Nu-Metal Blues | Film | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Nu-Metal Blues 

Terminator Genisys and the failure of modern Hollywood

"Elegant" may not be the first word that springs to mind when it comes to heavily armed Austrian cyborgs, but in the case of the original Terminator, it fits. Even some 30 years down the pipe, James Cameron's nitro-burning B-movie remains a witty marvel of construction, smuggling some surprisingly resonant themes among its carnage and—possibly most impressively—delivering the necessary exposition in quick bursts while the protagonists are on the move. Any sci-fi elements that don't expressly serve the narrative are dealt with by an annoyed character stating that he doesn't know tech stuff.

Terminator Genisys, in contrast, is all tech stuff, adding wormholes, temporal burps, and other Bill & Ted shenanigans to a framework that has always functioned best when built for speed. While it's always entertaining to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Major Appliance, this fifth installment unfortunately comes off as serviceable at best and officially sanctioned fan wankery at worst. In trying to freshen up the ingredients for a new generation, it just clunks up the batter.

The story begins on familiar turf, with the future savior of humanity, John Connor (Jason Clarke), sending soldier Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to the past to protect his mother-to-be Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from evil robots. Once Terminator Genisys skips back to 1984, however, things rapidly jump the track, with a bevy of alternate timelines, characters who know more than they should, and a gaggle of differently aged Arnolds. While trying to get their bearings, the good guys find themselves facing a rapidly evolving, cloud-based iteration of AI, as well as an upgraded model of pursuing Terminator tricked out with a rather ill-defined power set.

Director Alan Taylor ("Game of Thrones," Thor: The Dark World) initially has fun recreating the iconic scenes from Cameron's source material, particularly during a fight scene at the Griffith Observatory that registers as a genuine anything-can-happen moment. (The actor done up to resemble Bill Paxton qualifies as the movie's most disturbing special effect.) Once the movie begins to blaze its own narrative trail, however, things begin to clank and clunk, devolving into a series of indifferently staged PG-13 set pieces, brief appeals to the international market (courtesy of I Saw The Devil's Byung-hun Lee), and heavy doses of foreshadowing for the already announced sequels. (Is there a mid-credit teaser, you ask? Yes, of course there's a mid-credit teaser.) The momentum is further stymied by a pair of lead actors who both seem vaguely grouchy and out-of-sorts. Equaling Linda Hamilton is no easy task, but Emilia Clarke, who's terrific on "Game of Thrones," comes across here as a cosplayer on the last day of a convention.

Arnold remains Arnold, of course (nobody is better at nonchalantly reloading a grenade launcher), and it's possible that audiences still riding the Jurassic World nostalgia wave may take to the chance to revisit what once blew them through the back wall of the theater. The longer that Genisys runs, however, the more thoroughly disposable and unnecessary it seems, adding distracting racing stripes and tailfins to something that already vroomed along perfectly well. By monkeying around with Cameron's ingenious engine, it somehow sums up everything irksome about modern Hollywood.

Terminator Genisys

Director Alan Taylor

Now Playing

Various Theaters

About The Author

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • California Dreamin'

    California Dreamin'

    Tarantino weaves a wondrous fairy tale
    • Aug 1, 2019
  • Boarding in Jordan

    Boarding in Jordan

    Locally produced documentary, "7 Hills," shows peace at the skatepark
    • Feb 12, 2020
Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
JCMS Music and Instrument Pick Up

JCMS Music and Instrument Pick Up - Jefferson County Middle School

Mon., Sept. 21, 8:30 a.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Now Playing

By Film...

By Theater...

Get Social


Latest in Film

  • May the Source Be With You

    • Sep 16, 2020
    September Edition: Were we all raised by wolves? More »
  • Great Trouble

    • Sep 9, 2020
    Bend's Father's Group teams up With BendFilm for a thoughtful evening at the drive-in More »
  • Let's Try a Regal!

    • Sep 2, 2020
    As soon as possible, our local film reviewer headed to the cinema for an in-person show. Here's why he's not going back anytime soon. More »
  • More »

Give Guide


View Online

More by Andrew Wright

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation