Terminator Genisys – Reviewed

Single Sentence Review: Killer Robot gets old but not tired.

I fell in love with The Terminator in 1986.

The film made such an impression on me that I’ve followed its star and its director for their entire careers. I have watched director commentary and deleted scenes, and visited forums where they discuss the Terminator’s canon timeline. I own every episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles television show on Blu-ray. If you visit the How We Rate Films page on this site, we cite The Terminator as an example of a nearly perfect science fiction film.


When T2 came out, I videotaped Schwarzenegger interviews on Arsenio Hall, HBO, Jay Leno and anywhere he or director James Cameron would appear. I recorded The Making Of, and went to a special sneak preview of the film with my father.

Terminator 3 was a terrible film, and Terminator: Salvation was made tolerable only by terrific visual effects, action, and the inclusion of a Kyle Reese storyline.

Terminator Genisys is a film for hardcore fans of James Cameron’s take on The Terminator. From the slick wink-wink title to the tongue-in-cheek trailer, knowledge of the sequence of events and characters are necessary to revel in the full experience of this relaunch. If you do not already know who Kyle Reese and John and Sarah Connor are, this film really isn’t for you.

Just as with Man of Steel’s Kryptonian opening, anyone who has badly wished to see the future war of John Connor will finally get their wish. Spectacularly. The action sequences in Terminator Genisys are not to be missed.

Terminator Genisys Trailer

While the first half of Terminator Genisy walks in the same dark footsteps of Cameron’s original film, the second half introduces hammy one liners inspired by T2. Although this disparity sounds like a breakdown in stylistic execution, the plot twists are crafted well enough to overcome this contradiction.

Terminator Genisys is fun.

The action is spectacular, the CGI used very well, and Schwarzenegger, in his old age, is finally able to deliver a few authentic lines. The writers clearly understand the material, and take great pleasure in twisting scenes from the original film into surprises no one can see coming.

As you hopefully know by now, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke, A Game of Thrones) is having a tough day. Killer cyborgs from the future have been trying to kill her son, humanity’s future messiah, by killing her before he is born. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney, A Good Day To Die Hard, Divergent), the soldier sent back to protect her, is also, unknown to him, the father of his hero John Connor. [Note: with Schwarzenegger bringing up the rear, we have a Brit, an Austrian, and an Australian leading a Hollywood blockbuster.]

From here, everything you think you know about The Terminator, is deliciously turned on its head. A lot of thought went into the timelines, characters and plot of this film. The results are something just short of fantastic for the fans, and bewildering for the casual viewer. Beautiful cinematography, terrific sound and spry pacing combine for an enjoyable experience. Truly the best Terminator since the original.

Plot: 4.2
Directing: 4.0
Cinematography: 4.2
Acting: 3.0
Sound: 4.3
Film Score: 3.9 (Out of 5)
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