Sunday, 4 October 2015

Film: Terminator Genisys

Back To The Future

Film: Terminator Genisys
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Duration: 2 hrs 5 mins
Rating:  *  *  *

“I am old, not obsolete” says Arnold Schwarzenegger more than once in Terminator Genisys, reprising that iconic role that made him famous all over the globe. That was when director James Cameron made The Terminator in 1984 (followed by Judgment Day in ’91) giving us two of the most memorable sci-fi action movies. There were couple of films later but the Terminator was not the same without Cameron. Terminator Genisys (the fifth film in the franchise) is more of a throwback on the first and second part with a lot of references.  And among all the films, this involves the most time travel, you have to keep a close eye on who is coming and who is going.

It opens with a little boy Kyle (Jai Courtney) being rescued by a man who turns out to be John O’Connor (Jason Clarke) who is leading the human resistance against the machines led by the program that has gone rogue, Skynet who sends a machine back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia ‘Game of Thrones’ Clarke) while Kyle who has become John’s trusted lieutenant volunteers to go and save her. She doesn’t need a great deal of help because the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) whom she fondly calls Pops, is still around. But Kyle has to team up with Sarah for other reasons.
When Kyle rewinds back to 1984, a deadly android (playing Korean superstar Byung hun Lee) is already waiting for him – that’s not all, we are also treated to a good Arnold vs bad Arnold duel. You have to be familiar with the first two Terminator films to know what exactly is going on - Not just to understand the plot but also the characters. Besides, there are several other references some obvious ones which are actually quite enjoyable. In fact it is the humor and the self references that keep the film going.

The science gets a little more complex with references like parallel timelines but everything else that could have been explored involving Sarah, John, T1000 and Skynet has been done before. On the surface you might get the gist of it but to get to the minutiae, you will have to scratch your head to figure out the exact sequence of events.

True, Terminator may be old but it is not obsolete, and as the post credits reveal, there is more to come. 

Published in The Navhind Times, Goa on 5th July 2015

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