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Evil Movie Review: Terminator Salvation and Genisys

Successfully completing my mission to watch all of the Terminator movies, I can finally bring you my reviews of the most recent two installments in the series. A combination of explosions, psychopathic futuristic machines, and time travel science fiction, I can see why a lot of people love these movies. And the pounding drums of the main (albeit simple) theme song instill both a feeling of fear, anticipation, and determination. Here’s my take on these last two films, from a Lilith perspective.

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Terminator Salvation was released in 2009, and for the first time in a while doesn’t involve an opening scene of time travel. Instead we meet Marcus Wright, played by Sam Worthington, on death row as he agrees to turn his body over to science after he is executed. Then we fast forward to the future, after Judgment Day, where John Connor (played by Christian Bale) is leading the human resistance against the machines.

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Now the Terminator franchise could not have predicted my response to their main character, so it’s not their fault, and the movies weren’t specifically made for me, but gosh I really hate Christian Bale. His voice is permanently in husky Batman mode and he lacks emotions. He would have made a better machine under cover or in denial than Sam Worthington, but maybe that’s why they played the roles they did (and sorry for the spoiler there).

Yes, this movie follows Marcus as he abruptly wakes up in this post-apocalyptic world and eventually finds out that he is a machine created by the machines to infiltrate and betray the humans against his better judgment. We meet a young Kyle Reese, and LOTS of crazy machines. Since I am not a fan of Bale (his acting is like nails on a chalk board to me, just like many hate the drawl that is Matthew McCounaghey’s voice), I found the movie maintained its tolerability by introducing crazy machine after crazy machine. I am normally not a fan of overly CGI-ed movies, but it worked at maintaining my interest in this film. Plus there was the excellent Moon Bloodgood playing a badass human soldier. In fact, there were many other great actors and actresses in the film, like Helena Bonham Carter and Michael Ironside.

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Now I prefer the twists and tangles created by an intricate time travel plot, but still enjoyed the angst and emotions that Worthington pulled off in his character, adding the needed depth I wanted to the overall “shoot em up” aspects of these films. I give the movie a 3.5 out of 5 stars, with at least half a star lost because of my general dislike of Christian Bale, which all in all is not that bad.

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And last (so far) in the film is Genisys, the movie that was just released this last year starring everyone’s favorite Daenerys as Sarah Connor, and Matt Smith! Yes, the 11th doctor in all his glory! Well, not so much, which was one of my main complaints about this film: the general lack of Matt Smith despite his being advertised as a main player in the film prior to its release.

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But what is this movie really about? John Connor finally makes it to the heart of SkyNet and finds their ultimate weapon: the time machine they originally used in the first movie to travel back in time and try to kill Sarah Connor. The very same machine then used to send back Kyle Reese and make everything happen as it was supposed to. I was really excited about this since I love a good time travel sequence, and that was one of the unplayed up aspects of the first movie that I loved so much. Well all that turns on its head and while they tried to replay some of the same scenes of the first movie with new actors, we end up in an alternate timeline instead. One where Sarah Connor is fully prepared for the arrival of Kyle Reese and she already has her own terminator (yes, an aging Arnold) as her sidekick.

We also see a new T-1000 arrive back in time for some fun shape shifting scenes. But the sad part was the arrival of John Connor (now played by Jason Clarke) after being changed in to a nanorobotic version of himself. All these movies prior have put John Connor up on a pedestal as the savior of all human kind in the future, so seeing him turn in to a bad guy was saddening.

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As always you get your fill of explosions, helicopter crashes, and guns in this movie. I also really liked Arnold’s terminator, a good guy again with all the right quirkiness and jokes of a machine trying to be human. And while I preferred Emilia Clarke’s immediately tough girl character to the weaker version of Sarah Connor encountered in the original trilogy, it lost some of its magic this way. Plus my real big complaint: Matt Smith only had about three minutes of screen time, as the ultimate Skynet villain. I’ll also give this movie a 3.5/5.

Overall my summary of these movies: they were fun if you are looking for an explosion filled battle movie. But you can’t delve too deep in to them. Sadly they are very superficial, and if you try to get in to the nitty gritty of this potential post apocalyptic world or even the aspects of time travel, they start to unravel. Real hard science fiction is pretty rare as it is, and this is certainly not the series for you if you want that. This is the series for you if you want some crazy CGI ultimate villain that is defeated by the weaker human race again and again cause let’s face it, machines aren’t human even if they try to look like them.

Hasta la vista geeks!

 

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Posted on January 16, 2016, in Evil Movie Reviews, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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