‘Terminator Genisys’ - Review

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T800 Guardian in Terminator Genisys.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T800 Guardian in Terminator Genisys.
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The credits started to creep up the screen and Brad Fiedel’s timeless classic Terminator movie theme began to play. It was one of those moments.

I was too young to go and see ‘The Terminator’ or ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ so I never knew what it was like to sit in a darkened theatre and take it all in.

Fiedel’s theme music and the back story to James Cameron’s and Gale Anne Hurd’s vision of a dystopian future ruled by murderous machines is as fresh and as entertaining as it first was back in 1984 when ‘The Terminator’ was released.

‘Judgement Day’ came in 1991 and it wasn’t until 2003 and 2009 that ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ and ‘Terminator Salvation’ were released respectively.

The first two Terminator films are cinema classics but the two films that followed were nothing in comparison.

‘Terminator Genisys’ is the fifth film in the Terminator franchise and whilst it can never be placed in the same category as the first two movies it is a worthy and entertaining addition to the family.

It’s directed by Alan Taylor (‘Thor: The Dark World’) and is a perfect blend of nostalgia and reinvigoration.

Taylor isn’t out to try and reinvent the wheel. He knows and respects the material he has to work with.

The first third of the film is a wonderful ode to Cameron’s first two Terminator films and Taylor pulls it off without it feeling contrived.

Fear not, the timeless moments of brilliance which made so many film fans fall in love with Cameron’s story are all present and correct. Some, are as a subtle as a punch in the face from a T800 whilst others will impress even the most discerning film buff.

The special effects in Terminator Genisys are truly awesome.

The special effects in Terminator Genisys are truly awesome.

No Terminator movie would be complete without the concept of time travel.

Set way in the future, the leader of the resistance, John Connor (Jason Clarke - ‘Zero Dark Thirty’) sends his protégé, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney - ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke - ‘Game of Thrones’).

When Reese arrives, nothing is as he expects and immediately he is fighting for his and Sarah Connor’s life.

The pair do have some help though in the form of an old but not obsolete T800/Arnold ‘Arnie’ Schwarzenegger.

What makes ‘Terminator Genisys’ go from being an okay film to a good one is its respect and understanding of everything that made the franchise important to movie fans all over the world

Andrew Quinn - Derry Journal film critic

Arnie was in his mid thirties the first time he took on the role of a Terminator but but 31 years later he still has the magic. There’s something truly unique and heart warming about watching an Arnie movie on the big screen. It’s as natural a thing as breathing.

Jason Clarke, Courtney and Emilia Clarke all work well together but the plot becomes a little hard to follow with all its talk about time travel and alternate realities.

The special effects are truly awesome but what makes ‘Terminator Genisys’ go from being an okay film to a good one is its respect and understanding of everything that made the franchise so remarkable and significant in the first place.

VERDICT: 3/5 - What makes ‘Terminator Genisys’ a worthy addition to the Terminator family is its understanding of everything which made the first two films so indisputably momentous within the realm of modern cinema. The story is hard to follow sometimes but the special effects are mind-blowing. However, Terminator films are nothing without a certain Mr. Schwarzenegger and I am glad to report that his revival of the much loved T800 is very entertaining.