Film Review: Terminator Genisys

Terminator Genisys

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns for the latest instalment of the sci-fi action franchise. Terminator Genisys is not a patch on the first two movies, but is an improvement on Terminator Salvation.

In the battle against Skynet, John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to 1984, to protect his mother Sarah Connor. When Reese arrives, things are not quite what he expected…

Terminator Genisys rewrites the previous two Terminator films, taking viewers back to the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Director Alan Taylor’s film is not so much a sequel or reboot of the original two films; it functions more as a parallel version. Terminator Genisys is very much about time travel, switching up as the action progresses to different eras and alternate realities.

The premise in Terminator Genisys is much the same as the others; the mission to stop Skynet. Despite the opening gambit looking like a rehash of the first film, the screenwriters here decide to add a completely different spin. This involves various twists, some of these are more effective than others.

The narrative progresses reasonably well, with the momentum building at a good pace. Terminator Genisys‘ main detraction is that it does not feel like a satisfying next instalment in the franchise. Compared to the first two films, this update does not seem to be at the same level. The homages to the earlier films is certainly a nice touch, but it is unlikely Terminator Genisys hold the same status as the first two Terminator films decades later.

Arnold Schwarzenegger gives a slightly hammy performance in the film, seeming to enjoy the references his character makes. Emilia Clarke does a decent job as Sarah Connor, as does Jason Clarke as John Connor. Special effects in the film are superb, and action is well executed.

Watching Terminator Genisys will most likely have cinemagoers craving another viewing of the first two films. Whilst this is no bad thing, it is a shame the film does not do more than this.

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