Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Terminator: Genisys (2015)

In the simplest terms, it's not as bad or serious as the fourth, and not as cheesy as the third. The first 30 minutes or so of Genisys feel like a highlight reel of all the best and memorable moments of the Terminator franchise, but from a slightly different perspective. It's actually pretty fun.

Then, it transitions into a convoluted story regarding time travel and alternate timelines that only makes you cringe and scratch your head. I'm not sure we can expect much less at this point. They have to do something unusual to keep justifying this story continuing on. How many times has the resistance defeated Skynet at this point? Has any Terminator succeeded in killing the Connors in any timeline?

We're now on our, like, third version of Skynet's origin. At least this one has a lot of callbacks to T1 (or is it just T?) and T2, so it feels like more of a true sequel than the others. In fact, it pretty much totally ignores 3 and 4 entirely. I think most fans won't mind that. I'll admit that I had fun with 3 though. The fourth I can still do without.

The effects were good, especially when dealing with the older Terminator models. We've never seen a T-800 move around like this. However, there's a point where you see these things beating on each other, and I know they're tough, but you're like, "Shouldn't these things be pretty banged up by now?" We're dealing with movie physics though, so shut up, nerd!

The cast seemed like they were having fun, at least. Arnold is, of course, Arnold, and he plays this with the same dry sense of humor that he always has. It's just fun to see him where he belongs. Jason Clarke played a great line between heroic and creepy. I've been hard on Jai Courtney, but he was good as Kyle Reese, even a bit more charming than Michael Biehn (that's probably blasphemy of some kind). I'm sure most are going to watch this for Emilia Clarke (no relation to Jason), and she also does a great job. She was tough, but it would have been nice to see her buffed up a little bit. I'm surprised they didn't force her on Crossfit regime before filming. Anyway, the hierarchy of Sarah Connors goes like this:

1. Linda Hamilton
2. Emilia Clarke
3. Lena Headey

It's kind of interesting that the last two actresses that played Sarah Connor have been English. I guess there are a shortage of sandy blond actresses available to play a 20-something, Los Angeles native, to the point where they had to get a British brunette girl to play her. Go figure.

Watch out for a cameo from a Doctor...

Anyway, I don't want to spoil much, so I'd recommend it as a matinee to fans of the series. It's pretty mindless and harmless entertainment. It actually succeeds at being pretty funny at times. I enjoyed myself for the most part.

...oh, and don't leave when the credits start...

3 (out of 5) Death Stars

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