Terminator Genisys (2015)

I went into this movie thinking that they were just trying to squeeze every last drop of money out of this franchise. Turns out, they actually plan to squeeze a lot more out of this sucker. This is intended to be the first in a new trilogy of movies, from what I now understand. This is not to say that this movie relies on a sequel at all. Instead, it relies very heavily on the movies that came before it. Don't watch this if you didn't watch and understand the timelines in the previous film, because whoa. The first few minutes might fool you into thinking that this is a remake of the original, but don't be fooled.

Arnold is well past his prime, but this character of the Terminator is really the sweet spot of his acting - deadpan most of the time with occasional straight-man-style antics. I mean, who doesn't get a smile when Arnold delivers a signature line with a sly grin?

Emilia Clarke impressed me when she was on Game of Thrones, but her American accent needs some work. Her character of Sarah Connor is clearly a good, strong female character, but Emilia comes off as a LOT younger than she is, and it's hard to take her too seriously. She tries to play the character alright, but I get the sense that she's just sleepwalking through it. The same can be said of one of the other male leads - Jai Courtney. Jai plays Emilia's son who comes back in time... yadda yadda. He plays the character about as blandly as possible. Jason Clarke (no relation to Emilia) puts out some effort, and I applaud him for it. Fact is, he's about the most dedicated of the actors when it comes to selling the character.

I'm not going to go into the story and the timeline issues in an effort to focus on the positives of the movie and also not to spoil it for others. The fact is, there have been other movies that have had more timeline issues, but this script was so convoluted that they were clearly just trying to keep you guessing and half of the things that had to have happened for this to work out are physically (and quantumly) impossible. The lines that they toss in to make it possible are weak sauce.

The special effects in this movie were pretty darn good. The young version of Arnold was a combination of a stand-in and, presumably, CGI. The fact is, it was spectacular. From there, lots of other effects were fantastic. There were some that were not as great, as physics is hard, but they don't spoil the excellent job that they did on most of the others.

Direction was okay
Story was convoluted
Dialog was okay
Acting was bland
Effects were great

Bottom Line: If this is the first of a new trilogy, they should probably just call it quits.



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