt to milk money out of the blockbuster franchise. Like this year’s Mad Max: Fury Road and Jurassic World and the upcoming Ghostbusters, Genisys positions itself as a new breed of reboot – one that pays heed to, whilst simultaneously revising, the canon by cherry-picking some narrative strands and disregarding others. In this case, screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier return audiences to the events of the original The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It’s a wise gambit, considering the hollow bombast of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the dreary drudgery of Terminator: Salvation.

    Compared to Jurassic Park and, to a lesser degree, Mad Max, the Terminator mythology lends itself to limitless possibilities. This is, after all, a film whose main theme is tinkering with the narrative to rewrite the outcome. Kalogridis and Lussier seem to understand this, and that understanding frees their ambitions. Genisys contends with at least four time periods – 1973, 1984, 2017, and the post-apocalyptic future of 2029 – and at least two timelines, which can be migraine-inducing if you choose to pay close attention to the plotting.

    The opening prologue sets the groundwork. Skynet, a computer program designed to automate missile defense, decided that humanity was a threat to its existence and decimated most of mankind during 1997’s Judgment Day. Those who survived looked to John Connor (Jason Clarke) as their saviour to win the uprising against Skynet’s killing machines. The rebellion does claim victory, but not before Skynet sends back the original T-800 (Schwarzenegger) back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), thereby preventing the birth of the future leader of the resistance. John’s trusted disciple and friend, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), volunteers to go back in time to save Sarah, unaware of the fact that he is also going back in time to father his best friend.

    It is at the point of Kyle’s departure that the new narrative is established. He witnesses John being attacked by an advanced Terminator (Matt Smith), the consequences of which will come as no surprise to those who have seen the film’s spoiler-heavy trailers. As Kyle travels back in time, he begins to recall childhood memories which he never lived through. One memory, in particular, is a warning from his younger self: Genisys is Skynet. When Kyle finally arrives in 1984, he quickly realises this version of Sarah is not the damsel in distress he expected. In fact, in this timeline, Sarah was saved by the T-800 when she was nine years old and the android has since served as her mentor, protector, and father figure. She and “Pops,” as this T-800 version has been nicknamed, have already dispatched of the other T-800 programmed to kill her. The showdown between Schwarzenegger and his younger self is about as amazing as one could hope for, though it lasts briefer than one would expect. After saving Kyle from the deadly, shapeshifting T-1000 (Byung-hun Lee), Sarah and Pops inform him of the new mission: to destroy Skynet and avert Judgment Day.

    Certainly Genisys is a far better offering that the last two installments, but that’s damning with faint praise. There are some exciting action sequences, but the narrative is inelegantly executed (there is still expository dialogue past the halfway mark) and, ultimately, the elasticity of the narrative conceit is what diminishes the humanity of the tale. How can one invest in any of the characters when most of them can be regenerated or reconstituted through narrative loopholes? The romance between Sarah and Kyle fails to ignite, much less simmer. This is partly due to the lack of chemistry between Clarke and Courtney, and mostly due to the attention spent setting up the dysfunctional triangle between Pops, Sarah, and Kyle. There is nothing wrong with emotional dysfunction – remember John Connor’s parentage – but the screenwriters don’t quite nail the self-aware, tongue-in-cheek tone required to make the squabbling work. Instead, Kyle and Sarah come off as bickering teenagers being chaperoned by a humourless, leather-clad Austrian.

    More interestingly, Sarah bristles against the predestined coupling between herself and Kyle, and one does wonder what territory could have been charted had Sarah hesitated between fate and free will. If that narrative had been nurtured, then a more resourceful actress than Clarke would be required. Clarke is a lovely young woman, and it’s impossible not to watch her even as it’s impossible to ignore how terribly wrong she is in the role. She can’t quite modulate her performance and she most definitely cannot pull off an inherently laughable line like, “I was raised by a machine to kill cyborgs and survive the nuclear apocalypse.” Courtney has his own set of problems, namely that – his appearance in the Divergent series notwithstanding – he tends to disappear when cast in big budget action films. The Australian is a fine actor with solid potential – see Unbroken and The Water Diviner – but you’d never know it from watching him here.

