Terminator Genisys (2015)

A review by Shlomoh Sherman
July 12, 2015

Terminator Genisys (2015)
Director: Alan Taylor
Writers: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke
Plot Summary: John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.
Plot Keywords: cyborg - skynet - resistance - awkward with physical social expressions - blood turning to lquid metal
Taglines: The rules have been reset.
Genres: Action - Adventure - Sci-Fi - Thriller
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA):
Rated PG - 13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
Official Sites: Official Facebook [Australia] - Official Facebook [Brazil]
Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: July 1, 2015 (USA)
Also Known As: Terminator 5
Filming Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana, San Francisco, California, Los Angeles, California, Redwood City, California, Nicasio, California, Marin Headlands, California
Box Office:
Budget: $155,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $28,700,000 (USA) (July 3, 2015)
Gross: $49,884,090 (USA) (July 7, 2015)
Company Credits:
Production Co: Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions
Technical Specs:
Runtime: 126 min
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital - Datasat - Dolby Atmos
Color: Color

I believe that I have seen every Terminator sequel, and as far as I am concerned, there can never be too many Terminator movies. When I first heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the 1970s, I thought, oh here is just some dumb Austrian schmuck and when I heard him on Howard Stern's Show telling Howard how great Kurt Waldheim was, I said, "I knew it, a Nazi prick." However, over the course of time, I have leared that the Arnold is neither dumb nor a Nazi. He has matured and become a great actor and a great politician, and I usually do not praise GOP politicians. I believed that after his political career, movie audiences would no longer see him in any film but Schwarzenegger's movie career is far from over.

It was with extreme pleasure that I saw the latest installment of the Terminator series. Arnold has fullfilled his promise of "I'll be back!" and back he is, greater than ever.

The story line of this newest Terminator is so surprising and unexpected that it adds to the excitement of the film. Terminator Genisys shows us a world in which John and Sarah Conner have been so completely altered that they are barely recognizable as characters from the previous films. And it is no wonder, because the whole world of the Skynet Apocalypse is altered. Terminator Genisys shows us the possibilities of the world's future that we have not seen in the previous films, a world of MULTIPLE possible turnouts. John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and safeguard the future but in doing so this time, the trip back alters not only the future world of Skynet but Sarah's and John's past as well. As I stated above, both have become so transformed by the altered timeline as to be unrecognizable from the characters we knew from the prior Terminator movies. And it is this very change, brought about by the timeline fracture, that allows them to have a better chance of defeating the machines.

To say more about the plot would only lead to this review becoming a spolier. Just let me add that the movie is filled with the great action and anxiety producing scenes we look forward to as well as plenty of comic relief.

I must say that I found Terminator Genisys frightening, moreso than the previous Terminator movies. It is not the violence that scared me so much as the whole idea of Skynet. The scenes of people anxiously anticipating the arrival of Skynet which will produce a world of iner-acting devices so that their cell-phones, tablets, computers, and anything else that electronics manufactureres come up with, are all linked, creating a global mega-device wherein people just become connected as human devices. We can see today that electronics technology has already turned human beings into robots. Electronics invades our privacy, causes accidents, hacks our lives, and completely takes over the minds of humans and governments. The comparison between this robotic mega-monster on the screen and the mega-monsters controlling a great deal of our lives is stark. When the first Terminator came out in the 1980s, the procucers were anticipating the popularization of the Internet. They could foresee the day when the global mass computer-network, originally created by the American military back in the 1960s, would dominate humanity's existence. And they wondered what would happen if one day the Internet became our master rather than our servant. Skynet was created in the movie to foreshadow the Internet. In Genisys, the folks anticipating the joy they will recieve from Skynet don't realize that Skynet's very intelligence will cause it to see the human race as a threat and utlimately set out to destroy us.

Although some of us wish that they could have found someone a little more like the irreplaceable Linda Hamilton, Emilia Clarke is pretty good as Sarah Connor.

Jason Clarke, no relation to Emilia, is terrific as John Connor but a John Connor scarily unlike the one we have seen before.

Schwarzenegger plays a dual role here; the original Terminator from the first movie and the Guradian from Judgment_Day, the second movie. And as the Guardian, he has matured both as an actor and a character.

Byung-hun Lee replaces Robert Patrick as the molten metal Cop, T-1000, and he is scarier than Patrick. Although some people may take this as a prejudiced statement,it could be that Asians have entered our popular culture as mysterious and unpredictable people.

It's always great to see J.K. Simmons. He portrays an aging policeman who recognizes Sarah in 2017 from a previous encounter in 1984.

Arnold was interviewed by Howard Stern a few weeks ago. He tells the following story. When the first Terminator was being shot, Arnold told James Cameron, the writer and director, that since the Terminator is a robot, he should speak robotically, that is, in a stilted manner, and not colloquially. He should not use contractions. So he should say, "I will be back" rather than "I'll be back." To which Cameron responded, "Believe me, Arnold, 'I'll be back' will impact the audience to a far greater degree than 'I will be back'."

