TERMINATOR GENISYS | REVIEW

T2 and a little lesser, TERMINATOR are two of the greatest films I have ever seen. The former set a standard in CGI that left audiences gobsmacked, it was like people seeing the very first film of a train in black and white and they screamed thinking the train was sorcery and would run them down. The liquid man, the T1000, was a revolution in cinematic awesome and the fact that James Cameron was the director speaks volumes (he is my favourite director :)). We then scored a T3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, a film that everyone in the industry has chosen to erase from their memory and we then got TERMINATOR SALVATION, a film disliked by many but I actually enjoyed, it was a little off kilter of the story arc but had some solid action and stars. Now we get the next instalment; TERMINATOR GENISYS, Arnie is bloody back fighting with his adopted daughter, who in her spare time flies dragons and they team up with hunky son of John MacLane, Jai Courtney who is the father of the guy who sent him back but also way younger and he doesn’t know he has to sleep with Daenerys or the world ends. Just take a sip of a big drink and eventually you will follow.

TERMINATOR GENISYS is out this Thursday 2nd July in Australia from the fine folks at Paramount Pictures Australia, it is rated M and runs for 125mins. Salty Popcorn attended a screening as guests of Paramount.

 

TERMINATOR GENISYS MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
TERMINATOR GENISYS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

TERMINATOR GENISYS is a pastiche of the previous Terminators, it pays homage but it also destroys the good work of the previous films, to be honest, it had so much potential but instead was a monumental fuck up and while I mildly enjoyed the film I have no desire to ever see it again. There are quite a few things they got right but so so so many they got epically wrong.

In this one John Connor (did you say it in Arnie’s voice?) sends Kyle Reese back to protect Sarah Connor as happened in the first TERMINATOR and they do this all so incredibly well, the combining of TERMINATOR and TERMINATOR GENYSIS worked brilliantly with rehashed and/ or recreated scenes paying homage to the master of the series. But as Kyle is going through the time machine device he see something happen in present time and when he arrives in 1984 things are not the way they are supposed to be.

 

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TERMINATOR GENISYS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | KYLE REESE (JAI COURTNEY) ARRIVES

 

And now with all things negative you should begin with a positive…………

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE MOVIE:

1) Arnie – thank Thor (oddly, the director Alan Taylor’s last film was THOR: THE DARK WORLD). Arnie owned his scenes and it was so good to see him back, he needed to do something good after his atrocious return to the cinema screens. They explain the ageing perfectly and I was really impressed they did not CGI him too much :). You have to understand his T800 has been in his current timeline for years and years and as such he has developed a mild personality from so much endless training and companionship from Sarah Connor.

2) While Jai Courtney will never be Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese I actually enjoyed him in the role and I could have seen a movie concentrating more on him and his plight. He lacked the depth of Biehn but his body and his performance carried him through.

3) The action, there is quite a bit of it and it is good! It is big, it sounded epic in Dolby Atmos and quite a bit of it kept me on the edge of my seat.

4) The moments when they emotionally connected you through the history timeline with previous movies. Sarah Connor meeting and talking to a child Kyle Reese actually had me well up and then seeing John Connor tell Kyle Reese before entering the time device what exactly to say to Sarah Connor had me having an emotional nostalgia inhale spasm.

5) The irony of Matt Smith being the evil time-travelling Skynet embodiment – enough said, he was Doctor Who.

 

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TERMINATOR GENISYS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SARAH CONNOR (EMILIA CLARKE) “COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE”

 

WHAT I DISLIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE:

1) Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, do not get me wrong, I love her in GoT but she is no Linda Hamilton Sarah Connor and is way too feminine and lacking in anything remotely as the mother of the saviour of the planet. The intimate moments she owns but the action moments are nearly comical. They needed Michelle Rodriguez for this role!!!

2) Jason Clarke as John Connor and also the “supposedly evil bastard” Terminator in this movie. Quite possibly the worst casting choice of the year. He was just passable as John Connor but the guy was atrocious as anything menacing. And to be honest – how fucking dare the screenwriters and director allow them to do this to John Connor!

3) The T1000 is now Asian – no issue or racism with that and oddly he looked so much like Robert Patrick it was weird but it just weirded me out too much. Also, he was probably the best Terminator in the movie and incredibly under-utilised.

4) The lack of a menacing Terminator, as per negative point 3 where Asian T1000 rocked he was not in it enough. The point of the Terminators are that they are this unstoppable, programmed death machine that have no remorse, no emotion and come to kill, they will keep going until their CPU is fried. Besides the brief T1000 none of the Terminators were scary and unstoppable death machines. The John Connor Terminator was more like a spoiled brat megalomaniac and, well (spoiler), the Arnie Terminator, in this timeline, is good.

5) The criminal under-utilisation of Matt Smith. The irony was not lost on anyone who loves Doctor Who. He was also the best actor in the movie but also probably had the least screen time. From what I hear there will be more Terminators coming and Arnie signed for three of them but I fear for the box office of this one and not using more of Matt Smith, the most menacing and creepy thing in the movie, may hurt that future prospect.

6) The soundtrack – the music from Lorne Balfe does not match up to the brilliance of Brad Fiedel. That pounding track from TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY is the sound that pounds my brain when I think about Terminator and during the opening credits Balfe hinted at it with a tiptoe heartbeat style and my guest for last night, Tommy and I turned to each other and went “OMG” but then everything after that, forgettable and not something I want to play again, can’t even remember it. In the first two Terminator’s the score was a leading character, in this, an extra.

7) The trailers, they all showed way too much, if they showed nothing but a T1000 emerging from the mirror or Arnie just saying “I am back” then this film would have been better!!

 

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TERMINATOR GENISYS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | EVIL TERMINATOR AND GUARDIAN (ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER)

 

For me there is a lot of disappointment in this movie, there is no chemistry, the love story is a joke and the only promising thing was the hope that Matt Smith will have a pivotal role in the next instalment. Is it even possible to make a Terminator movie to engage an audience as much as a film that brought about the start of the CGI revolution? I am starting to believe it is not.

The good news about this one: it is not as bad as T3 🙂 Have you seen TERMINATOR GENISYS? What are your thoughts?

 

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