On Thursday, July 9 2015, Geoffrey Jewell and Dustin Packwood went to a movie theater in order to see Terminator Genisys… Please hold. It still takes us a few moments to process the stupid fucking spelling of that word… Alright, where were we? Oh yes. Our intrepid correspondents viewed the Terminator Genisys, a movie so thoroughly putrid that a standard review could not possibly do it justice. Geoff (a tried and true Terminator fan) and Dustin (a man who would prefer not to be subjected to the cinematic equivalent of sloppy sneeze whenever possible) welcome you to this joint review of Terminator Genisys – aka Terminator Spelling Like Shit is Actually One of Its Better Qualities.
**********TERMINATOR GENISYS SPOILERS AHEAD**********
**********LET’S BE HONEST… YOU SHOULDN’T WATCH THIS MOVIE ANYWAY**********
DP: So, Geoff… you’ve had a long weekend to recover. How are you feeling about Terminator Genisys? Has the wound starting healing at all?
GJ: I’m not sure how long it takes for anal fissures to heal, but it’s still incredibly sore when I sit, Dustin. How about you? I realize the Terminator series doesn’t mean quite as much to you as it does to me, but that may actually mean you found it less redeemable than I did. I sincerely doubt you are looking forward to this Terminator Genisys review any more than I am…
DP: I’d like to pause now and point out that we’ve already put more thought into this review than anybody put into the film. And you’re correct. The movie did so many things poorly that it’s hard to single out the worst offense. Is it the sub-par acting? I mean, when the dude who has a part tailor made to his robotic mannerisms and inability to properly convey emotion is far and away the best actor in the movie, we have a problem. Was it the plot? I would try to summarize it, but coming to grips with all of the narrative inconsistencies ends with men in white coats fitting me for a straitjacket. Was it the lack of any good action scenes in what I was led to believe would be an action movie? Where do you want to start?
GJ: Well, let’s start with a review of the acting – if you can call it that. Going into Terminator Genisys, my expectations were high for almost everybody but Jai Courtney being cast as Kyle Reese because he’s a terrible actor. There is no punchline to that, it’s just fact. Jai Courtney normally couldn’t act his way through 7th grade production of Of Mice and Men if he was playing Lenny; ironically, he’s not the worst actor in Terminator Genisys, but he’s terribly miscast as Reese who is supposed to be lean, and damaged from a long and terrible war. Then you have Arnold Schwarzenegger who is, well, Schwarzenegger but at his most Schwarzeneggery playing the titular character but he does so without any of the charm of the character from the Judgement Day. Jason Clarke, who plays John Connor, works well with what he’s given – but he’s given the cinematic equivalent of pig vomit in the form of John Connor being a cyborg who is neither completely human or completely machine. The concept of a Connor-bot being sent back in time to destroy his parents is an interesting concept in theory but it just doesn’t work. Emilia Clarke– FUCKING KHALEESI- should have been the best part of this movie on paper; she’s attractive and has played tough roles and ostensibly she has all the make-up to be a great Sarah Connor but she just seems to phone it the fuck in. The only other actor of note is J.K. Simmons who plays another character with an interesting concept that simply is not done properly.
DP: In a movie full of broken promises, Khaleesi doing just enough to collect a check is the most damaging betrayal. Granted, she’s used to working with CGI dragons so I imagine having to downgrade from playing off NOTHING AT ALL to this unfortunate collection of drama class drop outs probably amounted to a staggering adjustment. Thanks to “Pops,” a cringe-worthy nickname given to Arnold’s original T-800 who – in this version of events – was sent back by a mysterious benefactor to become Sarah Connor’s lifelong companion when she was nine years old, nobody needs to save her in this film… But, by the same token, there’s nobody to save us, either. I feel like Jai’s character was intended to surrogate for the audience. Jai’s Kyle Reese was the straight man to help orient us in a convoluted mess of time travel paradox and multi-film cluster-fuckery. I just wish that the person in the film with whom we are supposed to most closely identify wasn’t a moronic walking canister of Axe body spray.
