DVD Movie Review | Terminator: Genisys (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Freda Cooper 31.10.2015

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Terminator: Genisys (UK Rating: 12)

There's a moment in Terminator: Genisys where cop J. K. Simmons (a long way from his Oscar winning tyrannical teacher in Whiplash) fesses up to not having a clue as to what's going on. He's in good company.

Not that a complicated plot is necessarily a problem, but when it's as impenetrable as this one, it means that the film's seriously hampered as soon as it comes out of the starting blocks. In this case, Terminator: Genisys is out on DVD on Monday, 2nd November.

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In a future where machines rule the world, resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clark) is leading a successful fight-back, but one of the cyborgs has been sent back to 1984, well before the rise of the machines. Connor sends his right-hand man, Kyle (Jai Courtney), back to the same year to track it down, yet when he gets there, he finds the year changed and the machines are infiltrating everywhere. He goes, therefore, forward to 2017 to stop them taking over through Genisys because, while it appears to be a computer operating system, it's infinitely more sinister.

All of which sounds reasonably straightforward, Back to the Future with Cyborgs almost, but it's at this point that the film loses the plot. Literally. It then has to spend lots of time explaining its twists and turns. Unfortunately, the cod science about time travel and defeating the machines makes no sense at all and, explained in the flat, toneless voice of Schwarzenegger's Guardian, it becomes nothing short of mumbo jumbo.

It gives director Alan Taylor something of a problem. Saddled with a plot that makes little or no sense, he has to cover up its shortcomings. How? Easy! Lots of explosions, gun battles, car crashes, melting robots, and noise. Not just once, but over and over again. After all, nobody will notice, will they? The bad news for him is that they do, because the combination of risible faux science and monotonous, repetitive action is just downright boring.

This is Arnie's fourth outing as the cyborg, his first being in 1984. There was another Arnie-free episode, Terminator Salvation, which disappeared almost without trace after its release in 2009. It seems much the same could happen to this one: Paramount has put plans for future sequels on hold, so it may be some time before we see Arnie's Guardian again. It's probably just as well.

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Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

A word of warning for anybody planning to watch Terminator: Genysis - don't drink too much beer while watching it. The combination of alcohol and the film's mind-numbing plot is more sleep inducing than a couple of Mogadon. There may be plenty of noisy action sequences, but they simply don't make up for a plot like Spaghetti Junction and unconvincing mock-science. Snoring is inevitable.

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