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TERMINATOR GENISYS (review)

terminator_genisys_ver6TERMINATOR GENISYS

Written by Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier / Directed by Alan Taylor / Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney

Guardian: I’m old, not obsolete.
The year is 2029… no, 1984 …no, 2017? Eventually you don’t much care what year it is in this Alan Taylor (THOR: THE DARK WORLD) reboot of the Terminator franchise, TERMINATOR GENISYS. But that’s ok, because really, the film seems much more about fight scenes, cheesy humour, and taking a little trek down memory lane to rekindle interest in a waning series.

John Connor (Jason Clarke, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) has sent Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney, DIVERGENT) back in time from 2029 to protect his mother Sarah (this time around played by Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones) from a cyborg sent by Skynet to kill her and prevent John’s birth. But something happens just as Reese is about to be hurtled 45 years into the past and when he arrives in 1984, it’s to a very different reality than he was told to expect.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to his classic role as guardian of Sarah Connor for the first time since 2003’s TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES. And despite the addition of 30 years since the original, he’s a rather welcome sight in the iconic leather jacket and shades. It’s certainly not the flimsy storyline that will draw viewers. Time travel is a difficult enough sell, even without a convoluted framework and seemingly lazy attempt to tie up loose ends here and there.

But it’s not all bad. Clarke does an impressive job meeting the high standard set by Linda Hamilton. And while much of the humour deserves groans as opposed to guffaws (just watch the trailer for a few painful examples), the film does have its comedic moments.

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And the intensity can certainly be quite engaging; it’s just that there’s too damn much of it. What TERMINATOR GENISYS lacks in plot structure and script appeal, it ultimately tries to make up for with a steady stream of continuous action sequences, to a fault. The film feels a good 20 minutes too long, diluting any entertainment stemming from the initial momentum it kicks off with. There’s really no need for Taylor to drag things on the way he does – except, perhaps, for just one more opportunity to remind us that Arnold, er Guardian, is just old and not obsolete. We get it.

2.5 sheep

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One Comment

  1. Fine analysis!

    While Terminator Genisys has nothing new to offer but it does succeed in making us experience several bouts of nostalgia. Perhaps, the best way to approach Terminator Genisys is to see it as a fan’s tribute to The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It’s a movie for the fans, by the fans. So, watch it for the love of T-800 and the man who has immortalized it: Arnold Schwarzenegger!

    Here’s the link to my review of Terminator Genisys:

    http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/2015/07/terminator-genisys-2015-alan-taylors.html

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