WARNING: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
Synopsis: Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is sent back to 1984 to save Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). However, the timeline has changed, and now Kyle, Sarah, and the Terminator must save the world from John Connor (Jason Clarke).
Review: The Terminator franchise has been in a stand still since Terminator Salvation in 2009, with no one knowing if the series could continue any longer. However, with a new idea at hand to retcon the series, it seems like the franchise has been given a breathe of new life.
In Genisys we see the original timeline from the first film obsolete as Skynet has changed the game again, making John Connor a T-3000 and having him help Skynet instead of destroying it. Judgment Day is no more, with Skynet releasing a new operating system called Genisys in 2017, that will become the precursor to Skynet.
While Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Salvation weren’t critical darlings, and started to stray from the source material, Genisys succeeds from building off the 1984 original – going so far in recreating some pivotal scenes shot for shot.
Emilia Clarke portrays Sarah Connor this time around, channeling Linda Hamilton down to a T. While some of the puffy hair and bad clothing style choices of the 80s are gone, Clarke looks like Hamilton and carries her badass qualities from T2. However, since the timeline has been altered, Clarke does a good job trusting the Terminator (or as she calls him, “Pops”), and does make the character her own.
Jai Courtney’s take on Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese isn’t as solid, and might be the weak point of this new trilogy. Courtney wasn’t terrible as Reese, but he just didn’t seem as convincing as Biehn did the first time around. The chemistry between him and Clarke seemed much more forced than that of Hamilton and Biehn.
One of the strongest roles in Genisys was from Schwarzenegger. This T-800 had some of the best one liners of the franchise as well as his ability (or lack thereof) to create small talk or grasping the simple task of smiling. While his Terminators in previous films never understood love or human compassion, you get the sense this time around that “Pops” truly loved Sarah Connor.
With most time travel movies, there are some plot holes and some inconsistencies. Because of the timeline rift, you can also say that the other films never existed, or you could say that they still do in an alternate timeline. However, it’s probably best to just enjoy the film for what it is and go along for the journey in the beginning of this new saga.
It has been reported that Genisys is the start of a new trilogy, with Schwarzenegger signed on for at least the first sequel. It will be interesting to see where this new timeline takes us in the next installment of the Terminator franchise.
NOTE: STAY FOR THE CREDITS.
Final Grade: 8.0/10