Overall Grade: (C+)
Arnold returns to the timeless franchise and reinvigorates the newest entry with life and charm from his performance, and a wildly adventurous, although tough to follow story-line.
After a massive battle with the machines, John Conner (Clarke) sends Kyle Reese (Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother from a terminator sent back by Skynet to killer her. Moments before Reese travels through time dimensions something goes wrong and when he arrives back in time nothing is what it should be.
I guess after “Terminator Salvation” failed to win over audiences in 2009 – the most memorable moment from the production being Bale’s famous rant on a co-worker rather than any onscreen moments – Arnold must have told himself ‘if you want it done right, do it yourself.’ Regardless of a weak third entry, the first two films were exceptionally good. So (for me) there were high amounts of excitement for this films release as well as expectations on its quality.
The story seemed slightly convoluted at times and was hard to follow in some segments, given it seemed to have more layers than an onion, but it was still a great film. There was a good pace and while it did feel like too much information was delivered in gloss-over fashion, but there was still enough to follow along. There was clear ambition and creativity in the script and it never felt like a weak film selling itself with a familiar name and lead actor.
The characters were great and the story was able to capture the old memories of this franchise. The replaying of the arrival in 1984 Los Angeles with a creative twist, the three street thugs who try and attack a younger Arnold leading to a nice old versus young fight, the liquid metal of the T-1000 from the second film that we all remember Robert Patrick from, all of these sequences did great to highlight the classic moments from the series. They were also worked well into the script and it was fun to have the stories timeline change dates and locations routinely to keep the flow going, while still seeming to build off the story in the earlier films, in a (fill in the gap) manor.
Arnold was excellent in this one and regardless of the top-notch special-effects and eye-popping action-sequences, he was still the best thing about this film. My biggest worry about this movie was if his placement in the story was going to seem forced, and after, I was surprised that this was the things that was the most enjoyable aspect of the entire film.
He was highly capable and pulled off what the role asked of him, and his personality was able to shine through his trademark robotic performance that fans of the series love. The moments of comical dialogue were only routine and neither forced or overused and worked perfectly to pull your emotions from tense and pulse pounding one minute to chuckling the next which made for a nice ebb and flow.
The rest of the cast also did a great job with their performances. Emilia Clarke may not have matched the rugged performance of Linda Hamilton in the second film, but she was still very believable in the role. She and Arnold had a nice chemistry conveyed the nice father daughter dynamic that was an enjoyable addition to the script. However that could not be said for that of hers and Courtney’s, whose chemistry seemed off, unlike that of Biehn and Hamilton in the first film.
Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney were also strong in their roles delivering great performances of these already familiar characters. In my opinion Jason Clarke didn’t really fit the role of John Conner but it was clear to see that he dove into the character to convey it properly and ended up being more then capable.
“Terminator Genisys” was a great science-fiction adventure and never let up from start to finish. The action was over-the-top and exciting wish fantastic visual moments routinely placed throughout carrying you through the two-hour run-time. I also really enjoyed the 3D effects this one delivered. Sure there were no real moments that came extremely deep out into the audience but the layering throughout had a nice depth keeping you immersed more than other films where at times you even forget you are watching a 3D film until you remember the glasses.
Overall this was a great entry in the franchise and returning it to its luster. It was enjoyable to see Arnold as the Terminator in all the ages we remember from past films and more. The casting was excellent and sure the story was tough to follow during parts of the dialogue, but the sequencing of the timeline was a fun addition to an already adventurous expansion of the story. Do not delay, grab your 3D glasses and reserve your theater seats, Arnold is at his best and “Terminator Genisys” is definitely worth a watch holding its own among the collection of summer blockbusters.