Friday, 3 July 2015


Let's leave aside the fact that Terminator Genisys has no respect for the franchise that birthed it - its peculiar position within that franchise made even more peculiar by its fitful disregard for its fundaments. Let's focus on the fact that Terminator Genisys has no respect for its audience. That's the more brazen of those two traits, which you can merge into an unholy single trait if you're a fan of the other Terminator movies. It's certainly a shame to see a series once at the forefront of technical innovation, a bastion of genre filmmaking, reduced to so conventional a product. Terminator Genisys is a regular blockbuster, careful not to offend or bewilder its audience, hitting predictable plot points in predictable style, mitigating its bombast and portent with highly unflattering familiarity. You're reminded less of other Terminator movies than other recent blockbusters of its ilk, and how much more you enjoyed them. The film almost, and entirely by accident, functions as a thinkpiece on how people cope with their position in time - their memories of the past, responsibilities in the present and roles in a future they can control - almost, because the convoluted narrative hinders such thoughts from ever fully forming; by accident, because such concerns are dropped every time an action impulse kicks in, and we engage in another long, dreary setpiece. The whole film is just action, exposition, action, exposition ad infinitum, and little of it well made; Alan Taylor displays the same cluelessness he did in Thor: The Dark World. At the least, you'd hope that Terminator Genisys could respond not even to its own concerns but to the franchise's overreaching ones, and operate in deference to James Cameron's films, in this age of 'cinematic universes'. But this film achieves neither, and, in what will likely be the final insult to the many injuries suffered by these films, its impact will be negligible, its existence soon forgotten.

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