Terminator Genisys – Good, Bad & Ugly Review


Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 27% (Critics) / 69% (Audience)
Directed By: Alan Taylor
Written By: Patrick Lussier and Laeta Kalogridis
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Synopsis: John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be. – (Source)

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The Good:
I love Arnold Schwarzenegger and he was great as the cuddly Terminator called Pops. His awkward attempts at human behavior mixed in with the awesome way he delivers his deadpan lines just made me a totally happy camper.
The effects and action set pieces were really well done too with my favorite being the battle of older Arnold as Pops versus a younger, original TERMINATOR time period Arnold. Director Alan Taylor is great at putting together cool action scenes (even in crap like THOR: THE DARK WORLD) and he was in top form with this movie.
And J.K. Simmons was fun as the comic relief even though his part should have been a bit larger.

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The Bad:
I love my Khaleesi…she is the “moon of my life” but holy shit was Emilia Clarke a bad casting choice for the role of Sarah Connor especially for a Sarah Connor who is supposed to be a kick-ass action heroine. Clarke just looked incredibly out of place through this whole film plus she and Jai Courtney had negative romantic chemistry.
Speaking of Courtney…I am not one of his detractors (I still don’t know how the guy was able to even garner such heated base of haters) but he was also all wrong as Reese. Nothing about Courtney’s Kyle Reese came across as a guy who grew up in a war torn future. He played the role as just a bit too slight and care free. In comparison, the original TERMINATOR film’s Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn) was a tightly wound raw nerve and that fit someone coming from his circumstances.
And as bad as I thought Clarke was I was even less happy with Jason Clarke in the role of John Connor because I have never liked Jason Clarke in anything. Ever.
I also would have liked to see more of Byung-hun Lee’s T-1000 because Lee is always great and the T-1000 is my favorite model of killer robot.

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The Ugly:
Nothing about the wibbley wobbley timey wimey stuff made a lick of sense and the folks who should have tried to make sense of it for the audience seemed just as thoroughly confused since all I have seen are interviews with the writer and director trying to explain (badly) things that didn’t need to become so messy. Time travel stories have an inherent danger of getting unwieldy but they can be done in ways that make sense. Just look at the first two TERMINATOR films or even the recent X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST movie.

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Final Verdict: Twangs of nostalgia, some spiffy special effects laden action scenes and a fun performance by The Arnold are the pluses but an overly convoluted time travel storyline and some seriously bad casting of major roles are like anchors weighing down what could have been a much more enjoyable summertime popcorn movie.

Grade: C+

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