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Nerdlocker Movie Review: Terminator Genisys

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“I’m old, not obsolete.” – Arnold as the T-800

I’m going to have to stop you right there Arnie. You may be the best part of this new addition to the Terminator franchise but that isn’t a difficult thing to do. Any enjoyment I found in this movie was due to to my complete lack of interest in it. I went in expecting the absolute worst and of course it didn’t end up that awful so I left the theater thinking it wasn’t so bad. But is that really good enough? Not so bad. Does anyone remember a small indie flick called Terminator 2: Judgement Day? Anyone? Well I do and good enough doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface of just how amazing and groundbreaking that film truly is. And of course I can’t leave out the original and just as fantastic start to what is now unfortunately a dying franchise. It’s dying but no one seems to want to tell the executives to hang it up, they gave it an effort, sort of (Terminator Salvation anyone?). James Cameron helped create a world that is fully realized and recognizable to the fans. All the current renditions of this world seem hell bent on changing it all simply trying to stand apart from the original two films. Standout please, but maintain some connection to the originals without trying to stomp it out.

This franchise is becoming the dramatic version of the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise (stay with me). I am referring to the numerous actors playing the same three or four characters over and over again. In the Vacation films different actors were brought on for each new movie to play the roles of Rusty and Audrey. This was meant as a sort of long term, subtle joke. In a story involving the deaths of nearly all mankind, the humor of different actors playing the same characters is, I would imagine, unintentional at best. It’s difficult to feel and care for the characters when the particular character you’re trying to give a shit about had a different face in the last film. A different face, different mannerisms, different accents even. I just can’t connect like they’re asking me to. And I have to say it’s not exactly fair to ask so much of the audience and this is the half-assed effort we’ve come to expect and receive.

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I fully realize that the first two Terminator films were sort of lighting in a bottle. The magic they created can’t be duplicated (I don’t think they can at least. The rights of the Terminator franchise revert back to James Cameron in 2019. Fingers crossed!) That being said a yearning to see that the same kind of effort is put into these new Terminator films isn’t asking for the impossible. It’s asking for something we as the fans fully deserve and have yet to receive since 1991! I am of the opinion that if James Cameron won’t come back to write and direct than the franchise needs to be put out of all our misery. No one else seems to get this world like that man. And since he’s working on a minimum of two more Avatar films as well as possibly a Battle Angel film his time is mapped out easily for the next decade. But the door is still cracked open and that is enough for us to hope and believe that maybe someday he will return this franchise to its former glory. Please James, please! Anyway, back to the current condition that is this flatlining franchise…

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Are there no other stories that take place during the chronicles of Sarah and John Connor? Create new characters and new plotlines! If the franchise must keep going, give us some new and fresh characters. They keep taking a familiar plotline and attempt to throw in some twists trying to turn the entire storyline and the audience on its head. The problem they’re creating by doing this is the original two are getting washed over. When Bryan Singer created Days of Future Past thus negating the entire tragedy that X3 was and is, everyone was more than okay with it because as I just stated, X-Men 3 was atrocious. You can’t mess up films in a storyline connected franchise that everyone loves. I can forget X3 (I certainly try) but I will never forget T2 and I will hate you if you try to make me.

The greatest compliment that I can bestow upon Terminator Genisys is that I didn’t hate myself as I left the theater. It surpassed my extraordinarily low expectations and made a somewhat competent stand alone film. But that is exactly the problem – this isn’t a stand alone film. It’s supposed to be apart of a bigger world and in that aspect this fails quite emphatically. It’s too busy trying to fool the audience instead of entertain with memorable action sequences and a storyline worthy of its origins. Do as I did and expect the worst thing ever and maybe you’ll enjoy it, I don’t know. At some point we need to demand something more than just okay. Especially when it comes to stories and characters we hold in such high regard.

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Rated a watered down PG-13 for: intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
Run Time: 125 minutes
After Credits Scene: Mid-way through credits, yes.
Genre: Sci-fi, action/adventure, comedy
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, J.K. Simmons
Directed By: Alan Taylor

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2.5/ Acting: 3/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 2.5 Nerdskulls

Check out the trailer below:

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