Terminator Genisys movie review

By Kate “One Take Kate” Taylor

In a huge year of blockbusters, reboots, reimagining’s and familiar narratives with a new spin – Terminator Genisys arrives amidst a lot of audience angry villager pitchfork and torch waving. You can’t make John Connor a bad guy!!! Or can you?!

No matter what fractured timeline, the ‘Connor Deathstare’ is always in effect, demonstrated here by Sarah (Emilia Clarke) and John (Jason Clarke…strangely – no relation). Image via IMDB.

By the way, that’s not a spoiler…from the outset, every poster, every trailer has positioned John Connor as the baddie. I had some serious cognitive dissonance with this one! But, but, John Connor! “Have you seen this boy?” All of that. I mean loving and being allied as an audience goer with the T800 (Arnie Schwarzenegger) is par for the course from T2: Judgement Day and T3; but shifting into viewing John Connor (Jason Clarke) as the threat? Then I realized, just like a T800 or T1000 I’ve been programmed by the franchise to respond in a specific way to John Connor and the efforts to protect and serve him…I’m right on board with the rest of the resistance against Skynet. But also like the T800, I’m capable of learning new information that frames my perception moving forward. If John’s not the hero…then who? Yip clearly Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) is badass. We know this. Lucky Daenerys ah Emilia, gets to play the best Sarah Connor we’ve ever seen. Stronger, more capable, sane and fiercely loyal it’s fantastic to see the character transcend the on-a-loop Judgement Day shtick we’re used to hearing from her, with Sarah becoming an even more credible female character with choices and perhaps destined to be more than just an incubator to the saviour of humankind.

Yes run Kyle…run from that T1000. Jai Courtney doing his bit for male objectification in Terminator Genisys.
Image via IMDB

So yes, Sarah Connor is our hero for sure. We love the T800, yes yes. John Connor – we can’t trust him anymore. Then…enter: Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney). We do meet Sgt Kyle Reese in the glorious original film and Terminator Salvation; however this version of Reese, is a big blast of sexiness that time rips into 1984 to begin it all and rock Sarah’s Kasbah. Jai Courtney is pretty faultless, turning in a very origin story styled protagonist, building a solid, three dimensional character as he goes for us to pin our hero worship on. Plussss Courtney happens to be very easy on the eye too, especially in gigantic 3D IMAX glory. It’ll be interesting to see what Kyle Reese develops into in the already Paramount planned two sequels to Genisys

A moment of Arnie appreciation if you please…The former Govenator of Callyfournnah melts down all the best parts, all the performance Easter eggs from his previous Terminator appearances and displays an endearing, wonderful love letter to the machine we dare to adore. Humour and heart rules this version’s operating system. It’s a Schwarzenegger-smorgasbord too; there’s so many incarnations of The Terminator that you get a well-rounded, fan pleasing incarnation of the legendary character and best yet Arnie is the most equipped ever to create a really special role in Genisys. Thank you Arnie…great job.

Thanks Arnie, you’ve been the robot Dad I never had. Image via IMDB

There’s also a brief yet very important role played by one of the key icons of the Nerd Brethren. I’m not going to say WHO it is, but I’ve tried to DOCTOR this paragraph so that you MATT know who I’m referring to. Wink. Overall there’s some fun little casting choices asides to the big guns, particularly J.K. Simmons who plays a very comic bookie type of cop character (Detective O’Brien), that’s quite amusing. I was also pretty jazzed any time I saw the two Australian actors (Clarke and Courtney) performing scenes together, as two of the major characters in this narrative universe! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – Oi Oi Oi!

Here’s my immediate reaction to Terminator Genisys, right after the New Zealand Premiere screening

Speaking on gadgetry for a moment…it be stunning! We get to see so many aspects and devices that we’ve come to know by oratory legend from Sarah Connor, but here it is in the flesh, so to speaks, with tech spec to drool over. Cyberdyne, time travel devices, weaponry, land, sea and aircraft – it’s all here and you want to own all of it! This new shot from the Terminator canon is directed by Alan Taylor; a guy who’s TV work you’ve probably binged out on and not even known it. Seriously: Game of Thrones, Nurse Jackie, Mad Men, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Lost, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Carnavale, Sex in the City even the show that started the whole cinematic television phenomenon…Oz! So as a result, the short-attention-span pacing of episodic TV does feature in Terminator Genisys to an extent, but this only enhances the break neck action and high stakes in my opinion; and is vital in the mission to get a lot of complicated information across to the viewer quickly and succinctly.

John…what happened to us John? You used to be cool John. Image via IMDB.

I’m on board with Terminator Genisys. It’s a brave new old world that’s destined to exist before it happened, after it transpires.
Yip it’s a bit of a puzzle with fast pacing and intricate plot blips, but you’ll dig it I reckon.

Terminator Genisys gets 9/10

So…has this instalment of the Terminator franchise caught your attention? Will you be seeing Terminator Genisys?




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