Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney
Director: Alan Taylor
Running Time: 126 mins
Terminator Genisys is an American film and the fifth instalment in the Terminator franchise. In 2029, in order to prevent the machines from ever taking over, John Connor sends Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor, however it’s not at all what he expected.
This is a complete mess of a film. It’s got bold ideas to reboot and rearrange the entire Terminator franchise, however it does it in such a messy and incoherent way that you lose all intrigue in the new timeline being created, and feel further angered about how the brilliant stories from the first two films are being destroyed before your very eyes.
Now, despite going into this film with some trepidation, I was open to the possibility that this film, an effective reboot of the Terminator saga, would change the past and start a whole new timeline in order to make some new films.
However, in order to be happy about that, the new ideas needed to be interesting, original and at least understandable. They are not.
The problem is that this film tries so hard to simultaneously explain the previous films to newcomers as well as create a new, complex and intricate story line where time travellers cross paths and new realities are created, but the writing is so poor that it’s effectively incomprehensible, especially for those who haven’t seen any of the previous films, but even for those who knew and loved the original plot.
What’s worse is that the exposition here lasts upwards of an hour and a half. Despite blasts of action throughout that time, there’s no strong movement forwards in the story, because they spend so much time just explaining the foundations of what’s going to happen in their plan.
If that were a set-up for another film, it would have made more sense, but it’s the foundation for the execution of a plan in the last half an hour of this movie, in which there’s a climax as messy as the entire exposition before it.
On the whole, it’s pretty boring to sit through the first hour and a half, so at least when it’s all action-packed towards the end, it should be a lot of fun. But it isn’t.
The massively explosive and loud final act is as dull as anything, with the incomprehensible story meaning that you don’t care enough about the stakes, and are still thinking about what the hell everything means for the timeline, resulting in a failure to make an exciting or fun action movie either.
Overall, I’m giving this a 4.1, because despite trying to introduce new ideas for a whole new timeline, this film clumsily cobbles together an incoherent story, coupled with dull action that instils neither excitement nor intrigue.