If you are a Terminator fan, go and see this one ! It's awesome!

Did You Know?

Arnold Schwarzenegger's first movie for Paramount Pictures.
None of the 4 main actors of the film are from America: Emilia Clarke is British, Arnold Schwarzenegger is Austrian, and both Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney are Australian.
Paramount already has greenlit 2 sequels to this film before it even opens, because regardless of how well or poor it does at the Box Office, all film rights to the Terminator franchise are set to revert back to James Cameron in the year 2019.
The body of young Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie (also seen in the film's first trailer) is provided by actor and body-builder Brett Azar. Azar won the role following an open casting call looking for a person who can match the closest to Schwarzenegger's physique in the first film. Azar never thought of the idea of being in this film until he was persuaded by his manager Mike Lyons to audition. According to Azar, aside from being judged having the closest physique (the first round of auditions involves body and muscle measurement), it was his audition video of him reenacting the Terminator's arrival at the Griffith Observatory and his perfect lip-syncing of Schwarzenegger's line, "Your clothes, give them to me. Now." at the three punks resulted in him winning the role. His face was replaced with Schwarzenegger in post-production. Schwarzenegger was Azar's body-building idol and Arnold gifted him cigars and several body-building magazines after the first day of shooting.
Arnold Schwarzenegger worked out for six months, about three hours a day, before shooting started, by which time he had the exact same body weight and muscle measurements as he had 12 years previously while shooting Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003).
Although the phrase 'Come with me if you want to live' is spoken in all four Terminator films previous (Kyle Reese- The Terminator (1984), T-800- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), John Connor- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) and Kyle Reese- Terminator Salvation (2009)), this entry marks the first time Sarah Connor uses this dialogue.
Jason Clarke is the sixth actor to play John Connor in as many portrayals of the character. This has lead to people referring to him as the "Rusty Griswold" of the Terminator series as 5 different actors have portrayed that role in as many films.
Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't dye his hair for the film. It shows his natural grey hair.
This is the first film that Arnold is not "Terminator" but is named "Guardian".
It was rumored that the following film will be Arnold Schwarzenegger's last as The Terminator.
Terminator Genisys (2015) was filmed under the working code name "Vista." Some people on set have theories on what the working title "Vista" means, while others just think it's a reference to Arnold's signature "Hasta la vista" line.
Christian Bale was unavailable to reprise his role as John Connor from Terminator Salvation (2009).
An early scene in the film duplicates one from the original 1984 "Terminator" movie, featuring its initial arrival at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and stealing clothing from a band of punks hanging out there. Although it would have been considerably easier to simply use the first film's footage, Arnold Schwarzenegger has stated that this was impossible because a rival film studio owns all the rights to the original film and refused to allow any use of its scenes.
Screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis said that the main inspiration of the film was the second-half of Back to the Future Part II (1989) where Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) ended up visiting an alternate 1985 after the older Biff Tannen's (Thomas F. Wilson) visit to 1955. They also used the best moments from the first two films as a base for their story. Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier originally turned down the offer to write this film three times because they didn't like the storyline for the third and fourth installments without affecting the first two films before James Cameron gave them his blessing to go ahead and to do so.
Bringing back Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator for the reboot and for the new timeline was heavily influenced by Star Trek (2009): Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) enters an alternate timeline and meets his younger self (Zachary Quinto) and a younger Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine).
In an early scene in which Kyle Reese is being apprehended by police, the T-1000 stabs an officer from behind with his edged hands, and the other young officer escorting Reese shouts "Robert!" This is a reference to the original T-1000, who was played by Robert Patrick in Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1997).
In one scene Kyle Reese calls the T-800 (Schwarzenegger) a "skin job". This is a nod to Blade Runner (1982), where Deckard's (Harrison Ford) boss, Byrant (M. Emmitt Walsh) refers to the Nexus 6 cyborgs as skin jobs.

