I don’t need to tell you that the last decade and a half of Terminator movies have been painful retreads of two of the greatest action movies of all time. Thus, throwing a new liquid metal hat into the ring doesn’t bode well.
Alright, people who are in Hollywood behind big desks with piles of money in bags to give to people, let’s talk. I’m tired of this “remix culture” we’ve established. I’m tired of paying money to see a loose rehash of an old film (Jurassic World, I’m looking at your infrared dodging self) that banks on the fact that a certain generation of folks have grown of age and now can throw stupid amounts of dollars to see scenes from their favorite childhood films mocked up for another go. Often times this “remix” is a cash grab looking to reset a franchise back to a more suitable foundation to build another secondary franchise off and often times this doesn’t work. Terminator Genisys falls into this lowly camp. Alan Taylor (who’s Thor: The Dark World I, one of the few, quite liked) uses the tired constraints of time travel to thrust us back into the world of Kyle Reese (the brick-faced Jai Courtney), Sarah Connors (the shrill Emilia Clarke) and John Connors (Jason Clarke really going for crazy broke here), but, because we’ve already seen four Terminator flicks that feature Terminators of varying sorts chase after Sarah Connors, Taylor flips the script turning the good, well bad, the bad, er, good, and Matt Smith into some sort of evil Terminator laser beam. Honestly, if you scratch the surface of the film even for a moment, it’s a mess. Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke are like two sides of the same rock, just barely able to emote enough to ensure that they’re breathing. The story, because, well, time travel, is a convoluted mess that has the heroes bouncing from decade to decade trying to stop the pesky little rabbit Skynet before it, sigh, destroys the human race. But, still, I found myself liking Taylor’s little love letter to all the Terminators he’s loved before. It’s not a great movie, barely even a good movie, but if you like Terminators, and you like Terminators punching and kicking and hitting each other with sharp objects while two ironically robotic actors paw each other in the background, this film might be for you. I mean if you’re hoping that this fairly limp rehash is going to be a callback to the glory days of Cameron, just save your money and skip it. The Terminator franchise we’ve always wanted is like the future of humanity, most likely never going to happen.
Arnold still has it. And by “it” I mean the ability to act like a statue and still be charming.