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dir Alan Taylor
scr Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier
prd David Ellison, Dana Goldberg
with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, JK Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matthew Smith, Courtney B Vance, Byung-hun Lee, Michael Gladis, Sandrine Holt, Bryant Prince
release US/UK 2.Jul.15
15/US Paramount 2h06
Old but not obsolete: Clarke and Schwarzenegger
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
It's impossible to escape the feeling that everything about this blockbuster has been badly compromised, from the unimaginative script to the tepid action sequences. The filmmakers try to throw the audience off the scent by inserting endless time-travel gibberish while peppering the scenes with spectacularly pointless explosions, but the fact remains that any grit and danger fled this franchise in 1991.
As the war against Skynet's machines falters in 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends Kyle Reese (Courtney) back to 1984 Los Angeles to protect his mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke). But Kyle arrives to an already shifted timeline in which Sarah has known her fate since she was 9, raised by a protective, ageing Terminator (Schwarzenegger) she calls Pop. With everything changed, Kyle and Sarah time-travel to 2017 San Francisco to stop the operating system Genisys from executing Skynet's world domination plan. But when they find John there, they know further time-meddling has taken place.
Since Kyle and Sarah are John's parents, their face-off becomes a rather intriguing conundrum, since John technically hasn't been conceived yet. But this is yet another idea that the script throws around without developing. Indeed, scenes are littered with characters who raise promising points (and characters such as Simmons' tenacious cop) that go nowhere. Meanwhile, Emilia Clarke and Courtney are saddled with endless expository conversations that only succeed in highlighting the plot's gaping lapses of logic.
At least Clarke generates some emotional resonance; Courtney is eerily uninteresting, never quite committing to the role. Their rambling chunks of dialog bring the film to a screeching halt in between unimaginative, contrived action set-pieces that fail to add anything to the narrative. It never makes any sense why everyone arms themselves to shoot at indestructible robots, or even to blow them up. Knowing that they can't be destroyed removes all of the tension. So the only entertainment here comes from Schwarzenegger's deadpan comical delivery.
In other words, the writing and direction feel perfunctory at best, as if some sort of screenwriting machine was programmed to line up random blockbuster elements according to a formula that should generate a hit. It's big and loud, with impressive effects and some enjoyable actors, but it lacks any sense of creativity or surprise. Which leaves us struggling with the nagging thought that this pointless carnage could be avoided by just using a condom. And doubtful that we'll have to sit through Terminator Exedys.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2015 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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