    Of course, Schwarzenegger has always been the main attraction, and the filmmakers have come up with a technological solution that ensures his involvement, in one form or another, for as long as this franchise lives. It’s been said by many a fan and critic that a Terminator film isn’t a Terminator film without Schwarzenegger in it. His absence in Salvation would lend credence to that as would the lack of any viable Terminators to take his place. However, I would argue that the franchise can do without its seemingly indispensable star. What it cannot do without is the presence of James Cameron at the helm. The franchise has never been the same since he left. Jonathan Mostow, McG, and now Alan Taylor have had their turns at bat and none of them come close to touching Cameron’s flair for action and special effects, which he underpinned with compelling human drama.

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  • Movie Name : Terminator Genisys
    Genre : Sci-fi / Action / Drama
    Rating : 3 / 5 Good

    ” Old but not obsolete. Arnie is definitely back !!! ”

    Way back in 1984, James Cameron created The Terminator franchises which was adored followed by highly critical and respectable Terminator 2. Subsequent follow ups could not live up to the expectations which raised a question whether Terminator Genisys will bring back its lost glory ? Well, it managed to raise the bar with few shorting comings.

    To protect Sarah Conor(Emily Clarke), John Connor( Jason Clarke) sends Sgt. Kyle Reese( Jai Courtney) back to the past. However, the past has been reset and Kyle lands himself in an unexpected turns of events when he, Sarah and the Guardian ( Arnold Schwarzenegger) must fight to stop the judgement day.

    Sky-high expectations from Alan Taylor, previously credited with Thor:The Dark World, will disappoint you as the amateur director spoils the direction with loose screenplay. However, if you are fan of the Termanitor series, you will enjoy the ride. The opening scene, the clash between old and the new Arnold is eye-catching. T-1000 metal liquid car chase and subsequent fight scene is applauding. The moment they time-travel to the future, the screenplay becomes haywire. The story becomes complicated and will complex you. It is here an experienced would have handled the script better. The hospital scene was wafer-thin and wasting excellent actor like J.K.Simmons. The silver-lining is the beautifully shot climax scene in the Cyberdine System. Visual effects were impressive and action sequence on the Golden Gate bridge was the highlight of the film. Editing could have been better. Art direction and cinematography were amazing. Dialogues were nice. Emily Clarke was certainly no better as Sarah Connor. She should work on her expression. Jason Clarke as John Cnnor was nice. Jai as Kyle was impressive. Coming to the man of the moment- Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Termanitor series is incomplete without him. The actor, as usual, has less dialogue delivery but is expressive and impressive with his acting skills.

    Overall, as a fan of the Terminator, it was good entertainment.

    – Ketan Gupta

  • Quickie Review:

    Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is sent back to 1984 by the leader of the human resistance John Connor (Jason Clarke), to protect his mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). When Kyle arrives, everything is not as it used to be. Sarah and Kyle, in their quest to safeguard the future make unexpected allies and face dangerous enemies. Terminator Genisys aims to reset the timeline of the all the stories that have come before to try and bring a fresh new take on the franchise. While that is a good idea in principle, the execution of the plan is not a complete success. Arnold Schwarzenegger is still a great Terminator, and he is the highlight of the movie. There also some clever tie-ins with the previous movies. However, the action scenes were nothing special, the villain’s motive seems lacking, and the chemistry between Sarah and Kyle was just plain annoying. Terminator Genisys is yet another let down in the franchise.

    Full Review:

    I love the first two Terminator movies, even decades later they are still amongst the best sci-fi action movies ever made. So you would think I would hate the idea of those stories being reset by Terminator Genisys. Quite the contrary, I like the idea of an alternate timeline because then the writers aren’t shackled to what has come before and tell fresh new stories. Though they did take advantage of that freedom, the end result was not completely satisfying.

    Arnold Schwarznegger, our favourite Terminator is back! I was a little concerned that they will keep making jokes on how old he is. They do point it out, but he is still kicking major butts in all the action scenes and still is that likeable socially clueless robot. I also thought the relationship that Sarah Connor and the Terminator had was really interesting. It was a great evolution of Sarah’s feelings towards him from fear in Terminator, to hesitant alliance in Terminator 2, to now a complete embrace of him as almost a surrogate father. It was as if they were paying homage to John’s and Terminator’s relation in Terminator 2, where Sarah contemplated that he may be the best father figure John could ever have. There are lot of these homages in the movie that I really appreciated. I’ll leave them for you to find, but I recommend re-watching the first two films for the easter egg hunting.

