UK Release Date: 2nd July 2015
Runtime: 126 minutes
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, JK Simmons, Lee Byung-hun, Matt Smith
Synopsis: Sent back in time to rescue Sarah Connor from a robot sent to kill her, Kyle Reese finds that the past is not how he expected it to be.
Few characters in the canon of science fiction cinema are as iconic as Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 in 1984 classic The Terminator. The franchise spawned by that film and its even more revered sequel has stalled in the wake of some less than stellar outings, leading to amajor shake-up at the hands of Alan Taylor, director of Thor: The Dark World, with Terminator Genisys.
With the battle between man and machine in full force, Resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends best friend Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time with a crucial job – to protect Connor’s mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke). However, when he arrives in the past, the supposedly murderous T-800 (Schwarzenegger) is aiding a warrior-like Connor facing a slightly different threat.
From the start, Terminator Genisys feels like a film assembled in a boardroom by a committee. It’s a product of penny-chasing suits with nothing but bottom lines on their mind. The result is a creatively bankrupt, ugly mess that has no idea why it has been made.
| "I look at each of you and I see the marks of this long and terrible war. If we die tonight, mankind dies with us."
The central issue is that the storyline has been assembled with nothing in the way of logic or coherence. Not only is it almost impossible to explain what happens in Terminator Genisys, but it’s very difficult to care. As the plot winds from convoluted twist to overly complex set piece seemingly by the minute, even the film seems to give up on itself and limps rather than gallops into its half-hearted conclusion.
It’s almost insulting that the people behind Terminator Genisys thought they were making an entertaining film. The entire thing is a meaningless parade of carnage that is impossible to follow and is populated by a roster of bland characters, who couldn’t be less interesting. Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney are unconvincing in every possible way, without a single moment to suggest that there is any romantic chemistry between them. It seems wrong to criticise the performances, though, when the material is so poor.
Only JK Simmons is an oasis of entertainment in the midst of the film’s ungainly mess. The usually entertaining Jason Clarke is utterly wasted as John Connor, particularly as his character is saddled with a plot twist that was flagrantly spoiled in the trailer and squarely in the centre of one of the most prominent posters. The entirety of Terminator Genisys feels like it was thrown together by people who have never made a movie before.
| "That’s a meaningless gesture. Why hold on to someone you must let go?"
On top of it all, though, Terminator Genisys suffers from a severe case of blockbuster tedium. As the entire car crash unfolds on the screen, there isn’t even a morbid curiosity to it because there’s almost nothing interesting in the film’s entire two-hour running time. By the time it ends with the biggest whimper of all, Terminator Genisys has cemented itself as a prime contender for the worst of 2015’s blockbuster bloat.
Pop or Poop?
Over-stuffed with ideas and over-sharing in its marketing, Terminator Genisys was always going to struggle to make an impact in a packed summer.
However, Alan Taylor’s film is so much worse than that – an incoherent collage of poor performances and pitiful plotting that never should have seen the light of day.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.