Terminator: Genisys Movie Review
James Cameron’s Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day are ranked among the best action movies of all time, so it’s no wonder that all subsequent Terminator movies have proven to be a disappointment. Critics and audiences alike are attacking the new, brilliantly mind-numbing Terminator: Genisys, a movie so bold it is willing to misspell its own goddamned title.
Terminator: Genisys puts all other Terminators to shame. Sure, James Cameron is an OK director, but he’s no match for TV director Alan Taylor, whose only other theatrical credit is Thor: The Dark World, a sequel so incredible it stands as Marvel’s worst. Unlike Cameron, Taylor understands that action sequences don’t need proper setup, to build suspense before unleashing the kraken, to use that awesome Terminator music to make things more exciting. Taylor knows that people--especially Terminator fans--like their action generic and forgettable, a rehash of what has already been done.
Speaking of rehash, Taylor has assembled the whopper of rehashes. By teaming with writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, he did an incredible job of taking the original material and pissing all over it. Literally all over it, not missing an inch. It’s an incredible feat.
Whereas time travel used to serve as a backdrop for Cameron’s simplistic fight-run-or-die movies, Taylor rightfully said “fuck” to that and decided to make time travel a core part of the story, with characters going back and forward in time like it’s a taxi service. Thankfully, Terminator: Genisys now boasts overlapping and alternate timelines to officially desecrate everything Cameron thought of originally.
Unfortunately, the first 45 minutes of the movie are extremely disappointing--for the first act, the movie defies everything Taylor stands for by actually making sense and having real entertainment value. It’s not until Khaleesi/Sarah Conner (Emilia Clarke) shows up that things get really fucking stupid and the fun can begin.
The fun… Well, the fun primarily revolves around watching Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney attempt to act despite having no chemistry and working from a screenplay so brilliantly clunky it’s amazing the elementary school it was written in signed away the rights. So much money to be made, so much money lost. Clarke is somehow worse than Courtney, but at least Jason Clarke serves as a proper distraction--a villain so lame and cheeseball no villain has or ever will surpass him.
Terminator: Genisys is an amazing feat of filmmaking. By boasting not a single good action scene, a story that gives the middle finger to the world James Cameron built and terrible, horrible acting, this latest Terminator is the best yet, an orgy of stupidity so courageous it’s impossible not to cherish.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.