"A PG-13 Terminator no one ever wanted or asked for."— Honest Trailer
Terminator Genisys is a 2015 American science fiction action film directed by Alan Taylor, and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. The film is is the fifth installment in the Terminator series and a soft reboot of the Terminator film series, taking the basic story of the original film in another direction. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, who reprises his role as the Terminator (following his absence in 2009's Terminator Salvation), alongside Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J. K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matt Smith, Courtney B. Vance, and Lee Byung-hun. Terminator Genisys had its European premiere in Berlin, on June 21, 2015, and had its North American premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood one week later, on June 28. The film was released by Paramount Pictures on July 1, 2015, in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D.
When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future.
- The movie is overloaded with fan service, especially when the T-800 fights his past self, as well as the return of the T-1000. While fan service may be a good thing, sometimes it can just feel like the story was rushed.
- Derails the story arc of the Terminator franchise — which was always about John Connor's rising to be the hero who overthrew Skynet and saved humanity — by refocusing the story back onto Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, even though their character arcs were concluded in the second and first movies respectively.
- Even worse, it was revealed that John didn't actually lead humanity to victory over Skynet after all — Kyle was sent back in time before he could find out that Skynet had only pretended to be defeated in order to ambush and wipe out the Resistance leadership, and that with them out of the way, it's now in a position to exterminate what remains of humanity. This undermines the entire story arc of the franchise.
- The story relies too much on confusing time travel elements.
- The film focuses more on establishing sequels than proceeding with the main storyline.
- Despite the film being a soft reboot, it rehashes literally all of the previous movies, with notable examples being the first two movies.
- There are several plot holes in the film: one notable example is that John trying to kill his own parents should logically prevent his own birth, but for some reason it doesn't. It is also not clear why Skynet needs to send John back into the past at all, seeing how we find out it actually won the war against the remains of humanity.
- Mediocre acting for the characters (except for Arnold Schwarzenegger and J. K. Simmons), particularly from Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese and Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, respectively.
- In fact, Emilia Clarke is too young to play Sarah Connor.
- The film has several problems with its characters, that instead of portraying them based on their old appearances, it represents them as if they were parodies of themselves, making it very difficult to sympathize or take them seriously, the same happens with the new characters of the secondary characters.
- Kyle Reese is portrayed as a completely confident guy, unable to feel fear or insecurity in the face of the Terminators' attack.
- Sarah Connor is treated as a somewhat confident feminist woman skilled in combat such as the use of weapons.
- Not to mention the character from marketing advertising, trailers and the film itself is very sexualized.
- John Connor / T-3000: Regardless of his past appearances, as a villain he is very pathetic, as he has the personality of a megalomaniacal buffoon.
- T-800: is cast or relegated as a comic relief character.
- Skynet: is relegated more as a generic villain, rather than a menacing antagonist.
- Although the action scenes are decent, they are quite underwhelming.
- Obtuse storytelling that keeps elements hidden hoping they could be revealed in sequels which will never get made.
- Turning John Connor into a Terminator is already questionable, and spoiling it in the trailers and posters makes it even worse. Not helping is that the film ends with John being destroyed, and neither Sarah nor Kyle caring at all that their son met such a horrible fate. On top of that, he is a pretty bland, pathetic and lame villain.
- Overloaded with terrible computer-generated effects.
- Very subpar and lazy cinematography that makes it look more like a made for television movie.
- The three punks from the original film look nothing like Brian Thompson, Bill Paxton, and Brad Rearden, all of whom portrayed said punks in that film.
- Terrible direction by Alan Taylor.
- Pointless use of the T-1000.
- Like the fourth film, the movie is rated PG-13, which means the violence gets toned down again.
- Sequel Baiting post credit scenes showing Skynet surviving, and since the sequel was cancelled, it remains as a plot hole.
- Arnold is back after 12 years, and he is still as effective as his best-known character. It's nice to see him come back.
- Cool soundtrack by Lorne Balfe.
- The recreation of the original film in the 1984 scenes was well-made.
- As mentioned stated, Arnold Schwarzenegger and J. K. Simmons' performances are still good.
- A few funny moments like Pop's smiling.
- Once again, the famous phrase "I'll be back" is still re-used during the helicopter scenes.
- The designs of the T-800, T-1000 (although as mentioned in BQ#16, it was pointless), and T-3000 are well crafted.
- The action is decent as mentioned above.
Terminator Genisys received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, who criticized the plot and acting, but the special effects, Lorne Balfe's score, Schwarzenegger's return and performance were heavily praised. The film currently holds a 27% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 4.7 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Mired in its muddled mythology, Terminator: Genisys is a lurching retread that lacks the thematic depth, conceptual intelligence, or visual thrills that launched this once-mighty franchise.". On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average to critic reviews, the film has a score of 38 out of 100, based on 41 critics, indicating "generally mixed-to-negative reviews".
Despite the mixed reviews, the audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic were mixed with an audience approval rating of 53% and an average rating of 5.9/10.
It is often considered to be the worst in the Terminator film by most fans.
Terminator Genisys opened at #3 on its opening weekend grossing $27,018,486 domestically, and would make a total domestic gross of $89,760,956, the first Terminator movie that failed to break $100 million and a huge box office disappointment, particularly compared to its $155 million budget. In foreign countries, the film fared better, with China even outgrossing North America, $112.8 million, and the $440,603,537 total gross are second only to Terminator 2: Judgement Day in the franchise.
There were plans for two sequels as well as a television series, but plans for the sequels and reboot were permanently cancelled since Genisys failed at the U.S. box office.
Given the franchise rights would revert to James Cameron in the 35th anniversary of the first movie, Skydance Productions decided to right away ask for Cameron's input in making Terminator: Dark Fate. Deadpool director Tim Miller worked on Dark Fate, which features appearances of Arnold as his iconic character, the Terminator and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor.
- Even if the movie disregards the previous two sequels, it still sees the resurgence of elements either featured (an endoskeleton covered in liquid metal) or discarded (the original Salvation ending had a Terminator eventually taking over John Connor's mantle).
- Emilia Clarke would later guest voice on Robot Chicken in Season 8 instead the following year shortly after the financial flop of Genisys and its sequel cancellation.