"Terminate This Franchise"
What You Need To Know:
TERMINATOR GENISYS has a moral worldview about saving the world from tyranny and destruction. However, the storyline is confusing, the acting uneven, and the action bland. TERMINATOR GENISYS has an excessive amount of foul language. That said, the budding romance between Connor and Reese doesn’t go beyond a kiss, though there are brief references to “mating.” TERMINATOR GENISYS may do well at the box office, but most viewers and fans will be underwhelmed. Extreme caution is advised because of the violence and foul language.
(BB, C, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, M) Strong moral worldview, with some themes of self-sacrifice to save other; at least 27 obscenities and profanities (including an “f” word, several GDs and a reference to Jesus); constant action violence includes android robots throw humans around, robots murder humans, fighting, robots are stabbed, sliced, impaled and robots keep coming back for more, flesh peels off robots during some attacks, numerous gun battles where humans blast holes into android robots made of liquid metal, but robots quickly regenerate to looking normal and human, and numerous car crashes, explosions and reckless driving; references to mating between unmarried young couple, and nude people must embrace to use time travel mechanism; upper and rear male nudity, implied nudity and woman in bra; alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, deception by evil Terminators trying to trick people into thinking they’re safe and man expresses his desire for a beer when the world is saved.
TERMINATOR GENISYS follows the adventures of humans Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, John Connor, and a killer robot, who develops a heart of gold as they try to save humanity from a robot-ruled post-apocalyptic world. TERMINATOR GENISYS has a moral worldview, but it’s marred by foul language, constant but strangely bland action violence, uneven acting, and an underwhelming, confusing storyline.
TERMINATOR GENISYS is a confusing mess, because it spends half the time rehashing the plot points of the original THE TERMINATOR from 1984 in an obvious attempt to explain the original movies to a new generation of science fiction fans who haven’t bothered to see them. The key idea is that a worldwide missile-defense system called Skynet developed enough artificial intelligence to form its own opinions about mankind, opting in 1997 to destroy humanity with nuclear missiles around the world on what became known as Judgment Day.
The only person who can eventually lead humanity in a massive revolt against Skynet and its evil robot enforcers is a man named John Connor. Therefore, the iconic Terminator robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger was sent back to 1984 to kill John’s mother, an average Los Angeles waitress named Sarah Connor, before she could conceive John; and, another human hero also traveled back in time to save her from the Terminator and impregnate her with John.
That convoluted plotline worked wonders in the hands of the series’ creator, writer-director James Cameron. However, GENISYS spends the other half of its running time trying to reinvent the wheel by creating a plot where our heroes don’t know whether to time travel to 1997 or 2017 to save the world.
A hole in time was cracked open during a key fight sequence that can’t be revealed without being a major spoiler, leading to greater – yet even more confusing – consequences than anyone ever imagined. One other key twist is that a countdown game-type software called “Genisys” that was popular with youth in 2017 was actually a trick to help extend Skynet’s reach and destructive power across society.
This latest attempt at adventure is directed by Alan Taylor, a veteran TV director of everything from “Sex and the City” to “Game of Thrones,” whose only major feature movie before this was THOR: THE DARK WORLD. He’s no James Cameron, however, and doesn’t have the sense of epic scope that Cameron brought to the first two classics in the series.
The movie stars popular young “Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke, who follows in the footsteps of all-time female tough-gal Linda Hamilton in taking on the role of Sarah Connor. Hamilton played her with a toughness and grit that called to mind a female Rocky Balboa. Clarke, on the other hand, may be a 29-year-old actress, but she seems so young and high-strung that she comes off like she’s starring in a sequel to JUNO rather than saving the planet from rampaging killer robots.
As the adult John Connor, supervising events from 2029 Los Angeles, Jason Clarke’s odd looks and nasty facial scar undermine the tough nature his character needs to have because he looks too much like Randy Quaid. Also, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese (Connor’s right-hand man, who goes back in time to save Sarah Connor and impregnate her with John) is just a plain, generic, good-looking action hero. As John McClane’s son in the last DIE HARD movie, he nearly drove a nail into the coffin of that franchise, and he may just do the same with the TERMINATOR movie.
This latest entry in the series is the second, after TERMINATOR: SALVATION, to be rated PG-13. While normally a G, PG or PG-13 movie is preferable to an R, the first three TERMINATOR movies were dependent on pushing their action violence to inventive and gritty limits.
Toned down enough to be deemed okay for teenagers by the ratings board, the result makes all of the action sequences feel like the filmmakers pulled their punches and limited their weaponry damage throughout. The action scenes just feel bland throughout the movie. TERMINATOR GENISYS has a fair amount of foul language that’s just a little bit excessive. That said, the budding romance between Connor and Reese doesn’t go beyond a kiss, though there are brief verbal references to their eventual “mating.”
TERMINATOR GENISYS may do somewhat well at the box office, but most viewers and fans will be underwhelmed. Extreme caution is advised because of the violence and foul language.