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Terminator Genisys - Film Review

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by Louis Fameli (subscribe)
Arnie always said he would be back
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures Australia, I was given the opportunity to see Terminator Genisys in 3D. I know what some readers will be thinking, I imagine it is along the lines of "another Terminator, really? Surely we know all there is about the story." Using the idea of an alternate timeline (granted, something cinema-goers have seen in other recent films), everything has changed. Essentially, whatever you thought you knew is not necessarily true in this film.

Terminator Genisys Promotional Poster
Terminator Genisys Promotional Poster

Terminator Genisys sees Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney, Divergent, A Good Day to Die Hard) travel to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones) and ensure that John Connor (Jason Clarke, Zero Dark Thirty, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is born. Sounds familiar, right? Not so. Once back in time Reese quickly realises that things have changed, the 1984 John remembers no longer exists and that he and Sarah will need to rethink the plan to defeat Skynet.

It would, of course, be remiss of me not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator himself (referred to in Terminator Genisys as the Guardian). The original T-800 and affectionately known as Pops to Sarah, in this film the Terminator is the loyal (albeit through programming) protector of Sarah Connor. While he now has to share the screen with Courtney and Clarke, the writers have saved many of the best one-liners for Arnold and given him a series of superbly crafted action sequences.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys
He's back: Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in Terminator Genisys

This is the Terminator franchise reimagined for the modern era. Skynet is planning to defeat humans by infiltrating our smartphones, tablets, laptops and all the other electronic devices that we use on a daily basis. It is pitched to the masses in the film as 'the one true killer app', little to people know just how true that will be once the system goes live.

When reviewing a film like Terminator Genisys, it needs to be said that viewers should walk into the cinema knowing what to expect. In this case, if you are expecting explosions, shapeshifting liquid metal and impossibly choreographed fight and action sequences, you will be in for an absolute treat. If, however, you are hoping for an intricate film that involves a significant amount of deep thinking, I would advise you to perhaps pick something else. That said, the 'Skynet-as-an-app' storyline may be a little too close to home for those who never logout of devices.

I found this film exactly what it promises to be, a fun, action-packed story complete with fantastic visual effects. An added bonus is the tongue in cheek fun poked at the original, with Arnold playing his old lines for laughs. Overall, this is a film I could easily recommend and give it three and a half reprogrammed T-800s out of five.

Terminator Genysis is in cinemas (2D and 3D) 1 July 2015.

Images courtesy of Paramount Pictures Australia.

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