Terminator Genisys (12A)

Directed by Richard Linklater
Starring Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Arnold Schwarzeneggar

I'm a big Terminator fan. Well, of the first 2 films and The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series. Terminator 3 was ok but nowhere near as good while Terminator Salvation was a huge mess! News of a new Terminator film was therefore greeted with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
A good idea was the early casting of Emilia Clarke (following in her Game of Thrones co-star Lena Headey's footsteps who was IMO a fab TV Sarah Connor.) However, Clarke doesn't have a lot to sink her teeth into and while fine, is no Linda Hamilton. She is small and not terribly badass I'm afraid!
The film retells a lot of the story from the first film, using body double and digital manipulation to show Arnie's original terminator. However, Kyle Reese's department store chase has a different ending and we meet a different Sarah, who had a guardian Terminator since she was a child (saving Arnie from having to be mo-capped or something!) who she calls Pops.
There are lots of time jumps, some revisiting of the various possible judgement days and lots of terminator fights(you'd thing they would make them bulletproof one of these days!) The plot gets ridiculously convoluted and the thin characterisations mean despite my love for the character. I found it hard to be invested in anyone's fate. Besides, they can just reset it at some point...
Arnie's acting has probably got WORSE over the years! However. He has presence, although a warm and fuzzy T800 is a bit lame. Jai Courtney is dull in pretty much every film I've ever seen him in and he is just all wrong as Kyle Reese. Too healthy and ripped to be a scavenging freedom fighter from the future. He lacks charisma and has zero chemistry with Emilia Clarke.
The decision to have John Connor (Jason Clarke) be some kind of Cyberdyne proto-cyborg is just daft. I have no idea whan he was trying to do at any point in the film. Jason Clarke is a good actor, but really none of the cast can make anything of this mess of a script.
Generally there is enough of a re-visit of the first 2 films to be enjoyable. It's better than Terminator Salvation and close in quallty to T3 I think. But it's behind the first 2 films and the TV series for me. Can't say I am that excited about 2 more sequels 6/10

July 2015

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