Terminator Genisys falls apart circling bland horizons.
If you have been following the Terminator saga closely, which as a matter of fact I have, and which of course is hard for people to keep track of given the humongous year gaps, you would be thrilled to see the beginning sequence of the movie. The untold prologue gets told. What James Cameron had hinted in the first installment gets displayed. But the question goes: was it perfect?
What James Cameron had ignited long ago was a spark of sci-fi awesomeness. The cast then was stellar, their acting prowess unmatched! What Alan Taylor has with him is a bunch of renowned actors, some of them can’t really plunge into the sentient topnotch emotions that the then Sarah, Kyle and Connor had sparked amidst the Skynet terror stricken world. (Daggers intended at Jai Courtney!)
Genisys has a brilliant plot too, but unfortunately it negates everything James had built in his timeline. The time theory just gets trudged upon big time and little explanations of justification make things even more difficult to understand. If you aren’t up to speed with the Terminator timeline, you might as well miss it.
The powerful drama of the franchise gets lost into mediocrity. Gravity in the characters is nowhere to be found. There is no impending dread like there used to be. It fails to milk on hard-to-defeat robot fear factor.
All that had happened in ‘The Terminator’ is made to rest in dust, as Sarah encounters another Arnie (whom she calls Pops, and boy does he behave like one!) in the year 1973, who had come to save her from a Skynet cyborg sent from the future just like the first installment. Now the meeting with Kyle Reese in the year 1984 happens but this time with an already prepped Pops (who knows everything about the future) and Sarah who intercept Kyle and kill Arnie from The Terminator. What is the next logical thing to do? Avoid the judgment day. So that is what Kyle and Pops are in for, but Kyle breaks in with a memory he had in the time machine saying they have to go to 2017 as that is when the judgment day was bound to happen and not 1997 (Kyle and Pops don’t know that as they haven’t seen T-2 :P). So what appears to be a recalcitrant Kyle coaxing Sarah to go to 2017 (that looks horrible btw) was basically based on a memory Kyle had. Trusting that they reach 2017 where Genisys aka Skynet is about to go live.
What makes the story even more intricate is the fact that John Connor in the future gets affected by Skynet something that Kyle witnesses when he was about to time travel to 1984. The affected John Connor is then sent some years prior to 2017 to see to it that everything goes fine and that Genisys goes online without a hiccup (so primarily to stop Kyle and Sarah).
Along with Kyle, Sarah time travels to 2017 only to find the future bad John and of course Pops still up and running. What follows are some brilliant action sequences in an effort to stop Skynet/Genisys from going live. I know it’s one hell of a hotchpotch. Things were simpler when there was only one timeline to follow.
Jai seems literally absent with emotions. (Was he just chosen for the naked time travel scenes or was he really supposed to act?) He looked more cyborg than Pops! Emilia could have been a good Sarah, but sometimes it is really hard to read her. The Kyle and Sarah romance and the right chemical vibes are literally absent from the movie which makes it hard to relate to their commotion. Movie lacks profundity something that its predecessors had mastered. Arnold is showing too many expressions for a cyborg. The inclusion of J.K. Simmons looks dispensable. Jason Clarke doesn’t look that great as John too.
On the good side we have some pretty dope action scenes, like the one where Pops holds a T-1000 in the acid. Or when he rams a rotor into John, the bus action seq, and the final action bits that look pretty great. Other than that, mediocre!