Terminator Genysis: A Night at the Movies

Terminator Genysis: A Night at the Movies August 3, 2015

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A couple weeks ago, I went to see Terminator: Genysis. I went into it with a familiarity of the first two Terminator movies and knew that Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles were less-than-stellar. I felt like the trailer gave away way too much of the movie, but that’s a problem with the trailers from the other movies. I didn’t have any expectations about the movie itself and overall I had a good time watching it. It’s not a movie I’d own, but I’d watch it with friends or if it’s on TV.

I’m gonna avoid spoilers in this review for once because I want people to judge the movie for themselves and not because

One thing I noticed during the beginning was that the action scenes were loud. I couldn’t really hear any of the dialogue. It was a little jarring to actually see John Connor for what for me was the first time. And I felt like this movie would sort of be like X:Men Days of Future Past. (Granted I haven’t seen that X-Men movie yet.) Instead, the whole thing felt like Doctor Who crossing over with Terminator. And it’s not just because Matt Smith is in this movie.

But speaking of my favorite Doctor, I knew as soon as I saw him in a scene that he was going to be important. And I was right. It was very jarring to not hear a British accent from him.

The reason why the rest of the movie felt like Doctor Who crossing over with Terminator was because of the way things played out. The timelines have changed. And honestly, in spite of how much the trailers gave away, the movie could’ve done with a bit more explanation of things. I had a major headache in trying to make sense of the fact that the Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese in this movie were very different from the ones I saw in the first two movies.

Speaking of which, in spite of the fact that they cast Emilia Clarke (better known as Daenerys from Game of Thrones) and Jai Courtney (from the Divergent movies), two really good actors, the writing didn’t allow any natural development between them. And they honestly didn’t have the chemistry they should’ve had. Arnold was great, of course, even if his old age was a bit jarring.

I also felt a tad uncomfortable at the movie’s not-so-subtle commentary on our reliance on technology. Mostly because it hits way too close to home for me. But the Genysis app and the hype around it also felt unrealistic to me anyway. In spite of what the movie may think, the entire world wouldn’t be all hyped up on an app that connects everything and I don’t see the government using some kind of app to take control of military equipment. Drones, probably, but stuff humans handle, not so much.

I also hated that they decided to make John Connor the villain. I know that he was turned into a Terminator, but he was a confusing villain. We barely had any time to get to know John as a person before he suddenly turned into the bad guy.

Still, the movie ended on a cautiously optimistic note. That the future will finally get better for once. And some of the action scenes felt real to me, not CGI (although CGI Arnold was awesome). Like I said before, this movie was good, it just wasn’t great because of the confusing writing and the lack of investment I felt in the new versions of Kyle, John, and Sarah. I liked them. I just didn’t love them.

 

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