“Terminator Genisys” opens in San Francisco on July 1. The age of the movie going public is changing and one cannot count on young people to fill the seats. “YouTube” is a stronger rival and has captured this lost audience. To get the public into the theatres, gimmicks such as 3D are being used without real success such as in “Terminator Genisys”. The screenplay written by the team of Patrick Lussier and Laeta Elizabeth Kalogridis is juvenile and geared for the elusive younger crowd of age 10-12 but loses all age groups in the attempt to reach them.
The ensemble cast of this new addition to the “Terminator” franchise features the admirable British actress Emilia Clarke playing an immature Sarah Connor (and a superb and mature ‘Mother of Dragons in “Game of Thrones”) , and the bland Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese. The chemistry between Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor is zero. The dialogue between Kyle and Sarah sounds like two quibbling children, which adds nothing to the film or improves their chemistry.
Jason Clarke as John Connor is making his rounds in quite a few films of late including “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014). Lee Byung-hun is actually the best character of the entire ensemble cast as the T-1000. Luckily he did not have to age like the T-800 played by Arnold Schwarzenneger. How Schwarzenegger is used in the film is in fact wasteful. Several times he has to follow a trite script: “I’m old – but not obsolete”. Since John Conner, played by Edward Furlong, taught him a lot of hip language in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” it simply is not credible to see him regress into a computerized robot with minute details about technology of no interest to anyone.
The advances of Silicon Valley are faithfully used as in previous films such as “Terminator Salvation” and the Golden Gate Bridge and “Pyramid Building” having already gone through a lot of battles are blown up again. But San Francisco always rebounds, like Silicon Valley, which today nourishes a new generation of “techies” that have taken over San Francisco in mindset, gentrification, job markets etc. It is not very far fetched to believe that there will be on operating system that everyone will subscribe to and upload their apps into one huge intermedia complex. This is really the scary thing about this film, not Skynet, but how the war of the machines comes from our own cosmetic inventions.
Despite the obligatory tease at the end, there probably will never be a “Terminator 6”.