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Terminator Genisys (Spoiler Free Review)

In Terminator: Genisys, a T-800 is, once again, sent back in time to protect a young Sarah Connor. The T-800, who has been reprogrammed, must contend with the likes of the T-1000 and various other man-machine hybrids to ensure Sarah Connor will live long enough to bring John Connor into the world.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you probably already know one of the major twists in the film but I won’t spoil that or anything else here. So, read on with confidence!

Terminator: Genisys exists in a weird place. It is a partial recreation of the first two films but it also stands as its own entity and exists in an alternate timeline. Trying to make sense of it is somewhat of a fool’s errand and therefore, I won’t spend too much time trying to do so. In fact, I will just get down to the point. I liked it. I didn’t love it. But I definitely enjoyed Terminator: Genisys. It gets a few things wrong but there’s a lot that it gets right and there’s a lot to enjoy if you don’t take it too seriously.

Terminator Genisys - Arnold Schwarzenegger

In terms of what works well, bringing Arnold back is always a plus for me. The CGI recreation of his 1984 likeness was obnoxious but the scenes in which he actually appears are great. This is the role he was born to play. The character might as well have been written specifically for him. And he takes full advantage of that here.

Schwarzenegger’s robotic mannerisms have come to define the role of Terminator for every other actor that has since appeared as one. The T-800 in Genisys has been surrounded by humans for some time and is trying his best to fit in but of course fails at every opportunity. The results are pretty comical. A little cheeky at times but most of the punchlines don’t land too far from the mark.

In addition to marking the return of Arnold (in the flesh) Genisys also may just have my favorite John Connor to date. I found that Jason Clarke humanized the character in a way that he hasn’t been in the past couple of entries. I liked him and cared about his well being. It’s anybody’s guess how the rest of the world will respond to him but I am definitely a fan. I’m sure he will probably be recast in the next installment but I enjoyed Clarke in the role.

Jason Clarke in Terminator Genisys I wasn’t as sold on Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor. She had big shoes to fill and I can’t help but feel that she was miscast. Linda Hamilton exudes intensity and Emilia Clarke just doesn’t. Her attempts to recreate the character Hamilton made famous come off as if she is posturing and she is never quite convincing in the role.

When it comes to Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, I wasn’t totally disappointed. I think he had moments of greatness but he also had large shoes to fill. There really is only one Michael Biehn. While he did so more convincingly than I might have expected, I was still left wanting something more.

As a whole, is definitely enjoyable but it gets bogged down with exposition at times. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot going on. And while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, sometimes you just want to be able to see things explode in a Summer Blockbuster. And while there is plenty of that, the film gets a little too bogged down with expository dialogue at times. But I will say that it bounces back to the action sequences relatively quickly.

Emilia Clarke - Terminator Genisys My only other real complaint is that the script is a little wooden at times. Some of the dialogue feels phoned in and like a little bit of tweaking could have made it a lot better. I am a big fan of Patrick Lussier, though, and overall thought that his screenplay, in collaboration with Laeta Kalogridis, did a good job of connecting the overly complicated timelines between the films.

I would ultimately suggest checking out Terminator: Genisys when it hits theatres. It’s not going to outdo The Terminator or Terminator 2 but I don’t think it’s trying to. Terminator: Genisys is a nice companion piece and should prove enjoyable for casual fans of the franchise and die hard enthusiasts alike!

Earlier reports suggested that Terminator Genisys is the first in a planned trilogy of films. So, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. The first installment will arrive in theaters July 1, 2015.


Director(s): Alan Taylor
Writer(s): Patrick Lussier, Laeta Kalogridis
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke
Release: July 1, 2015
Studio/ Production Co: Paramount
Budget: $170 Million (Estimated)
Language: English
Length: 126 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Action, Apocalyptic

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dog, and cat hat(s).
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