I'll Be Baaaaack.

Little did we know when the famous line in this post's title was spoken back in 1984's The Terminator that we truly would be haunted with sequels and reboots and prequels until the end of time. The Terminator will ALWAYS be back...but that's not necessarily a good thing. Don't get me wrong, that's not to say I don't enjoy the story the Terminator franchise sets out to tell... in fact I love the story of Skynet vs. The Connor family! The first film perfectly sets up so much potential for a long running and successful series with plenty of story ground to cover...yet only the second film could realize the potential of what this story could be. The third film, Terminator: Rise of the Machines exists merely to put the chess pieces in place for what the audience wants to see foreshadowed in the previous films, but offers little else. The fourth film, Terminator Salvation finally sets the film where we want to see it: during the war with machines! Going into that film I was excited to finally see a capable actor in Christian Bale giving us the hero we'd long heard about. And then the movie made it all about a bland cyborg Sam Worthington. Now Terminator Genisys comes along in an X-men Days of Future Past kind of way to wipe the slate clean while mixing new and old to create a new track for the story to continue. So did its take fare better than what the last two sequels attempted? Probabbbbbbly not.

Let's go over Genisys's strengths and weaknesses shall we? Unfortunately, the movie's big twist was given away in the trailer, so the film didn't hold a lot of surprises to it. There's no risk to the action because we know that both the heroes and villains pretty much can't be killed. The villains because they make them way too indestructible, and the heroes because we know they are not expendable to the franchise. They're too iconic to off. That said, even though the story made us swallow a lot of stupid crap to make it work, I did think it *could* have been fun. What wasn't totally fun for me though was all the cheeseball jokes that Arnold had to crack. Unfortunately, I think it's time for him to leave the franchise. He's just too old, and making jokes about him being a Grandpa isn't really fixing the situation and the CGI versions of him just take you out of everything. But then, if you didn't have him I guess you wouldn't really have that great of a cast either. Jai Courtney worked for me solely because I found him very attractive in this film. But, if I hadn't there probably wouldn't have been much he had to offer. Emilia Clarke was okay, but came off a little too Miley Cyrus in The Last Song for my liking. Blech.

Wait, I was supposed to name some strengths wasn't I? Um... well, there was JK Simmons! A man who, coming off his amazing performance in Whiplash probably should have been utilized much much more. As always though, he makes the most he can with a thankless part. I didn't mind the dynamic between Jai Courtney's Kyle Reese and Emilia Clarke's Sarah Connor... but the switch to romance was a little too abrupt for me. Bottom line for this movie is that the story potential was here to become another X-men Days of Future Past, but the execution played it a little too safe and far too jokey. If I'm not in fear of the characters lives it just makes the action pointless and a chore to sit through. If they had been willing to take more risks with the characters (John Connor and T800 or whatever your number is for this movie I'm looking at you) it would have been a far more shocking and successful film. Instead, it's a little too by the numbers to truly work which is a shame because they really could have made a great film here. Instead, this might just be another franchise killer for at least 5 years or so. Sigh. Don't worry though, the Terminator will always be back...for better or worse. EMILY RATING: 5.5/10


Johanna said...

Definitely sitting this one out.

Sarah said...

I am really not a fan of apocalyptic-themed movies. I've actually never seen even one of these movies all the way through.