    Reading those positives, you might be wondering what was so wrong that I rated the movie so low? Well, I’ll explain. First of all, the action in this movie is very generic. It’s not that it was poorly shot, it was simply not memorable. Once again we have Golden Gate Bridge chase, Terminator being thrown through walls and windows, terminators taking on absurd amount of bullets as they moved slowly across the hall. Nothing about it excited me. Second, the constant bickering between Sarah and Kyle was almost unbearable to watch. I get that they aren’t exactly on the same page in the beginning of the movie, so there will be some clashing, but this kept on going for far too long. Third, I’m not going to say who the villain is in case you managed to skip the trailers, but his motive was completely non-existent. He was just doing villainous things because he is the bad guy, that’s it.

    In the end, I can’t really recommend this movie to watch in the cinema. Yes, it’s bit better than Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation, but that doesn’t mean it’s a worthy sequel. Suffice to say I will not be back to see it again.

    Check out more on my blog: thestubcollector.wordpress.com

  • One of the many franchises to get rebooted this summer is the Terminator franchise which awoke quite a divisive reaction from almost everyone who was a fan of the earlier movies. Terminator Genisys which is intended to be both a sequel and a reboot picks up in 2027 where John Conner (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future.

    Read full review at: https://theblazingreel.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/movie-review-terminator-genisys-2015/

  • Tony Barton

    Terminator Genisys is the fifth movie in the series and sees Arnold Schwarzenegger in his most famous role as the futuristic Cyborg. He’s supported by Jason Clarke as John Conner, Emilia Clarke as Sarah Conner, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese. The Movie is directed by Alan Taylor and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier.

    The year is 2029 and leader of the resistance, John Conner, undertakes one last assault on Sky-net. However, Sky-net responds by sending a Terminator back to the year 1984 to kill his mother…..Sarah. His right hand man Kyle, volunteers to do a spot of time travelling in order to save her, but just as he’s leaving through the portal, notices John being attacked by a resistance fighter.

    Soon after her arrival in 1984, Sarah aided by her Guardian (Schwarzenegger) manage to disable the Terminator. Soon afterwards, Kyle arrives and immediately finds himself under attack from a Terminator (Lee Byung-Hun). However, after a struggle, they manage to destroy the Terminator, using acid, which gives them the time they need to discuss their next move.

    Sarah tells Kyle that she intends to travel to 1997, in a makeshift time portal, that she had built with her guardian. Kyle is convinced that the future as been altered however and convinces her to travel to 2017 to destroy Sky-net. Sarah and Kyle end up in the middle of a busy Highway in 2017 and are immediately arrested by the police. Sarah and Kyle discover that Sky-net is soon to be launched worldwide as Genisys, a new complex operating system. John appears and rescues them, but is then shot by her Guardian and revealed as an as an advanced Terminator. It then emerges that the resistance fighter that Kyle saw attacking John, was in fact Sky-net in disguise. As a result, John was transformed in to a Terminator and Given the task of ensuring the development of Genisys.

    Sarah and Kyle manage to escape and start to formulate a plan to bring down Genisys and change the course of history. However, their chances of success are slim at best, with the odds seemingly getting worse by the minute.

    Terminator Genisys holds few surprises and some people may find the use of flashbacks a little frustrating. That said, I think the movie has enough going for it to ensure that fans of the franchise aren’t disappointed.

  • First off I’m not a Terminator fanboy, I’ve never considered any of the movies close to becoming a classic, but I enjoyed them for the most part even as they deteriorated in quality with each subsequent release.

    The 1984 original had a fantastic story but was let down considerably by the cheap and nasty sfx. Conversely T2 lacked a decent story but made up for it with (for it’s time) state of the art sfx. T3 was decent and had my favorite John Connor of the franchise but lacked focus and had way too many gags. T4 went A-list with Bale and Worthington but again lacked a decent and captivating story and fell short.

    So I wasn’t expecting a classic when I finally saw Genisys, but I still expected something a little more engaging than this mess. If truth be told, they’re blatantly running out of ideas and just decided to throw previous story lines into one big apocalyptic stew. We get young Arnie, old Arnie, we go back to 1984, we get the T-1000, we get Sarah Connor in the 80s and also in future time, the romance between Sarah and Kyle, we get John in the future fighting Skynet, we get Kyle going back to 1984 again, and all these things mixed together with little nods and winks to the original audiences that have followed the franchise over the years. And it’s a mess.

