Review: Terminator Genisys is a fun ride

One of the things that movie critics are often guilty of is setting unachievable expectations for the movie watcher. We feel that we know what’s best for the viewer and thus ruin these movie experiences for others. We have to remember that some movies are meant to be full of merit and art while others are just meant to be a fun ride. Terminator Genisys is not going to win any awards for its merit but it’s a fun ride and worth your time.

The movie starts when John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the humans against the machines, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). A sudden turn of events creates an alternate future. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah turns into this warrior with a terminator by her side (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Faced with a new future they are faced with the unexpected mission of resetting the past.

I was surprised from the start by the originality of the story line of Terminator Genisys. I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical as to exactly how they would bring the Terminator franchise back to life and they did it in a very original way. What I thought was most important was that they stuck to what makes Terminator great. This movie had to have- quick one liners, explosions, chases, great stunts, and great climax to be a success in my book. I am happy to report is they did not pull a Magic Mike XXL  and stuck to what made the franchise so popular and the movie benefited greatly.

I will say that the director made some stellar casting decisions in this movie. J.K Simmons really added just the right amount lightness to the intense chase scenes and all around craziness going on. Arnold Schwarzenegger really picked up where he left off bringing that coldness and tiny bit of dry wit to the role of the Terminator. Some might call into question if Emilia Clarke was the right choice for the role of Sarah Conner. I heard one person even mention that she wasn’t Linda Hamilton. My response to that critique is that while I see what they are saying I think this Terminator movie was fine with Emilia Clarke as Sarah Conner. I think in the old Terminator film the role of Sarah Conner called for an all around badass and this one need a bit badass with mixture of depth as well.

Some might call into question just the level of special effects in the film. I even heard some saying that they had “seen those effects before.” Okay, remember that Terminator 2 Judgment Day, revolutionized the world of special effects and expecting this film to do what that film did so long ago is sadly misguided. I felt that the special effects were more than enough to add the wow that this film needed.

I think what we can learn that sometimes unrealistic expectations can ruin someone’s perspective on a movie. Being realistic about a particular movie not only allows the viewer to enjoy the movie, but more importantly allows them to make their own judgment. My expectation for Terminator Genisys was that I would be entertained and this movie certainly met my expectations.

Relax ! You should be thrilled Arnold has got this under control.
Relax! You should be thrilled. Arnold has got this under control.
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.