- Category: Movie Reviews
- Written by Gilbert Seah
TERMINATOR GENISYS (USA 2015) **
Directed by Alan Taylor
TERMINATOR GENISYS, the fifth instalment of the TERMINATOR series started by James Cameron is not so much a re-boot than a culmination of all the films, attempting to summarize all of the stories. The film begins with a 15 minute voiceover amidst starting credits to inform the audience the state of affairs of the dystopian world. Skynet has destroyed the world and terminators are killing off all the human beings, with the survivors gone into hiding.
For those who have forgotten, terminators are machines designed to kill human beings. The boy Kyle Reese is saved from a terminator by John Connor (Australia’s Jason Clarke). John and Kyle, when grown up (Jai Courtney) destroy the terminators HQ in a feat too easily done. But nothing is as good as it gets. The terminators have travelled to the past to kill John’s mother to wipe out that point in history so that the revolution and the event of their defeat is erased from history. If John’s mum is killed, there is no John and no destruction of the terminators HQ. Kyle travels back and finds the mother, called Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), who somehow knows who Kyle is. Kyle also meets a good terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who protects Sarah Connor. Why is Sarah always called by her full name Sarah Connor is funny. Why there is a good terminator is also unconvincingly explained. And there is a bad John Connor who suddenly appears to kill Sarah Connor. And the plot gets more complicated with the story changing as the film progresses. The story changes so many times that one need not bother about following any longer. There is some silly theory too about dual timelines and characters seeing themselves. This is a case in time travel where logic is thrown down the gutter. Kyle’s new mission is altered now to destroy skynet before it destroys the world.
The film, thankfully is action non-stop. The plot holes, at least can be dismissed by the unassuming fan. But there are segments seen before in other films, like the collapse of the Golden Gate Bridge, done before in the recent SAN ANDREAS. But without pacing, the action segments tend to get tiresome.
Even Schwarzenegger’s presence cannot save the movie. His “I’ll be Back”, an already too-familiar phrase did not register any response from the audience at the promo screening. His new smile showing his white teeth did garner laughs, but it is quite a creepy smile. The John Connor character appears in the film at times, with and without his facial scars, which is puzzling. And Oscar winner J.K. Simmons has a token role as a police officer who wants to help the time travellers.
TERMINATOR GENISYS proves that social effects, CGI and lots of action cannot make a good movie. It can fool audience to be glued at the action sequences, but that is about it. Audiences can now wait for the next action blockbuster reboot. There will be no shortage of the BATMAN and SPIDER-MAN reboots, which are already in the process.