When John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future...
Directed by: Alan Taylor
. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
, Jason Clarke
, Emilia Clarke
, Jai Courtney
, J.K. Simmons
, Dayo Okeniyi
, Matt Smith
, Courtney B. Vance
, Byung-hun Lee
, Michael Gladis
, Sandrine Holt
, Wayne Bastrup
, Gregory Alan Williams
. Music by: Lorne Balfe
If you're from my generation, the original "Terminator" was not only a film, it was an event. No need to mention that it established Arnold as one of the definite Action-heroes of the 80's, but this brilliant mix of (low-budget) Science-Fiction, Action and Horror was a virtual breath of fresh air. Come along "Terminator 2", which was a beast of a whole new kind: by now you may likewise have progressed a Metallica- and Guns N' Roses-listening teen and the new Terminator had instantly turned from merciless killer-robot to the epitome of cool, a movie-star in his own right, living action-figure and comic-book-hero. "Terminator 3" didn't forebode well: big changes were not to be expected, Arnie have long moved past his prime and, indeed, the film seemed more like a mix of parody and self-reverencing spoof of itself.
"Terminator: Salvation" again seemed to promise hope but that too was short-lived. Despite dropping (most) of the tired trademarks and references, despite finally taking us into the gritty future of the war zone between men and machines, the movie was far too polished, even "Transformer"-esque for many old-time fans. Sam Worthington proved once again that he hasn't got it in him to carry a blockbuster (which doesn't include blue Ferngully-aliens) and even Christian Bale came across as unusually bland.
And again, when Schwarzenegger announced that he would take his prime-role up one more time, the already hardened heart of the fan grew suspicious. Would it be a pure vanity-project, where an aging diva would try to -' devil may care -' capture long-gone glory times? Would "Terminator: Genesys" become for Schwarzenegger what "Rocky Balboa" had been for Sylvester Stallone? As with many things, the truth presumably lies somewhere in the middle.
Paradoxically (or even fitting?), it is Arnold Schwarzenegger that makes his parts work. Sure, there still are plenty of quips, quotes and references, but way more subtle than those in "T3" (or was I the only one who cringed when Arnie had to don those pink shades in the third installment?). Even the concept of the aged "Pop-Terminator" works as contemporary and the occasionally lame joke is easily ignored. Albeit, that's where the good things stop.
Let's go down to brass-tacks and put everything that is rotten in perspective. The PG13-Rating was a bad omen (as it generally tends to be if we're not talking about a children's movie). Makes you wonder what is going through the heads of those executives, trying to gear a sequel -' or whatever you want to call "Genesyis" -' away from a loyal fan-base that has almost crossed the 40-year-line, towards kids who probably know the first "Terminator"-film only from their parents classic-channel. Same goes for the casting. I have no idea which teenage-series the new Kyle Reese Sarah Connors were culled from, presuming it's something with vampires, dwarfs or magic kingdoms, but knowing for certain: I'm not in these shows target-age-range. Wouldn't matter so much if the actors would bring along some acting-skills, which unfortunately wasn't the case. Rarely have I seen such bland, lifeless and charisma-free performances.
Which brings us to the antagonists: which is the perfect way to spoil the last bit of potential out of a action-flick? Drown it in a barrage of villains! First we have a rather lame imitation of the T-1000, reminding us that the effects back in 1991 were revolutionary and today a mere CGI-rehash. Same goes for the John-Connor-hybrid. Where the original Terminators, both Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick conveyed the image of the (near) silent, yet unavoidable killer, this version talks. Did I say "talk"? He brattles on incessantly, chattier than the lonely, old lady down the hallway. Indeed, in the cinema I heard a voice behind me mutter: "does he ever shut up?". Same, if not worst, goes for the Skynet-program which makes the shootings of the hologram-projectors almost something like an insider-joke (and even that joke turns stale after being repeated four or five times). And let's not even talk about the many, many other flaws, from the plot holes, to convoluted storyline or lame CGI.
"Why so harsh?", some may ask. "It's just a summer-blockbuster, who'd expect a timeless masterpiece". Well, there's one problem with that: if you're turning a classic (franchise) into a lackluster blockbuster, don't be surprised to cheese off more than one fan, which might not only hand out a less than mediocre 410, but avoid all potential follow-ups like the plague. And keep your extra post-credit-scene where they belong: in the Marvel-flicks!
Review by t_atzmueller from the Internet Movie Database.