Terminator Genisys (2015)

terminator genisys poster 2015 movie schwarzenegger
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Not much

Long, boring, directionless

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Terminator Genisys

Studio:   Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions/Annapurna Pictures

Genre(s):   Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):   June 22, 2015 (Premiere)/July 1, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:   PG-13

terminator genisys sarah connor come with me if you want to live emilia clarke

Oooo…everything is different because she says “Come with me if you want to live”!?!?!

Skynet is on the verge of collapse in the future.  As Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is sent back in time to stop a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sent to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) in 1984, he witnesses an attack on John Connor (Jason Clarke) and suffers strange flashbacks of a life has not lived.  The 1984 that Reese arrives in isn’t the world he is expecting.  Sarah is more than ready to fight for the future with a Terminator she’s named Pops, but the danger Sarah, Reese, and Pops could be confronting might be something they never expected.

Directed by Alan Taylor, Terminator Genisys is an action-adventure sci-fi film.  It is the fifth film in the sci-fi-action film series and follows Terminator Salvation in 2009.  The film was critically panned but had a strong box office draw particularly outside of the United States.

When I saw Terminator Salvation, I barely made it through the film.  It was dull, long, and complex.  I thought it would be difficult to find a more lifeless storyline…but the makers of Terminator Genisys tried very hard.

terminator genisys john connor jason clarke

I’m kind of a lamer version of T-1000….

The biggest problem with Terminator Genisys is there is no story.  I was actually always pretty critical of T2’s decision to switch the plot about halfway through, but I wished there was even that much organization in Terminator Genisys.  The movie’s attempt to reimagine Terminator isn’t the problem as much as there doesn’t seem to be a goal or motivation for the characters the entire picture…are they stopping Genisys?  Saving John Connor?  Making John Connor?  It really seems pretty aimless most of the story which writes off most of any problems with “time travel” jargon that is more fluid than the franchise’s grasp of time…it is not very inspiring to just push the “it does not matter what we do so who cares?”  It creates no reason to care if they succeed or fail.

The only thing halfway redeeming this movie is the return of Schwarzenegger.  He is the heart of the Terminator series, but as in the original Terminator, it feels like he’s kind of second fiddle to the Connor-Reese-Connor storyline.  Jai Courtney is a step up from the dullness of Sam Worthington in the last film, but Emilia Clarke struggles both with the character and the American accent.  J.K. Simmons, Matt Smith, Courtney B. Vance, and Dayo Okeniyi are wasted in small roles and the storyline makes you care very little about Jason Clarke’s John Connor who finally has a bigger role.

terminator genisys arnold schwarzenegger old t-800 windshield

Mom…Grandpa fell through the windshield again…

Visually, the movie also has some very cheap looking points.  T2 was a revolution in 1991 and almost looks better at points than Terminator Genisys.  This should not be the case.  They don’t have much fun with the retro factor of the film and the future stuff is very generic sci-fi instead of the innovation you want from a Terminator film.

Terminator Genisys derailed a lot of plans for the franchise.  The movie’s planned sequels were quashed and despite being a box office success, the amount of money poured into Terminator Genisys resulted in very little profit.  Sometimes a movie becomes the victim of unfortunate circumstances and fails unnecessarily…Terminator Genisys isn’t one of those films.  Terminator Genisys was followed by Terminator:  Dark Fate in 2019 which rebooted the events following Terminator 2.

Related Links:

The Terminator (1984)

Terminator 2:  Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator 3:  Rise of the Machines (2003)

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terminator:  Dark Fate (2019)

Terminator:  The Sarah Conner Chronicles—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Terminator:  The Burning Earth

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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