Terminator: Greatest Hits – Terminator Genisys (2015)

Generic.  So the surviving humans in the future have decided to take a page out of the Skynet playbook: they send back Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) even further back in time to stop the company from ever starting.  This is a series that still has potential, but it needs the right person to take the reins.  James Cameron (obviously) has made the best films in the series; 1 is great, but dated, and 2 is a classic that features special effects that still hold up to this day.  I missed 3, and I thought 4 was decent enough if you look at it strictly as an action movie.  It should be easy enough to fix these movies, as the time travel element has been on the table since day one, but with Genisys, they have made a completely forgettable movie for their fifth outing.

1No smiles here.

This is a movie that just feels piecemealed together with bits of fan service sprinkled in throughout.  There are lots of throwback references to the first two movies, which everybody has the fondest memories of, but it ends up serving as a double-edged sword, because it makes you want to turn this off and put one of those superior movies on instead.  One of the best things featured here is the aging effect on Arnold, which shows how far CGI has come; they convincingly have 1984 Arnold, 1991 Arnold and modern day Arnold, which is an impressive feat, because they even go so far as to interact with one another.  Other than that though, I almost always felt like I was looking at a special effect this entire time through, which made it overly difficult to make a connection with.

2Arnold, through the ages.

I’m going to be honest here, I really had a hard time fighting off sleep on the last leg of this movie, and it was entirely because of how little I was invested in it.  You have Emilia Clarke, better known as the Mother of Dragons, who is doing a great Sarah Conner impression, but it’s pointless, because she has nobody to act off of.  J.K. Simmons is a bright spot, but he’s barely in it.  Mostly, she’s working of one of the most boring actors of all time, Jai Courtney.  I don’t know if he and Sam Worthington are in a competition to see who can be the blandest action star working today, but there’s one thing that we can be sure of: everybody loses.  The story is just not cohesive and you never at any point care.  It’s a property that I still hold out hope for, but I am unable to give this a recommendation, even to the staunchest of Terminator fans.

Terminator Genisys (2015) **

– Critic for Hire

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