Terminator: Genisys (2015)

I’ll be clear with this- I’m a big Terminator fan. Always have been. Ever since Judgement Day, I was completely hooked into Hollywood. In fact, Terminator 2 got me hooked into movies seriously in the first place. That being said, this review might turn out to be a bit biased but I think it’s not going to be the case.

So, Genisys. The name seems kinda off and hints at a completely different vantage point for the series- the genesis. But the trailers suggest otherwise. [Spoiler] The movie is basically a run-down of the first two movies with a lot of extras thrown in. And yeah, like the trailer suggests, everything changes. But was it good? Let’s find out.

Visuals

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One can notice a tremendous difference in the visual effects between the first two terminator movies. And with each and every release, the CGI just keeps getting better and better. Genisys is one nice treat to the eyes. This being a sci-fi movie, one would naturally expect a lot of cool gadgets and tech but the movie basically sticks to a few robots and a fancy technology-centre, which is all right considering the story setting and everything. Terminators never get old and it’s always cool to see Arnold’s face tear up slowly to reveal his true metallic interior.

The Relations

I can’t help but notice this. It was like Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor had the worst arranged marriage you could imagine; there was literally no escape from it. And this movie simply brought out that fact over and over again. Also, I didn’t feel any real connection between the two characters; felt as if the romance was there just for the sake of it- like in an actual arranged marriage in the beginning. And Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney didn’t seem to help.

And it’s okay for Sarah to be emotionally attached to the T-800 but a Terminator having feelings!? That was plain ridiculous. [Spoiler] Moments like when Sarah notices her pictures in the bunker they meet up in 2017, and when the T-800 finally says, “Take care of my Sarah”, those were moments when the movie lost its mojo completely.

The Fights

You obviously didn’t expect peace and quiet when you send super-badass-killing-machines on some mission. We all got to see an epic showdown between the robots in every movie of the franchise (except the first, where we basically had only one robot), and in this case, when you have all the robots thrown in together in one film, you can expect no less.

This movie has the some of the best fights this franchise has ever produced. Right from the start, we’re treated with the sight and sound of metal against metal. It was like a movie of Hulk-busters going against each other while everything around them kept falling apart. There was no shortage of action sequences here, and everything felt utterly satisfying.

Even then, the helicopter sequence and some parts afterwards felt a bit over the top, but one could live with that.

The Cast

Only Arnold’s name featured at the start of the movie before the title. This goes to say a lot about the actor and the franchise. Many people believe that the movie series exists because of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The truth is far less exaggerated. The story (of the whole Terminator universe) is too strong to attribute its success solely to one actor. Nevertheless, the series has always been identified with the face of the Austrian Oak. It’s like Arnold Schwarzenegger is to the Terminator like Hugh Jackman is to the Wolverine. But this is where it’s supposed to end.

Sarah Connor, played by Emilia Clarke hangs to her old trusty T-800 while Kyle Reese, played Jai Courtney hangs on below.
Sarah Connor, played by Emilia Clarke hangs to her old trusty T-800 while Kyle Reese, played Jai Courtney hangs on below.

Genisys felt like Arnold’s character was forcibly imposed to the audience throughout the movie. It was always about Skynet and how humanity must strive against all odds. But this time, it was more like how Arnold still kicks ass. Still fun to watch, yeah; but this doesn’t do justice to the movie.

Music

T2: Judgement Day was the definitive movie of the franchise. A big credit goes to the background score of that movie. And two out of the four Academy awards went for Best Sound and Best Sound Editing. You can’t say the music was bad or anything.
But, Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys never had that sense of tension and fear that was in the first two movies.

The Ending

Not so good, to be frank. Firstly, Arnold survives in the end despite being moulded into a piece of junk, despite all odds; No, he even manages to upgrade himself! Yeah, its nothing even close to the epic finale of T2: Judgement Day, but hey, you can’t have everything. And some of the other story threads are left annoyingly hanging still.

  1. Who sent the other T-800 in 1983 in the first place?
  2. How did the T-1000 appear in an older timeline? And how did it know Kyle Reese and where and when he was about to show up?
  3. How and why did Skynet become Genisys in the first place?

This movie is a lot of things. Possibly the definitive end to an epic franchise. If that were the case, this would be considered underwhelming. But despite everything, Terminator: Genisys kicks some serious ass. From start to finish, this here is one hell of a ride. Make no mistake; this is a movie you cannot miss.

3/5

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