GJ: The acting in Terminator Genisys is bad, but it doesn’t compare to the catastrophe that is the “story and plot” bill of goods that this film is selling to its audience. That said, after two poorly received sequels the audience, in this instance, is a group of really smart people who simply refuse to buy into another bad Terminator film resulting in a box office bomb that could have been dropped on Judgement Day. The film starts as a hard-retelling (albeit from a slightly altered perspective) of the first film with a bit more backstory on the events leading up to T-800 and Reese being sent back to 1984. There are moments where the filmmakers (if you wish to give them as much credit) do a solid job of re-creating moments and scenes from the first film with an attention to detail that would leave you questioning if it was in fact a re-creation at all. The scenes recreated from The Terminator are done so well that, had you only seen it once or twice prior to seeing Genisys you may not be able to tell the difference… also, you’d have to be drunk… and maybe sleeping. Even so, when the best parts of your new film are all the scenes that look like scenes from other, better, more successful films then why are you even making this film? Is it to “correct” the horribly convoluted time paradox bullshit from the last two films? No? You want to just make it worse? Got it. Terminator Genisys not only manages to make the previous time paradoxes worse, but it does so by simultaneously making them null and void via “jumping over” the previous films entirely. Can your brain even grasp how that makes sense? No. It can’t. Because it doesn’t.
DP: Here’s the real problem I have with the plot of Terminator Genisys: these movies don’t need it. It’s time traveling murder cyborgs. This shit should theoretically write itself. Plot in a Terminator movie is like a condom on a first date: you just need it to be there working quietly in the background, but if something goes wrong it dominates all of your attention, becoming an unmitigated disaster that ruins everything. You really just need enough plot to justify Arnold saying a few one liners and laying boots to Terminators. Throw in some gunfire, toss in a few explosions, sprinkle in a good car chase – and wrap that shit up, because you’re done. It feels as if the writers of this film believed that they were smarter than the rest of us. That they could use some fancy scientific words, divert our attention with Jai being a dope, and then move on to… What? The next scene full of boring people talking about meaningless crap? Only to build towards a luke-warm twist that would have been terrible even if it wasn’t ruined in the trailers? It was two hours long, but it felt like six. They use movies like this to torture information out of people.
GJ: Yeah, torture is the apt word here. It’s bad enough that Terminator Genisys is a bad Terminator film- as if we didn’t have enough of those with half of the series being heaping piles of dog shit- but it’s also a bad movie even by Jai Courtney standards. The tone is about as consistent as Arnold’s relationship with Maria Shriver which results in awkward shifts from serious business to low brow father/daughter humor that wouldn’t be well served in Father of the Bride 3: the Bridening. The most maddening example of this was the scene where Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese and Schwarzenegger’s ‘Pops’ are competing to see who can load the clips of the automatic weapons faster. We are supposed to accept that a cyborg, who doesn’t feel emotion, is competing with Reese in a “my daughter is too good for you” type scenario which is literally such an incredibly stupid concept that I could rationalize homicide and blame it on having seen it. The “themes” are also wildly irrational going from the traditional “the future is not set” theme that was prevalent in the first two films and the core of the series into a territory of the “parental approval” theme governing the relationship between “pops” and Khaleesi. And of course being is that this film is taking place in 2017 where everyone has a smart phone there is the theme of people being too involved in their technology which they use to segue into the creation of Skynet. While this is a sound theme and theory in principal, it’s executed about as well as Def Poetry Jam hosted by Jai Courtney.
DP: Our collective beat down of the hapless Jai Courtney brings more action to the table than the movie he just helped excrete into our lives. I meant it: there was not a single memorable action scene in Terminator Genisys. I think your discussion of inconsistent theme indicates a deeper problem, down in its rotten crumbling core: this movie doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is it an action film? Is it a buddy cop movie? Is it a franchise reboot? Is it a sequel? After one hundred minutes of people walking around and talking, a horrendously bad helicopter chase, Arnold pathetically regurgitating one of his signature lines, and an unsatisfying fist fight that leads to a lame conclusion, I’ve determined that ultimately it’s a snuff film; your love for cinema is the main character. The most insidious part of the movie is the few times it gives you true hope: the redesigned scenes from the first movies, a few legitimately funny parts, some interesting concepts. And much like Bane, we learn that true despair cannot exist without hope. When you realize that every shred of potential in this movie is poorly executed by clumsy fucktards who can conjure up only the most watered down versions of what once made this franchise great – when the memory you had of the first movies turns to ash – only then, do they give you permission to die.
GJ: God damn… that got dark.
DP: So in conclusion, let’s give a one to five star rating with a short summary of this film.
GJ: Yeah, now that you went all John Wayne Gacy on this review, I guess I’ll start.
Alright. Thanks everyone for reading! Let us know what you think!
[wp-review] Review ID: 670