Messing up an already convoluted story (and having fun).
Terminator Genisys is another one of a seemingly endless streams of reboots/remakes/sequels that failed to meet audience expectations when it released. Hollywood’s endless infatuation with recycling narrative shows no signs of abating, and Terminator is just another story that is being forced into a franchise. The first film in this series released in 1984, which makes this a fairly long-running series. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been in all of them but one. An impressive run, in my opinion. Though, let’s all be honest with ourselves, none of these movies are really that good…
I know I will get some hate for that, but the 1984 film is probably the best of the bunch. We have Terminator 2: Babysitting and Terminator 3: We Need More Money followed by Terminator 4: The One We Don’t Talk About and now this one. Not to mention the television series that spawned out of this franchise, as well.
When I hear people say that this film is bad, my genuine response is “compared to what?” The film offers the same narrative heft and corny action as all the other sequels. Sure, the story is stupid. Do we really want to dissect time travelling robots? Yes, this is a stupid action movie. It delivers on that level. How much fun good ol’ Arnie is clearly having also makes the film quite watchable. He is the best part.
Where the film suffers is the other casting choices. The forums seem to target one of the three other main characters. I think all of them were miscast. Kyle Reese is too stupid. Sarah Connor is too spacey. John Connor just doesn’t seem like John Connor in any way. The problem with the franchise at this point is that everyone has their ideal character—and this is not the same for everyone. To say this is a casting challenge is an understatement.
The story is also a bit of a mess. The timeline has jumped all over the place to where it doesn’t really make sense anymore. If you just want action, this will not matter. However, the needlessly complex story just wastes time getting to the set pieces. If you’re a fan of the series, you won’t hate your life while watching this movie. It will fulfill some nostalgia and will probably make you laugh a couple times. Newcomers to the series will leave the film feeling indifferent (at best).
Honestly, if they make a Terminator 6, I hope it is just Arnold being weird around people for 90 minutes. The Terminator series seems to aim for dumb action fun, and it delivers on this. So, I have to give it the base score for genre fulfillment 6/10.