Sunday, July 5, 2015

Terminator Genisys

Movie Name: Terminator Genisys
Year of Release: 2015
Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: 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, Gregory Alan Williams, Otto Sanchez, Matty Ferraro
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 4

Another franchise trying to restart after some less than interesting recent releases, "Terminator Genisys" is the latest attempt to bring back to life the convoluted story of the mechanical killing machines from the future, which James Cameron started in 1984. The story focuses again on John and Sarah Connor: John, the leader of the resistance sends back through time Kyle Reese, his second in command, who is in reality his father (from 2029). This is the story well known from the classic from 1984, however in this sequel, the story is thrown into disarray. Upon arrival in 1984, both the terminator and Kyle Reese, are expected by Sarah Connor, and also an older terminator who has been protecting Sarah since she was a child. Sarah, Kyle and the old terminator (fondly named "Pops" by Sarah) have to travel in time to 2017 and thwart Skynet's plans for releasing Genisys, which in itself is the launching pad for the war between humans and machines. It's up to them to stop this from happening.
"Terminator Genisys" for all the money that has been invested into this relaunch, suffers from a set of crucial problems. Director Alan Taylor, talented as he may be, lacks a point of view, merely illustrating what the screenplay suggests and indicates (and that was also a problem with his previous directorial release, "Thor: The Dark World") - the film feels generic, saturated with digital effects (awesomely achieved as they may be) and full of clunky attempts at a revivalist humor. The screenplay from Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier (Kalogridis has worked on such films as Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" and James Cameron's "Avatar", Lussier has written fare as "Drive Angry" and "Dracula 2000") is filled with parallel realities and time frames that try to justify the back-flips on the Terminator chronology, but in the end, it remains puzzling and unsatisfying. The cast chosen for the film also presents problems of their own: Schwarzenegger is along for the ride, in a role that made him popular and an icon, however the supporting roles are a mix bag of talent. Jason Clarke who has done so well on Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" plays a forgettable villain, while Emilia Clarke tries to add spunk to her Sarah Connor, but her performance comes across as a rebel teenager, as opposed to a young woman with a cause. Jai Courtney is the most puzzling choice of the whole cast: he's wooden and emotionless, and his scenes, with both Jason and Emilia Clarke sound sterile and inadequate. This is one of the relaunches that should just be put to rest.