So I finally have seen the new Terminator movie with the asinine spelling of the word Genesis which I will not dignify for the rest of this review. Anyway, this was not bad for an action movie of the “turn your brain off” variety, but it was more on the level of T3 than the first two movies.
Well, maybe better than T3 by a smidge or so but nowhere near the level of the first two (and I wouldn’t bother comparing Salvation since it is kind of in its own little bubble), although there are some nice nods here and there as far as recreating a couple scenes from the original movie.
The storyline here shows us the future side of the events from the first movie. We see John Connor sending Kyle Reese back to 1984 to rescue Sarah Connor from the Terminator sent back to kill her, but somehow this time the timeline has been altered. Some other terminators were sent back way before 1984 and Sarah Connor is no longer a meek waitress spilling ice cream on bratty kids, but a badass teenage who has been raised by her own T-800 (Arnold) who she calls pops. Now for my big issues here. For starters the storyline just had way too many timeline swerves to keep straight beyond what I just laid out.
The writers here played fast and loose with the rules of the Terminator universe, to the point that we have to suspend disbelief to the point that an old T-800 could build a fully working time machine with spare parts back in the 80s, but then a more advanced model cannot recreate the same results with the backing of a huge corporation thirty years into the future. That’s one of those issues you don’t notice if the movie is consistent in other areas.
Also seemed like the girl playing Sarah Connor here was way too young, at least compared to Linda Hamilton in the first movie, who I would say looked like she was in her mid to late twenties in T1. Emilia Clarke looks like she is barely 16 and then you bring in Arnold as the aged terminator and it just creates this kind of tacky sitcom atmosphere… (Eight Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter Without Getting Terminated?) Also there’s the question of why our heroes have to time travel into the future to kill Skynet when they could theoretically just stay in 1984 and “terminate” the people responsible for it before they even get started, but I digress.
It was still a fun movie for what it was. Arnold is still great at delivering the trusty one liners, and the action set pieces are mostly a ton of fun. I enjoyed the movie, but this is far from a return to the quality of the original two films. Oh well.
Also, I may be the only one, but I was supremely disappointed with a name like Genisys (okay I guess I did dignify it once more) that they didn’t name drop Sega Genesis one time this whole flick.
Terminator Genisys gets a three out of five: SATISFYING.