Director: Alan Taylor
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Brett Azar, Matt Smith, Byung-hun Lee
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 125 Minutes
He said he’d be back, and he certainly returned with a bang! Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the ‘Guardian’, better known as Skynet’s original T-800 in one of this year’s summer blockbusters; TERMINATOR: GENISYS.
Declared as the third film in the franchise by James Cameron, the original creator, TERMINATOR: GENISYS does not try to remake the original films, but completely re-imagine the Cyberdyne world. It ties in the stories of Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese and John Connor intelligently and adds in all the twists and turns a viewer could possibly experience without an overload of information. Although over-complicated at first, this story eventually finds its way and becomes simpler to follow.
Although we spend a lot of time watching explosions and fight scenes, the balance between action, sentiment and comedy is perfect. Arnie’s straight edge character has adapted to the world around him and mastered sarcasm, but it is still his blunt, deadly serious one-liners which have the audience in stitches.
Emilia Clarke pays true homage to Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor from the 1984 original, whilst also leaving her own sentimental and sarcastic mark on the character, and Jai Courtney has the ability to completely re-invent the original Kyle Reese and does so well, personally providing us with his best performance to date.
The twist of John Connor’s character is intelligent and brilliant. Jason Clarke put in a stellar performance and really captures the potential of an evil John Connor.
As expected, this film is packed with full-throttle action scenes, including helicopter chases, one-on-one battles and flipping buses on the golden gate bridge. However, it does over-compensate a bit too much with the special effects and does in fact harm some of the scenes. In addition to this, IMAX 3D is intelligently used at first, bringing me as close to the feeling when I first experienced T-2 3D at Universal Studios Orlando as possible, but it is not essentially needed for this film’s experience.
Overall, TERMINATOR: GENISYS is an intelligent and exciting adaptation of the original two films. It is not as over-cooked, or as cheesy as the trailer conveys, and it brings back an entourage of characters we all know and love by managing to re-invent them in every way possible. I am not saying it is one of my favourite films of the year, but Alan Taylor has done a terrific job here (much better than the likes of Jonathan Mostow and McG) and he has intuitively set the franchise up for a future sequel or even prequel, depending on how you look at this film.
“I’m Old, Not Obsolete!”
Recommendation: Worth catching this blockbuster over the next couple of weeks – not worthy of the IMAX experience personally, but a great return for Arnie!
TERMINATOR: GENISYS stars Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Byung-hun Lee, Matt Smith, Courtney B. Vance and J.K. Simmons. The sci-fi sequel, directed by THOR: THE DARK WORLD’s Alan Taylor, is set for cinemas July 2
Originally written for Screen Relish and adapted for personal use only. Thanks to them for the opportunity to write this piece.