    I rated it 6 because it’s not essentially an awful movie, the set pieces are very well done, there’s lots of action and the cast are adequate, but as far as it being a Terminator movie it feels like it’s going nowhere fast and just retreading old ground. There’s a lot of bad here. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have Sarah Connor constantly refer to Arnie as “Pops” needs to choose another career, because that was making me cringe, along with Arnie’s “cheesy grin” gags that popped up a few times.

    This franchise has completely run out of steam and when the “bad” movies outnumber the “good” in a series it’s time to terminate.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the most popular actors of his time during the 1980s. His ability to rack up the body count and spew out catchy one liners was uncanny to say the least, especially for a foreign born actor. Fans love to recount his most famous roles but if there’s ever one that he will forever be remembered for, that is his portrayal of the terminator throughout James Cameron’s Terminator franchise. Unfortunately like all original movies with sequel after sequel, the franchise began to show its age. Fans of series were far from impressed with Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) and McG’s Terminator: Salvation (2009). To be honest, they were not terrible films. What viewers didn’t enjoy about them was they did not follow the same vein as the first two. The problem was that it was difficult to surpass the second act. Finally, fans saw Schwarzenegger return as the T-800 to this sequel that even creator James Cameron himself proclaimed to be the official sequel to T2 and the best sequel yet. So it was said.

    There is no doubt that the crew behind this looked to satisfy the large fan base. Yet, there were certain decisions that were made that seem careless. The biggest problem that outraged many fans was the trailer, which immediately spoiled the film by revealing John Connor was a terminator. This drops a lot of buildup to a surprising reveal. The plot to this story takes place during 2029. John Connor (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) just about defeat Skynet when the cycle begins all over again and a terminator is sent back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). Reese is sent back but learns that things have changed and has leaped into another timeline where everything he thought is the exact opposite. The script was written by Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander (2004) and Shutter Island (2010)) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry (2011)) and for the most part it works. Even the John Connor spoiler was fine, that fault is on marketing.

    A component of the writing that is harder to come to grips with is the timeline element. The movie tries to sound sophisticated by having Arnold state scientific facts and information, but the whole idea sounds convoluted. However this can be skimmed over because no one knows for sure if this is really true, so audiences could suspend their disbelief. Here’s where it gets confusing though, Cameron clearly stated that this is the 3rd official sequel to that of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). So why is it that some of the plot points within this movie’s script have references to that of Terminator: Salvation (2009)? The film even deliberately ignores the events of McG’s movie yet still indirectly references it? Which is it then? One other part of the writing that wasn’t completely needed was unnecessary added roles. Specifically, J.K. Simmons and Byung-hun Lee play characters that are just there for convenience or nostalgia and not much else. There’s no need to cram in everything.

    There is still a good amount of enjoyment to get in return though. Even with script’s occasional overbloatedness, viewers of the film will have a nice ride surfing the wave of nostalgia the film provides. This wave is big; it has both auditory and visual references to the older films and even switches up the role of who does what (since it is an alternate timeline and all). The dialog equally matches the scenes filmed and the actors play off each other well. Schwarzenegger returns as the T-800 and continues to perform at his best. The dialog he’s given feels no different than it was back in T2. Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke have amiable chemistry, plus their development in their relationship isn’t forced either. Even with all the flack Courtney has gotten for other films, he sounds like he’s legitimately doing his best. Jason Clarke does his best too and although his role lost the buildup it could have had, he too acts like John Connor would. His scar makeup is grizzly looking.

    With the passing of special effects wiz Stan Winston in 2008, this second Terminator film does not receive his personal blessing. However, the special effects still look decent in action. Perhaps the only part that doesn’t look right is the fully robotic T-800. They do not have the same tangible appearance like the others from past films. The cinematography is well lit, clear and has plenty of wide scope shots to boot. The director of photography for this sequel was Kramer Morgenthau who also worked on Thor: The Dark World (2013) with director Alan Taylor (who directed this sequel). Producing the film score is Scottish composer Lorne Balfe. Thankfully, Balfe continues to reuse Brad Fiedel’s main theme from the original films and has the right emotional cues for the softer moments as well. The executive music producer was none other than Hans Zimmer and anyone who follows scores should be able to pick where Zimmer influenced it. It could be worse but it isn’t.

    The writing can get a bit confusing and it also has some unnecessary role casting but it doesn’t bring it down too much. The main cast works very hard, the action is entertaining and the music sticks appropriately to its roots. Now if only the marketing department left out the huge John Connor spoiler in their trailers.

    Points Earned –> 6:10

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