Film Review: Terminator Genisys

And now for something very different.  Let’s take a break from the moral and philosophical discussions and talk about a movie that’s roaring good time: Terminator Genisys.

In describing Terminator Genisys, James Cameron is right: “the franchise has been reinvigorated… this is a renaissance,” Terminator Genisys is a worthy successor to his two Terminator films. It pays off everything shown in the promos. The John Connor plot twist does a twist and then twists back again. And this isn’t the only story twist either.

This film honors the best iconic character moments of all the previous films and the TV series. It recreates scenes from the original Terminator and mirrors several from Terminator 2, particularly with the T-1000.  We get to hear some of the classic lines respoken and others paraphrased in surprising ways. Jason Clarke and Dayo Okeniki portray an expanded John Connor/Danny Dyson friendship — only a few brief scenes in T2, several scenes in this film.  We see the classic friendship of John Connor and Kyle Reese clearly realized in the scenes set in the war-ravaged future. I enjoyed the character study that Guardian portrayed of how a T-800 might change over time developing a bit of personality as it continues its interactions with people.  But more than this, it was great to see Emilia Clarke portray a Sarah Connor more fully realized as both the bad@$$ warrior from T2 and the vulnerable young woman from the original Terminator.

The future war battle scenes are worthy of everything Cameron created in his two Terminator films.   The old Arnold vs ‘young’ T-800 fight scene is indeed better than the clips shown in promotional materials, the bus stunt sequences are impressive and the helicopter sequences exceed the ones from the original Matrix film

If your standard for success is master-work worthy of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, well, it isn’t that.  But it’s better than Prometheus, better than Thor 2, far better than Superman Returns and as good as X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Terminator Genisys is a very fine example of a summer pop corn film and worth every penny to see in theaters.  It leaves me wanting to see what comes next, not longing for my blu-ray of T2.

Thank you for reading! What’s your favorite or most-hated film sequel?  Tell us about it in the comments.

James Cameron’s quotes come from here:

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