John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.
Ok, I’ve never been a huge fan of Terminator movies. I mean, I watched the first two as a kid, and then again when T3 came out in 2003 I caught it on HBO or something, but I never really geeked out about them or anything. Robot movies just aren’t my thing. I’d rather watch superheroes or Arthurian legend or even aliens (except Bicentennial Man – freaking loved that movie when I was younger).
Anyway, so hopefully you get it – I’m not what you would consider a Terminator fan; nor was I super thrilled when someone decided we should go see Genisys last night. Of course, I could have turned down the invitation, but it’s been an emotionally exhausting couple of weeks and I figured, what the hell? I could use some badass action sequences and a healthy dose of Emilia Clarke now that the Game of Thrones season is over. So, off to the movies we went.
I had no idea what to expect from this movie. I knew they brought back Arnold & I knew he’s looking old as hell lately, so I kind of expected his sequences to be kind of cheesy and pathetic – didn’t you? Actually, it was quite the opposite, for me anyway. In FACT, I can safely say that Terminator Genisys has landed itself the spot of my favorite new movie since Guardians of the Galaxy. What? How did that happen? I’m as dumbfounded as you are.
Now, clearly, not being a Terminator fan, I’m completely ill-equipped to analyze this movie and the way it connects to the rest of the franchise – I mean, all I really remember from the first three is: John Connor good, Robots bad, Arnold is special & goes back in time to save the world, “Come with me if you want to live”, and “I’ll be back”. That’s a pretty extensive knowledge base, right?
The cool thing about this movie was that it semi- reset the timelines (kind of like with Star Trek or X-Men: Days of Future Past) but without feeling like a total ripoff. You don’t need to have much more knowledge than I did to follow the movie. Pretty much everything is explained & I had no trouble following what was going on. If you understand that time travel is a huge part of the franchise, it’s pretty easy to explain everything that way. So, if you’ve never seen a Terminator movie, don’t feel like you can’t see this without catching up. I’m sure there are some things I didn’t appreciate in their entirety, but I sure as hell still enjoyed this movie with what limited details I remember from my childhood.
Ok, so. What made this movie so great?
The biggest surprise for me is how they handled an aging Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are two different versions of him in the film – a fully CGI monstrously beefed up version, and himself as he truly appears today. This is explained simply: the organic material used to build his skin ages just as any organic material would age – totally makes sense, I buy it.
Also, I kind of forgot that Arnold Schwarzenegger has IMPECCABLE comedic timing. Like, the combination of him & J.K. Simmons was pure gold. I laughed so hard in this movie I thought I was going to hyperventilate. Unfortunately, the treatment of J.K. Simmons character kind of felt like a throwaway – like he was ONLY written into the movie for comedic relief and I do wish his role had been just a little more fleshed-out. Because, as far as the actual plot goes, he wasn’t necessary at all, which makes me sad.
Emilia Clarke also completely surprised me as Sarah Connor. I mean, we know she can do the whole badass heroine thing (cue GOT theme), but I wasn’t sold on her as an “action movie star”. That opinion has made a 180 and now I want her in all my action movies. Like – I kind of see her as Lara Croft if they ever felt like rebooting Tomb Raider. I’d be first in line to see that movie.
Here’s the thing that really sealed the experience for me: the action sequences. Terminator movies are just JAM-PACKED with action sequences and, usually, I get a little bored of them. I always seem to fall asleep during the huge action sequences in, say, superhero movies – or like in Transformers? They’re just too much for me, too repetitive. The thing that was done well with Genisys is that you get some SERIOUSLY kick-ass sequences, but they don’t feel like they drag on for eternity. Viewers are given time to appreciate the special effects & catch their breath before the next chase/fight begins. The movie is perfectly paced, leaving you on a high without feeling breathless and exhausted.
If you’re looking for a summer blockbuster, look no further. Go see this movie.
Anybody else care to add?