This is an unbiased review of the new Terminator Genisys movie in theaters now. I have not been compensated for this review and the views are all my own. Last night I dragged my 12 year old daughter to the Mall of America to see Terminator Genisys. She was hesitant to go, action movies are not really her thing and yet she acknowledged I’d sat through enough cartoons, anime and Pixar movies and could finally choose something I wanted to see. She’s a great kid.
I’ve been a huge fan of the Terminator movies since the first one was released in 1984. It was such a different kind of movie. Sure there was a lot of action but the “what ifs” were what got me hooked. What if the machines take over? What if there was a nuclear war started on accident? What if time travel is possible? Seeing The Terminator got me wondering about a lot of things that before I’d seen it had never paid any attention to. Apocalyptic movies, books and TV shows are some of my favorite things. I like considering the end of the world for a lot of reasons and thinning the herd is one of them but so is prevention. Technology is moving so fast and sometimes when we acquire the knowledge to do something revolutionary with technology we forget to ask if we should do it. The Terminator movies are a cautionary tale.
On to the movie review of Terminator Genisys. The movie officially opens today but the Mall of America was showing it last night. The daughter and I saw the 7pm show in a theater that had maybe 30 people in it, mostly single, white men who probably work in IT, just what I would expect. There may have been one other female in the theater. We snuck in popcorn from Doc Popcorn because the Mall of America has horrible popcorn. This was not always the case, it used to be much better but the last few movies we’ve seen there it’s been just horrible so we brought our own*.
I don’t want to give anything away about the storyline and truth be told the time travel aspect was a bit confusing for me. It may have been that I missed the explanation about how the timeline fractured making the 1984 of the original Terminator different. Actually 1984 itself looked the same, it was Sarah Connor who was different. Instead of being a mousy waitress who reluctantly goes on to change the world she’s a badass woman who takes no prisoners. I’m still unsure what happened to change it but the movie had fun recreating well known scenes from the first movie so that the T-800 of the original 1984 could battle the other T-800 — basically Ah-nold vs Ahnold — it was epic!
Terminator Genisys elevated the car chase scene to heights never seen before. They raised the bar with special effects and really imagination. Many of the stunts just seemed unimaginable. The movie starts with a bang and never really stops.
The storyline was the same as it was the first time around in The Terminator, and that should be no surprise to anyone. Of course just when you think you know how something will play out they turn the tables keeping you guessing. Sure, some was predictable but so what?
More than anything I loved how 2015 a great time for this movie. Who knew Facebook was Cyberdyne? We all login on a daily and willing help Skynet become self aware. I’d read somewhere that the inspiration for Terminator Genisys was Back to the Future 2 and 3. Pretty much, just a lot darker.
There are a whole host of funny moments in this movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger is outstanding in this role and plays it to the hilt. His performance was worth the tickets and the popcorn alone. The rest of the actors did well, nothing to complain about though Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese was very different from the original war wear Kyle played by Michael Biehn. That could be explained by his story and basically having two sets of possible memories. Emilia Clarke’s performance was fine, safe. She didn’t play it much differently than her role as Daenerys Targaryen from The Game of Thrones, and that’s ok. Because of the fractured timeline they are all different characters than they are in the first Terminator movie so I have no complaints.
In fact I have no complaints about Terminator Genisys. It was wonderful and I enjoyed myself immensely. There were a few surprises, lots of laughs and it was a hugely fun experience. Terminator Genisys returns the franchise to it’s original roots where it doesn’t take itself too seriously, unlike the Terminator Salvation which in my opinion should have been a Batman movie it was so dark. Terminator Genisys is not a dark movie, it is a movie of hope and wonder and imagination.
This is a stand alone movie, you don’t need to see the original Terminator movies to understand what is happening in this movie or to enjoy it but just like with Jurassic World if you’ve seen the original movie it enhances and makes the current movie more enjoyable for all the Easter eggs that have been sprinkled through the film.
I don’t have a rating system but if I had to rate this movie I’d say 9 out of 10 thumbs up or stars or whatever the current unit of measure is for a movie. It was fun, fantastic, thought provoking and I’d see it in a theater again. Though I don’t think I’d be able to drag my daughter to see it again.
Have you seen Terminator Genisys? Did you like it?
*The Mall of America had the sound turned all the way up to 11 for this showing of the movie. It was too bad because there were times my daughter had to cover her ears. It would have been a better viewing experience without the 3D and if they’d turned the sound a few notches.