Film: “Terminator Genisys”; Language: English; Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke; Director: Alan Taylor; Rating: **1/2
This film is based on characters designed by James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd from the “Terminator” series which began way back in 1984. A battle for survival between the nearly-extinct human race and Cyberdyne Systems’ world-spanning synthetic intelligence, Skynet which during the course of time created the Terminators, who were used against individual human targets, forms the crux of this time-travel Sci-fiction series.
“Terminator Genisys”, is the fifth edition of this series. Narrated from the leader of the human resistance force, John Connor’s (Jason Clarke) point of view, the narration rolls off circa Aug 2027, with his voice-over revealing, “Skynet is a threat to all humanity that existed. 3 billion people died in a nuclear fire. Survivors called it the judgement day. I was born after the judgement day.”
And then it is revealed, that after yet another assault on a Skynet facility, John sends his friend Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time, to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke) from a Terminator assassin and thereby ensures his own existence.
Unfortunately, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline and instead of meeting a scared waitress, Sarah with John in her womb, Kyle meets a skilled fighter who is protected by a Terminator guardian who she fondly calls, “Pops” (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Now confused, Reese laments about the time travel mechanism. Meanwhile, he also suffers from bouts of vision which reveal to him that “When Genisys, the latest technical application comes online, Judgement day begins.”
Unsure about the turn of events and where it will lead him, forms the crux of this edition, which figuratively leads to John’s genesis too.
On the performance front, this edition seems to be Arnold Schwarzeneggera¿s show. He is simply dynamic and self-aware with his broad jaw-gritting smile and pouting, “I am old but not obsolete.” It is also fascinating to see a bout of Arnold Vs Arnold in the film.
Jai Courtney as Kyle is charismatic, whereas Jason Clarke as John Connor gets lost in his myriad avatars and Emilia Clarke, as the agile and spunky Sarah is fairly competent.
With Scriptwriters – Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier’s plot jumping timelines and narrated in a non-linear fashion, along with the characters replicating themselves, makes this viewing a big jigsaw puzzle, which even fans of this series will find hard to assemble. The breaking point comes in the last scene, when you can’t relate to Kyle speaking to John who is not Sarah’s son!
Mounted on an epic scale with visuals in neon blue and golden hued frames with cool CCI images incorporated, the film is glossy and mind-boggling.
Director Alan Taylor’s pace of the narration is racy and he is technically savvy to deliver a well-synchronised action film, on par with the last four editions.
The film is surely going to entertain you if you are an action buff, but not too fussed about the logic of the tale. And of course, for Schwarzenegger fans it is a treat.