Director: Alan Taylor
Major Players: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clark, Emilia Clarke
Out Of Five: 2
There’s a point in Terminator:Genisys when we come across J K Simmons as a bewildered cop, who claims to have been following the cyborg story for years but clearly doesn’t understand what’s going on. He’s not alone.
I’d usually try to give you an idea of the storyline and I’ll give it a bash, but you’ll soon see there’s a problem. In the future, the machines rule the world, trying to kill off all the humans. Resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clark) heads up a successful fight-back, but one of the cyborgs has been sent back to 1984, before the rise of the machines, so Connor sends his right hand man, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) after him. But he arrives in a 1984 that’s changed and the machines are infiltrating everywhere, so he has to go forward in time to 2017 to stop them taking over through Genisys, which poses as an OS but is something infinitely more sinister.
OK so far? So was I – but this was where the film lost the plot. Literally. And that meant lots of explanations, but the cod science about time travel and defeating cyborgs made no sense whatsoever. And the fact that it was always Guardian (Schwarzenegger) doing the explaining in his flat, toneless voice, didn’t help at all. It was mumbo jumbo.
So when you’ve got a plot that alternates between making no sense and being non-existent, what do you do to cover up its shortcomings? You throw in explosions, gun battles, car crashes, melting robots and noise. Lots of them. And you keep repeating them over and over again. Explosions, gun battles, car crashes, melting robots, noise …… After all, nobody will notice, will they?
The news for director Alan Taylor is that they most certainly do. Because, while the faux science is risible and did indeed make the audience laugh – for all the wrong reasons – the result is seriously boring. So boring, in fact, that that guy sat next to me fell asleep, despite all the noise – and despite all that noise I could hear him snoring.
This is Arnie’s fourth outing as the cyborg that Sarah (Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke) nicknames “Pops”, the first being in 1984. There is another, Arnie-free one, Terminator:Salvation, which became famous for Christian Bale launching into an on-set tirade that went viral. The film itself disappeared. Which is what should happen to this one.
Is there anything good about it? Well, every screening starts with a preview of the forthcoming Mission:Impossible – Rogue Nation. That looks like fun.
Terminator:Genisys is released nationwide on Thursday, 2 July and is reviewed on this week’s Talking Pictures podcast.