The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Mired in its muddled mythology, Terminator: Genisys is a lurching retread that lacks the thematic depth, conceptual intelligence, or visual thrills that launched this once-mighty franchise.
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Part of what makes Terminator Genisys so pitiful as an evening out is that all the actors do over and over again is tell us why they're in a particular scene and why the movie exists.
Of course the special effects are more impressive than ever. But nearly every curveball offered up in this new parallel-universe version of the Terminator world isn't as interesting or as original as the timeline we loved in the first place.
Terminator: Genisys, however, has none of the stakes, and none of the moral preoccupations, of its predecessors.
"Terminator Genisys" is the first fully worthy successor to Cameron's original films and it shows Arnold may be old, but he's not obsolete.
It's as if it has gone back in time to murder our memories of the ancestral first film and crush the series' reputation.
Screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier pile on so many pulpy sci-fi conceits -- involving time travel, alternate realities, and the end of civilization -- that you might be carried along by the batty excess.
Terminator: Genisys is a bridge to the future in that it captures the feel (not the greatness) of T1 and T2 while laying the groundwork for a full departure from the old mythology in forthcoming installments.
The problems with Terminator Genisys are legion; but chief among them is that it is never exciting.
Terminator Genisys will be forgotten quickly.
While Schwarzenegger's return is welcome, the rest of the film is not. It's a convoluted time-traveling mess that dumps on the original premise to create a dull and outdated action film. It's a major disappointment.
The film confuses complexity and intelligence. It jumps around, muddles plot points, and bombards the audience with special effects in an unconvincing attempt to obscure the absurdity.
There is clearly love for the material present in Genisys, but it never fully grasps what makes the franchise tick.
The beginning is actually quite strong and promising. You can blame the film for trying to check as many boxes for the fans as possible and to get lost in the complexity of the time travel paradoxes. But the action is great, there a few hilarious moments and the result is thoroughly entertaining. Sure, some decisions do not seem to be in favor of the franchise history (and were spoiled in trailers and posters at that), but it's certainly not worse a stain on it than anything that came after the masterpiece that was T2. I expected much worse.
This dreadful sequel has an ambitious premise but tries so hard to be intricate and surprising that it only grows more and more stupid with a horrible dialogue full of exposition, laughable plot incoherencies, awful attempts at humor and brainless action scenes that never seem to end.
While it's good to see Schwarzenegger back in his signature role, "Genisys" is senseless. There's really no compelling reason to rewrite the Terminator history and "Genisys" does little to convince you that there is.
This reboot feels a bit disparate and is quite unnecessary.
When I first watched Terminator Genisys I was mesmerized by it, chewing on how it returned to the original film and getting those chills because I thought that I was experiences James Cameron's 1984 masterpiece again. The thing about T:G is that once it's over and you're able to digest what you've just witnessed, you realize that there really wasn't as much there as you thought. We can call it celluloid fast food if you will. Comfort food taking you back to a time when Terminator films were good.
The film opens by giving us a physical representation of the night John Connor (Jason Clarke) sent (or is it sends) Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor. We get to relive all those early scenes when Reese and the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 arrive in Reagan era Los Angeles, but things have suddenly changed. Our favorite cyborg killing machine is met and destroyed by an aging Terminator unit (Arnold Schwatzenegger) and Sarah Connor is already a bad ass that saves Reese's life. And this time there's a liquid metal T-1000 on their tail, too. It seems that things happened before 1984 that changed everything and Reese and Sarah time travel to 2017 to stop what amounts to an over hyped app that will eventually become SkyNet, the evil computing system of the series.
There are many issues with this film and it's hard to find a place to begin addressing them, but we can start with casting. Emily Clarke delivers an acceptable performance as the rebooted Sarah Connor, Arnold returns to his signature role, even though he is goofy at some points that soils the memories of the original film, and J.K. Simmons is an underused treasure. That's the good, now let's get to the bad. Jai Courtney really doesn't feel like Kyle Reese. I can't blame it on me trying to place him in Michael Biehn's role since I can accept Emily Clarke in her role. He just doesn't feel right and it pulls you out of the film, but not as much as Jason Clarke's portrayal of resistance leader John Connor. Out of the numerous actors to play the part I would have to vote him the worst. The Terminators have more humanity to them than his performance and he is totally unbelievable as a man that would rally men and women to die for him. That performance is a mess.
As is the timeline, which becomes another issue. The viewer spends a large hunk of the movie trying to figure out how events and dates could have changed so drastically since we now know that what would have happened if events (such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day) did not occur. It makes you think, but not in a good way. It's very annoying and pulls you straight out of the film because you start looking for plot holes. The film ignores 3 and 4, which it should.
Overall TG is an average sci-fi action film that builds on being part of the Terminator franchise. You remember what you loved about the original film and bask in its ghostly glow for a good portion of this film, but you later reconsider what you saw and it begins to fall flat as you realize that this isn't James Cameron's first film, but a re-imagining that Hollywood loves to produced to keep the franchise and $$$ alive. Will a person rewatch this film? Yes, but for all the wrong reasons. It's not because it's a great film, but more a morbid curiosity on whether it will create those feelings again or if the viewer will only be duped once.
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