Sunday, November 8, 2015

Video review: "Terminator Genisys"

I had high hopes for "Terminator Genisys," but then I had similar aspirations for the previous Terminator flick... and the one before that, and the short-lived TV show.

Perhaps it's time to finally admit to ourselves that the last worthy iteration of the iconic sci-fi franchise came a quarter-century ago, and the chances of another good one happening are roughly the same as Arnold Schwarzenegger taking up professional bodybuilding again and winning Mr. Universe 2023.

It is indeed a thrill to see Arnie playing the infamously monotone android again, with a little help from CGI to portray his younger self in the flashback scenes. It's mostly a tongue-in-cheek, winking nod to the first films, repeating familiar quips and making puckish references to his age.

The notion here is that a friendly Terminator was sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) when she was still a child, so she's grown up into a badass warrior and he's become an older, wiser mentor.

The story is a confusing retcon of Terminator lore, with Sarah and human protector Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) jumping through time portals hither and thither in a bid to shut down Skynet and prevent the robot apocalypse.

Aside from a handful of nifty action scenes and the nostalgia of seeing Schwarzenegger as a strutting cyborg again, "Terminator Genisys" was better left in the dustbin of the past.

Bonus material is rather skimpy, and what there is comes on the Blu-ray edition. The DVD version has none.

There are three making-of featurettes: "Family Dynamics," "Infiltration and Termination" and "Upgrades: VFX of Terminator Genisys." They focus on the cast, shooting locations and visual effects, respectively.



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