REVIEW: Terminator Genisys (2015)

Paramount Pictures poster for Terminator Genisys

The following is a short spoiler-free review of Terminator Genisys (2015).

Let me preface review this by saying that I love the James Cameron Terminator-films and that even though the 3rd and 4th entries in the franchise were underwhelming, I’ve been very hopeful for this franchise. In truth, The Sarah Connor Chronicles was the last good entry in the franchise, but audiences didn’t exactly flock to that piece of entertainment content, sadly. I really wanted to like Genisys, this potential new beginning of a fresh Terminator-trilogy. But in the end, I got exactly what I had feared for so long – another subpar Terminator-film.

You already know the basic premise from the trailers, which actually reveal way too much, so I won’t describe the plot in exhausting detail, but, yes, this is another film about Kyle Reese going back in time to find Sarah Connor. Only this time around, the film is ruined by incompetence and illogical plotpoints (including some elements that go nowhere), as well as a couple of franchise-leading roles that are woefully miscast.

I will admit that if you’re solely in this franchise for the chuckles, then you may get your money’s worth here. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aged T-800 is now referred to as ‘Pops’, and his relationship with Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor is a nice touch to an overall disappointing film. I would even go as far as to say that of the main characters, I only really enjoyed Schwarzenegger and Emilia Clarke’s work, even though Clarke can’t hold a candle to Linda Hamilton.

When it comes down to it, this already incredibly frustrating and illogical film, also suffers from its ensemble having been completely miscast. Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese is no Michael Biehn. You can’t say otherwise with a straight face. Frankly, I don’t buy Jason Clarke as an adult John Connor either. Even the two most fascinating casting choices are disappointing. J. K. Simmons is entertaining, but very underused, and Matt Smith, well… He’s in the film for maybe five minutes. So don’t expect to see much of J. Jonah Jameson and Dr. Who.

But the absolute worst part of this film is how it absolutely erases everything that the Cameron-films gave to the franchise except for the increasingly annoying catchphrases. I won’t go into spoilers in this review, but this film should absolutely drive any and all Terminator-fans up the wall.

Final Score4.5 out of 10 – Terminator Genisys is a miscast mess of a film, which is only serviceable due to Emilia Clarke and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performances.

– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.

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