Terminator Genisys - He's back for judgement day - 3 stars

Survival. It's what you taught me! - John Conner             
Walking into the cinema...
The original is considered a classic and T2 is iconic, but the subsequent sequels were forgettable. 22 years later, can this storyline resurrect itself or should it have remained buried? 

Cinematic rating: 3 stars
Reel Dialogue Rating: 3 stars
       The storyline for Terminator Genisys may sound familiar to those who continue to watch the first two films with nostalgic bliss. It does do a slight variation from the traditional elements and the central character of this chapter is Sgt. Kyle Reese (). He was saved by John Connor (J) as a boy and becomes a disciple/soldier of the charismatic leader. After the supposed defeat of Skynet, he volunteers to go back to 1984 and save John's mother, Sarah Conner () and safeguard the futureYet, the past that is explained to him has changed. He has to come to terms with an altered future and work with Sarah and the Guardian or Pops (). Their goal is to bring down Skynet and the new Genisys operating system before judgement day and defeat an unexpected enemy that will challenge their plans and loyalties. 
        With a reboot of a beloved franchise, staying close to the original storyline can have its advantages and disadvantages. Director  (The Dark World) does not veer too far from the original dystopian adventure, but takes full advantage of the time travel twists to give this version a fresh angle. All of the standard villains and allies are back with an added element that wreaks havoc on the core team and the multiple timelines. Clarke and Courtney fill the shoes of the future Conner and Reese well. They are enjoyable on screen and manage to carry the weight of the extensive dialogue and outlandish action. Taylor allows Schwarzeneggar to focus on his strengths and capitalise on the role that has come to define his career. Arnold gives his one-liners and trademark steely performance which supports the story and makes him strangely endearing. Jason Clarke was a pleasant surprise to the John Conner role. He is believable as the military leader, but his unassuming look and nature provide the depth the eventual villainous element that he represents. Director Taylor surrounds the cast with a multitude of special effects and explosions, but is reliant on the past innovations for the visual element. The effects were good, but unlike the original director James Cameron, he did not introduce anything new in this area. Taylor cannot be blamed for the cityscape, because he was left with original narrative and had to use San Francisco. But, how many times do we need to see San Francisco destroyed this year? A request to filmmakers, please move on to other cites of the world. 
         One element that weighed things down is the multiple discourses to explain the space-time continuum. The additions to the script were necessary to make this unbelievable timeline accessible, but did slow down the momentum of the action. This is a weakness, but not enough to be labelled as a failure. The primary disappointment of this time travelling Terminator tale is that Paramount allowed the vast majority of the story to be revealed in the trailers. There were a few surprises and most of the twists were minor in comparison to what is presented in the trailer. It did not diminish the value of the film, but stole some of the potential magic. Yet, even with the lack of story twists, Terminator Genisys was enjoyable and entertaining. Like many of the nostalgic franchises that have been resurrected this year, it never takes itself too seriously, but adds enough scientific balance to make it accessible. It was a good conclusion to the story and hopefully the Conners and the Terminator will not be back. 
          Outside of the painfully obvious title, it may be difficult to imagine the dystopian world of the Terminator providing any considerations for Biblical truth, but the meta-narrative does seep into this robotic tale. The Kyle Reese character talks about the moment when he is first introduced to John Conner. He is saved by the leader of the human uprising and says of the experience, 'For the first time, I had hope.' In amongst the special effects and time travel, a key element continues to weave through the human experience. The need for a saviour and hope. Even in the darkest of moments and the desperate times, the potential for salvation provides a light to permeate the darkness. John Conner proves to be a false leader, but thankfully God provides a leader that will not fail and provides us everlasting hope. One thing can truly be said of God's appointed saviour, he will be back. (It had to be said.)
Leaving the cinema...
The re-boots are beginning to overstay their welcome, but Terminator Genisys fills the need for fun entertainment. Enough nostalgia and special effects to appeal across the generations and hopefully this is the final chapter of this franchise.

Reel Dialogue: What are the bigger questions to consider from this film? 
1. What can we know about creation? (Genesis 1-3) 
2. Can we solve our own problems? (Proverbs 3:5, Philippians 4:6)
3. Why do we need a saviour? (Romans 3:10-18, Romans 6:23)

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews #terminatorgenisys