Highly unlikely that a few of San Francisco's finest would have close to the same license plates. "99999x" and 99999y" watch for it on the golden gate bridge shot.
Early in the movie it is stated that only things covered in organic skin can travel back in time; yet the T-1000, which is entirely liquid metal, and John Connor, who is made of nanomachines, travel back in time with no problem. Although this is often cited in regards to Terminators like the T-1000, it may not be an actual continuity problem. It may instead indicate that poly- mimetic terminators clone actual living tissue on their bodies, also explaining why they have to go through naked like anyone else.
When The Terminator arrives to 1984 and encounters the 3 punks (Recreating an event that happened in the first movie). However, the dialogue delivered by the Punk Leader (Mohawk) and Punk Two are swapped from the first movie and this one.
It seems highly unlikely that a character of light and small build as Sarah in would be able to hold both the majority of her own weight and that of Kyle in the bridge scene without suffering serious injury to her shoulder.
The original films operated under a "Predestination Paradox." That is, Reese and the original Terminator were sent back in time to change history, but end up causing it. Kyle Reese becomes John Connor's father, and the Terminators remains are used to develop Skynet. This film not only allows time travel to change the past, but gives some characters knowledge of how things originally were and how they have been changed. Skynet, for example, is able to send back more Terminators than they had originally, apparently knowing that previous attempts had failed. Sarah and "Pops" also seem to already know that Reese is John's father, and that he was originally killed fighting the first Terminator shortly after fathering John. Skynet, however, never sees fit to try killing Reese before he can father John.
Sarah and Kyle travel forward in time to 2017, and never have sex in either year. Yet somehow their future son not only exists but traveled back in time to meet them.

[to Guardian] John Connor: You're nothing but a relic.
Guardian: I'll be back. Sarah: What?
[Sarah hugs Pops before going into the Time Displacement Equipment. Pops doesn't understand the meaning of a hug]
Guardian: That's a meaningless gesture. Why hold onto someone you must let go?
[the Terminator gets on the bus and notices Sarah is not wearing her seat belt]
Guardian: Sarah Connor, seat belt.
[Guardian stops his van in the middle of traffic and sees Sarah and Kyle being escorted by police nearby. A motorist behind him honks his horn]
Motorist: Move it, asshole!
Guardian: Bite me.
Terminator: Your clothes... give them to me, now.
Punk #1: [Pulls out a knife] Fuck you, asshole!
Guardian: [from behind] You won't been needing any clothes.
[Young Terminator turns around to find an older Terminator approaching him with a shotgun. The Older Terminator unhoods himself]
Guardian: I've been waiting for you.
Kyle Reese: [Opening narration] My parents told me stories about how the world was; what it was like long before I was born; before the war with the machines. They remember a green world, vast and beautiful, filled with laughter and hope for the future. It's a world I never knew. By the time I was born, all this was gone. Skynet: a computer program designed to automate missile defense. It was supposed to protect us, but that's not what happened. August 29th, 1997, Skynet woke up. It decided all of humanity was a threat to its existence. It used our own bombs against us. Three billion people died of nuclear fire. Survivors called it Judgement Day. People lived like rats in shadows, hiding, starving, or worse, captured and put into camps for extermination. I was born after Judgement Day, into a broken world ruled by the machines. The worst extinction units posed as humans. We called them terminators. And then one man found me. His name was John Connor, and he changed everything. John showed us how to fight back; how to rise up. He freed prisoners. He taught us how to slash the machines to scrap. People whisper about John and wonder how he can know the things he does. They use words like prophet, but John's more. We're here because tonight, he's going to lead us to crush Skynet for good.

Terminator Theme Performed by Lorne Balfe
Bad Boys (Theme from Cops) Written by Ian Lewis Performed by Inner Circle
I Wanna Be Sedated Performed by The Ramones
Fighting Shadows Performed by Jane Zhang, feat. Big Sean
Love Runs Out Written by Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Drew Brown, Zach Filkins and Eddie Fisher Performed by OneRepublic

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who sent back the T-800 and T-1000 to 1973?
Q: Is there a post-credit scene?
Q: What is Terminator: Genisys about?
Q: How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie? Q: What is Terminator: Genisys about? Q: Will this movie be the final Terminator installment? Q: Is Terminator: Genisys a reboot? What are its connections to the previous films and the TV series? Q: Why does The Terminator look older and have grey hair? Q: Is there a post-credits scene? Q: Why does the T-1000 have a different appearance than it did in T2? Q: Who sent back the T-800 and T-1000 to 1973?

Message Boards:
Recent Posts:
Was it a mistake Showing us John Connor as a Terminator in the Trailer? - mrpancakez
How bad is this? - adi2803
I hope they bring Robert Patrick to the sequel - tranm98
Remember this exchange in Terminator 2? - JK_Grahame
A nice little touch I noticed during my second viewing - chubzdoomer
5 Complaints for T.G. That Are Wrong - joshnitsche

Discuss Terminator Genisys (2015) on the IMDb message boards

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Guardian
Jason Clarke ... John Connor
Emilia Clarke ... Sarah Connor
Jai Courtney ... Kyle Reese
J.K. Simmons ... O'Brien
Dayo Okeniyi ... Danny Dyson
Matt Smith ... Alex
Courtney B. Vance ... Miles Dyson
Byung-hun Lee ... Cop / T-1000
Michael Gladis ... Lt. Matias
Sandrine Holt ... Detective Cheung
Wayne Bastrup ... Young O'Brien
Otto Sanchez ... Detective Timmons
Matty Ferraro ... Agent Janssen
Gregory Alan Williams ... Detective Harding

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