Terminator Genisys ★★★

2015 Movie Rankings

Is it better than Mad Max: Fury Road?
Nooo.

How does it stack up to the previous Terminator films?
It can be argued that Genisys is the third best in the series, but that really isn't saying much.

I haven't seen any of the old Terminator movies. Do I need to watch them first?
You could watch and understand Genisys even if you haven't seen any of the previous films in the franchise since this one is essentially a reboot. But come on now. How have you not seen Terminator and T2?! Two of the greatest sci-fi films ever! What the fuck, man. Get on that, asap.

How's the cast?
Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn will always be the the best Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese in my book, but Emilia Clarke (<jorah>Khaleesi!!!</jorah>) and Jai Courtney aren't bad here. They actually do a solid job as the leads. Jason Clarke has the strongest performance of the three as the new John Connor. And Arnold, well, he's still awesome.

Isn't Matt Smith supposed to be in this? Is he still in the movie?
Yes. He plays a secret character. You've probably heard his name before...

I hear it's confusing. Is it?
Confusing? No, not really. Does it try to do too much? Yes.

Do they explain why the T-800 looks old?
Yes. They used human cells and tissue on that particular Terminator model, hence the aging.

What the heck is a Genisys?
Genisys is Skynet. It's an OS set to launch in 2017. Sarah and Kyle travel through time to stop it from going live.

Any references to the previous installments?
There's plenty of references to the first two films. In fact, Genisys is basically an amalgamation of Terminator and T2, only not as good.

What are the best parts?
Arnold. That smile. J. K. Simmons. The teddy bear. Four characters in a room (or a parking structure).

What are the worst parts?
The first two-thirds is actually pretty entertaining. It just falls apart in the final act with that ridiculous helicopter chase scene and everything at Cyberdyne.

How's the CGI?
Hit-or-miss. Some look wonky and video-gamey (e.g., the helicopter scene), while some look pretty darn good.

How's the sound?
Insane. Highlight of the movie, for me.

Does it have memorable quotes?
Yes, there are several quotable one-liners (mostly delivered by Arnold): "Bite me." "That is an immature response." "I'm old, not obsolete." "Did you mate?" "That's a meaningless gesture." "Goddamn time-traveling robots covering up their goddamn tracks!" "Straight line. Just keep going and don't look back." "Nice to see you."

Is there a post-credits scene?
Yes. Don't leave right away.

How's the 3D?
It's actually pretty good. Worth ponying up for the extra cash. I saw it on IMAX 3D and it looked and sounded great. The real question though is...

Is the movie itself worth the price of admission?
If you're a fan of the Terminator series or if you like sci-fi/action in general, then yeah, go see it. It's actually not as bad as the critics are making it out to be. It's similar in some ways to Jurassic World in terms of quality and reason for existence. Is it good? Yeah, it's okay. Not great, but enjoyable. Is it necessary? Let's not kid ourselves here. We all know these are mainly cash-ins for nostalgia's sake. It is, however, a necessary and clever workaround to keep Arnold in the series. (I mean, come on, Arnold is The Terminator. No one else is. No one else can be. You can't make these movies without him.) Unlike Jurassic World, there's actually some thought put into this reboot. Not all of it works, but it isn't half-assed either. Worth a watch.

The Scorecard:
Direction: ★★★
Acting: ★★★½
Writing: ★★★
Editing: ★★★
Visuals: ★★★★
Sound: ★★★★★
Entertainment: ★★★★
Replay: ★★★½
Overall Rating: ★★★