Another year, another Terminator film. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan…of the original. The first and second films were amazing, followed by some not-so-good ones. But Terminator Genisys is a return to quality filmmaking and storytelling. I give this film three and a half out of five stars, and here is why…
Terminator Genisys, the fifth film in the franchise, takes us back to the beginning. As we know from the previous films, John Connor sends Kyle Reese back to protect his mother, who is a target by the killer robots. But the timeline has changed, and Sarah is not the unknowing victim she once was. Instead, Sarah is a kick-ass fighter, who has been raised by the Guardian, a reprogrammed Terminator who raised her and taught her to protect herself. Will Skynet still create world-wide death and destruction, or will the timeline change yet again?
Despite having such an interesting, in-depth, and meaningful story, the Terminator franchise hasn’t always hit the spot for me. Maybe it is because the first two films were so good that the others couldn’t compare? Whatever the reason, this film was better than the recent ones, but still fell short.
Arnie is back! Yes, fresh off his political career, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator. It was good to see him in it, and you can assume his experience with the role and franchise would have helped the other actors to get themselves into their roles. We also have the amazing actors: Jason Clarke (a fellow Australian), Emilia Clarke, and Jai Courtney (another fellow Australian). I don’t think any of them let the others down, and they skilfully portrayed the right mix of devastation and hope.
Unlike stand-alone films (or ones beginning a franchise), Terminator Genisys had to fit-in with an already-established work. This would have been difficult, but also helpful in knowing what and how a character would say and do. Nothing felt out-of-character, but that means nothing also felt new.
The directing and visual effects go hand-in-hand. Directing a feature film like this would be far from easy, but with the addition of visual effects – and for a film about advanced technology – it would fall apart if not done right. Maybe it was because I knew there were not two Arnold Schwarzeneggers (for example), or the technology isn’t quite there yet, but some parts didn’t quite do it for me. We have definitely come a long way, but I can only say it wasn’t perfect.
In others’ opinions, Terminator Genisys was a failure. Numerous negative reviews have complained of its “messy” work of timelines, and its attempts to almost rewrite and undo the work of the previous franchise instalments. If there is one thing you don’t want to do to an established and successful franchise, it’s that.
As I said before, I give this film three and a half stars out of five. It was an entertaining watch, but it’s not something I would rush out to see again.