Film Review – Terminator Genisys

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Terminator Genisys – “You WILL Be Back.”

Who would you cast to play Sarah Connor – the mother of all future generations? A woman who can handle herself against people-killing robots, stand up to authorities who are blind to the threats posed by such robots, and a strong woman capable of withstanding time travel?

In James Cameron’s dystopian 1984 game-changer The Terminator, the writer/director chose a woman who later become his wife – Linda Hamilton.

Hamilton reprised the role in Terminator 2 – Judgment Day, (with her character receiving a mention in T3 Rise of the Machines and her voice popping up in Terminator Salvation) the actress established the character as a serious ass-kicking crazy woman, not to be messed with.

With the release of the fifth Terminator feature film Terminator Genisys, a new Sarah Connor steps into the fold.

An actor known best for playing the Mother of Dragons, (aka The Unburnt, aka Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea aka Breaker of Chains aka Daenerys Stormborn) Emilia Clarke rises to the occasion triumphantly (as any Game of Thrones fan would expect from this tough talking young woman).

The film kicks off in the future with John Connor (Jason Clarke) planning a mission to take out Skynet, and when compelled to send a volunteer back in time to help Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is handpicked for the task.

A series of events unfold that will be familiar to fans of the original Terminator films, but this time there are numerous curveballs that play with our expectations of what we think will happen.

Parts of this first time travel trip are presented shot for shot in sync with the first film, but when Kyle survives the time warp and encounters his first Terminator, escaping it to meet Sarah Connor, she’s not the same waitress we met in 1984.

In fact she speaks the line “Come with me if you want I live” to Kyle Reese instead of the other way around.

It’s this reinterpretation of the possible timelines that we’ve encountered over the first four films that makes Genisys such an entertaining and unpredictable ride.

Remember in T2 when we saw Arnie at the shopping mall and he pulls the shotgun from a box of roses and shoots at John Connor, then a teenage rat-bag, only to aim beyond him to take out the T-1000 robot that is hunting John down? “Oh My God!” We thought – “The Terminator is a nice guy? WTF?!”

Wait ‘til you meet the Arnie in THIS installment.

The storyline takes the stakes – the future of all mankind comes down to the protection of a handful of pivotal characters – and raises them, in that we are never sure which Arnie we are getting, or anyone else for that matter, and so we can never be sure which character we can trust.

Amongst the incredible special effects, non-stop action, assorted sci-fi/physics/time travel mumbo jumbo and famous one-liners, the constant surprises make Terminator Genisys the best film in the series since 1991’s T2.

You Will Be Back.

4 Stars.

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