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Terminator Genisys

2015

Directed by Alan Taylor
Produced by David Ellison,Dana Goldberg

Written by Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier

Based on Characters by James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd


Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jason Clarke
Emilia Clarke
Jai Courtney
J. K. Simmons
Dayo Okeniyi
Matt Smith
Courtney B. Vance
Lee Byung-hun


HE’S BACK!

Just as Sean Connery will always be remembered as James Bond, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be forever tied to the robotic assassin from the future, the Terminator.  I can’t help but wonder if the words, hasta la vista, baby will appear on his tombstone. 

Terminator Genisys has a lot of hopes to either fulfil or dash.2009’s Terminator Salvation left fans and critics cold and bankrupted its owner, The Halcyon Company.  After bidding wars and wrangling, the Terminator has a new home at Paramount.  Can the studio that gave us the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek reboots be the shot in the arm for this sci-fi classic?

Kinda.

How you feel about this movie will probably be greatly determined by your age.  If you’re an old school 1984 Original Terminator fan, you may feel a little betrayed by the complete revamp of the movie original timeline.  If you’re a Terminator 2 or 3 person, you be willing to give this new movie a chance.

Genisys starts out with the usual voice over telling the audience about Skynet opening up global whip ass on humanity on Judgement Day.  This time it’s Kyle Reese, played by Jai Courtney relaying the bad news.  The following scenes are the last battle versus the robot hordes led by John Connor, humanity last hope and leader of the Resistance.  Jason Clarke is Connor this time.  At battle’s end Reese goes back in time to stop the last Terminator from killing Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) before she can birth to John.  Sound familiar?  Well, forget it.  After this everything changes.  There’s another Terminator (Schwarzenegger) who was sent back in time to stop the first Terminator (Brett Azar).  And then there’s another Terminator (Lee Byung-hun) also sent back in time…can you say reboot?

The movie isn’t Shakepeare and isn’t expected to be.  Honestly, beyond Schwarzenegger’s dropping his famous one liners (“I’ll be back…”) and huge explosions, nothing more can be expected.  Still, Clarke’s and Courtney’s on screen chemistry is as about as awkward as a teenager first date.  A lot of things just happen because it’s a Terminator movie – yes, someone, repeatedly shoots the liquid metal Terminator, with the last shot going into his eye.  Oh, look there’s that eerily morphing effect as the Terminator’s head returns to its original shape.  Wow, didn’t see that coming.

Still, I got to admit, I had a big ol’ cheese eating grin on my face when Arnold first popped up.  It’s like seeing an old friend again.  And, hey, I ain’t mad at a guy who can pull off the action hero thing at Sixty-freaking-seven years old!  This is a fan service to everyone who wanted to see a little bit of their childhood come back to life.  It’s fun and isn’t that what the movie are supposed to be about.

The science of Genisys will have most of us scratching our heads, while the diehard fans will be talking about the time paradoxes for the next couple of years.  That should be just about right as the next sequel is scheduled for release on May 19, 2017 and Arnold will be…no, I can’t do it.

3 out of 5