My initial reaction to the first trailer for Genisys was not a good one. What is fast seeming to become the newest movie troupe trend is the ole “let’s go back in time and erase it all” plot line. Yes, it worked great for X-Men in attempting to eradicate the vile poison that is X-men: The Last Stand from memory, but as a continuing theme in films, I am not happy with that becoming a trend. It echos to me lazy writing and it was only excusable with Last Stand because of the travesty that film was, but I digress.
The plot is simple, when Reese is sent back in time, Skynet messes everything up and creates an alternate time line…
The cast is just OK. Emilia Clarke (Games of Thrones) comes across as too meek to pull off a hardened Sarah Connor, especially with following strong performances of the character from both Linda Hamilton (Terminator & T2) and Lena Headley (Sarah Connor Chronicles). One could argue that Emilia is playing a younger Sarah, yes, but that goes against the plot line, essentially she is supposed to have had “more time” to prep for Judgement day in this new envisioning; so after hearing that I expected more gruff (think Michelle Rodriquez on a bad day). I personally prefer Linda’s portrayal as she was so fluid with it, almost second nature on screen. However, Lena is one of those heavily underrated actresses that I can really appreciate.
Jai Courtney (Divergent) seemed a bit, “lets find a guy that is kind of like Tom Hardy” casting. He wasn’t bad mind you, but going against the original portrayal by Michael Biehn, Jai is heavily lacking in the charisma department.
Michael had this puppy dog sweetness when it came to Sarah in the original Terminator and that to me not only made him likable but it made the chemistry with Sarah Connor’s naivety in the first Terminator much more believable. Overall though, Jai’s performance was decent.
Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) as John Connor he is like cardboard. His acting wasn’t bad but there was nothing about him that really stood out for me. A stronger character actor would have served this role much better. In defense though, John Connor is not an easy character to portray. You really need a dynamic leader and strong actor to really bring this role to life. It’s almost too easy for his role to get pushed into the background. Especially during certain scenes where heavy duality is needed to be seen.
J.K. Simmons was awesome to see in this, but his character was so under utilized it seemed a shame. I am sure this is something that is going to be corrected for the “sequel”; of course. Honestly, he may be older but I would have loved to see his take on the John Connor character…just sayin’ (think Whiplash on steroids).
Now after reading this one would think, WOW; this movie sounds awful BUT it really wasn’t, that is the crazy thing!
I went in with no expectations and who really stole the show for me was Arnold. With plenty of CGI 1984 Arnold (and I’ll leave it at that) the Easter eggs are abundant. I went into this expecting an action flick with science fiction themes and that is exactly what I got.
Call me nostalgic, but I really got a kick out of seeing Arnold on the big screen even more than I thought I would. It helped me to connect with the plot and casting a lot more. The only scene that is completely over the top was the dismal helicopter chase. It reminded me too much of the chariot dash scene from Pompeii, where the chariots went 110 miles per hour while being made out of wood…womp womp.
Overall, this really was a decent action flick that is watchable. Nothing really lagged too much in fact I think they tried to fit EVERYTHING they could into this and the plot was paint by numbers, but what else do you expect from an action flick right?
Now there are PLENTY of unfinished plot holes and it is very easy to estimate that this film is being geared up in anticipation for a sequel. For instance, they could have easily written into the script, “and that will be answered in the sequel” and it would have worked. The action had a good pace, and I left the theater not really feeling like I wasted the $6 I spent on my movie ticket. This film may be better served at the $1 theater for some, but it was still a fun action flick; and trust me you could do a lot worse for a movie going experience.
Similar to Jurassic World, go in expecting action and Easter eggs and this film will serve you. Go in and expect a successor to a James Cameron film, and you will be heavily disappointed.