Terminator: Genisys Review

Preface

  • Alright, now if you asked me a year ago before all the spelling-changes and trailers I would’ve said that Terminator: Genesis sounded super cool and could be a dark and gritty story like all the ones we seem to get nowadays.
    • Like how the new Fantastic Four looks.
  • If you asked me a week or two weeks ago, I’d say, “okay friend, here’s why I’m extremely worried and don’t think that movie’s gonna be good…”
  • If you ask me after seeing the movie though I can thoroughly say:
  • I had a really fun time with the first half of this movie. The second half got a bit convoluted…
  • And you guys are gonna hear me use the word “functional” more in this review than I ever have on this site before… Be forewarned.

Premise

  • And yes, I did put the bad trailer above not the spoiler-filled one.
  • Trust me, don’t even watch a trailer going into this movie. More on that later.
  • But anyways, Terminator: Jenny Smith is the story of the rebooted Terminator franchise!
  • It’s a very, very long and hard plot to describe but ultimately it’s a retelling of the events from the first two (especially the first) Terminator movies and then kind of fixing everything in the Terminator universe so they can work clean going forward.
  • And that’s what it’s about. Mostly…?

Cast and Characters

  • Okay so when I saw the trailers, and I said in my “Why I’m Worried,” that they should just cut Arnold from this whole franchise at this point he’s useless.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was great in this movie. He wasn’t too cheesy and worked extremely functionally for the role his character had.
  • And speaking of the role that he had, Arnold isn’t the main character in this movie which is what makes his appearances work so well: because they’re in smaller doses.
  • Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese is ultimately the main character of this movie.
  • And for the first half of this movie he was completely functional. He was the action hero who was moving the plot along and he worked as an action hero.
  • But when the second half hits and it turns into a more emotional character, that’s when Jai Courtney felt completely out-of-place.
  • As I watched the last 20 minutes of this movie, it was completely apparent that Jai Courtney wasn’t just phoning-it-in on Divergent or Insurgent (the former of which I didn’t even remember him in until I IMDb’ed him…). He’s just an emotionless person!
  • During those last 25 minutes I started thinking… Man, Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genisys is the role that Jeremy Renner could have killed it in.
  • Even Chris Pine would’ve been cool, but Jeremy Renner would have had that action star quality and has the charisma and personality that Jai Courtney was lacking.
  • Emilia Clarke was Sarah Connor and she was functional too.
  • She actually worked better in the second half of the movie but was overall a good Sarah Connor, despite some cheesy lines when her character first comes onto the scene.
  • My main issue character-wise though is that Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor didn’t have the chemistry that those two characters are supposed to have.
  • Granted, the first Terminator movie wasn’t a straight-up romance but it had flare between the two.
  • This just felt awkward when the two of them were working together.
  • Jason Clarke though, he was in the movie too and he worked really well. I don’t know that he’s the definitive John Connor but he worked well for what this movie needed him to be.
  • My idea of the biggest wasted potential though was J.K. Simmons because after his first few lines you’re thinking that he’s gonna be this cartoon. But then you realize his connection to everyone else and think he’s the coolest character they’ve introduced. So naturally, they don’t put him in the rest of the movie.
  • Maybe in the sequel?

Writing

  • The writing is my main issue with the movie, other than character chemistry.
  • Looking at the trailers, you thought this movie was gonna be crap.
  • That’s because this movie has so much plot, so much going on, that it’s extremely difficult to market as one thing without looking messy.
  • And for the first half of the movie, it moves along quite well.
  • It hits all the plot points it needs to, you’re along for the ride, despite the character relations you’re very interested.
  • The action is set up well, everything is just comprehendible to general audience goers who don’t live and die by Terminator lore.
  • But then the second half of the movie hits…
  • And the second half feels like the writers were so excited about it, they just kinda spit it onto one piece of paper instead of mapping out the conclusion.
  • The second half of this movie just felt way too convoluted and too confusing to enjoy anymore, because it drags at a point… Not terribly but it happens.
  • The movie does wrap up very well (in almost too nice and neat of a knot), but that second half was just a bit too all-over-the-place especially as the final action sequences were taking place.
  • The dialogue was right-on though. It was a little simple and in-your-face at times, but it kept everything moving along especially in that first half.

Direction/Action

  • And besides that first half vs. second half thing, the Jai Courtney issue, and the character chemistry, this movie was directed okay. Not awesome, but okay enough.
  • I thought the action was shot extremely well and was not as corny or crappy as it was in the trailers.
  • As I touched upon earlier, the pacing was off at certain points and some portions do feel longer than others.
  • And there were a couple issues that weren’t covered or answered by the end of the movie.
  • That and some conveniences. “Deus ex machina” if you will.
  • Lots of just-too-convenient things happening…
  • The action was done quite well though…

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion Guys, I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would and that ain’t nothing.
  • I thought the action was good, the plot carried itself well (but became convoluted in the second half of the movie).
  • The first half was fun, but the second half became a bit of a mess and almost undid itself.
  • The characters were very functional but their relationships weren’t always on and the acting could have been a bit better, though Arnold and Jason Clarke were standouts.
  • The first half I have no problem saying you guys should check out, but the second half just brought down the first half so much…
  • Definitely watch it on cable, but for the theater? Yeah it’s okay but you can probably skip it.
    • That being said, it’s still better than movies like Furious 7 which I did give a positive review to…

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on Terminator: Genesis-With-A-“Y”! What are your thoughts on this movie, and was it better or worse than you expected? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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