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Terminator Genisys (2015) – Review

Old… but not obsolete,” Pop explained itself.

The Terminator is getting old, but it refuses to get old. Genisys still makes a vast Terminator films although its time-travel narratives mostly undo the original wonder and its excessive nods to the predecessor makes it drown in nostalgia.

James Cameron’s dark, future thriller, The Terminator, has aged, hitting 30 years when Genisys—the fifth installment of the franchise—began production. The aged Terminator, now growing old as a geri-badass called Pop (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has explained himself—also the whole franchise—that he’s “old, but not obsolete,” before he eventually realized that he’s just “not yet obsolete.” It’s just a matter of time.

Time, finally, becomes Terminator’s nemesis. On-screen. Off-screen. 

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Genisys is a soft-reboot of the franchise; it’s the first not to chronologically follow the main canon and it’s also the first to look from both sides, the past and the future. The fimmakers exploited the benefits of time-travel to set a ground and disguise a reboot—creating a time-loop and putting Genisys in an alternate timeline, which might take as many advantages as possible from the original timeline. Thanks to J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek which introduced this trend.

In 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke) led the resistance to fight machine; but the machine cheated by sending a terminator to 1984 to terminate Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke, not so Targaryen), John’s mother. To counter that, John sent his comrade, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to save the day. Then, the plot twisted.

Sarah wasn’t the girl John talked about—meaning to say, she’s not so Linda Hamilton-esque. A T-800 terminator was sent back to protect her since she was 9; since then, the terminator she called Pop was her guardian and her mentor. The best thing is: she knew more than Kyle. While the past was changed, the future was also changed… and that’s what urged Genisys more than anything else before they traveled to 2017.

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The filmmakers realized, after Terminator Salvation, that Terminator always needs Arnie in whatever way. Therefore, they brought him back to screen as if they forgot that Arnie was an old man now. His star factor deteriorated and even a twist in his story wasn’t a help at all.

Emilia Clarke couldn’t bring the spirit of Sarah Connor into an expected lane; she wasn’t able to catch and release the badass Sarah Connor like Linda Hamilton. Instead, she brought up her Game of Thrones persona as Daenerys to this film and it’s annoying. Courtney’s Reese was lost in character—making his spark of love to Sarah Connor felt so minuscule, almost not visible. Only Jason Clarke’s John Connor, I think is the gem of Genisys. Sometimes, his character felt one-sided, but we could never see beyond him because he’s convincing in both sides—human and machine.

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Genisys is actually a fun film to follow. The action was vast and keen; filled with 80s’ B-movie action pack and quotable one-liner. The problem is: the time-travel narratives mostly undo the wonder of the original series—the dark, harrowing theme and the paranoia of machine takes over humanity. However, the film borrowed as many credits as possible from the original; gave more than enough nods to the predecessors and reenacted them as an ‘inside story’ that only those who watched the original franchise understand.

Simply saying: the franchise refused to get old and obsolete, but they kept talking about its glorious past.

Terminator Genisys (2015)

star2.5

GenisysSci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Thriller Directed by: Alan Taylor Screenplay by: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier Story by: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd Starred by: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Lee Byung-hun Running Time: 125 mins Rated PG – 13 for intense sequences of sci – fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language

IMDb | Official Site



Thriller futuristik James Cameron, The Terminator, makin menua. Umurnya sudah 30 tahun saat Genisys—film kelimanya—masuk produksi. Si terminator tua yang kini menjadi bedebah tua yang dipanggil Pop (Arnold Schwarzenegger) alias kakek menyebut dirinya—begitu juga filmnya—tua tapi tidak usang. Sebelum ia sadar bahwa ia harusnya berkata: belum usang. Cuma masalah waktu.

Memang, waktu adalah musuh besar Terminator. Di dalam layar. Di luar layar.

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Genisys adalah soft-reboot franchise ini. Inilah film pertama yang tidak mengikuti garis cerita utama canon-nya sekaligus film pertama yang “melihat kedua sisi” masa depan dan masa lalu. Pembuatnya memanfaatkan tema time-travelnya untuk bercerita sekaligus menyamarkan usaha rebootnya dengan cara menghadirkan time-loop dan menaruh Genisys di timeline yang berbeda. Sedikit banyak meniru apa yang dilakukan J.J. Abrams pada Star Trek-nya.

Tahun 2027, John Connor (Jason Clarke) memimpin pasukan perlawanan menghadapi mesin; tapi mesin berbuat curang dengan mengirim mesin pembunuhnya ke tahun 1984 untuk memusnahkan Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), ibu John. Untuk mencegahnya, John mengirim mitranya, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney). Kemudian plot twist terjadi.

Ternyata Sarah bukanlah perempuan seperti yang John ceritakan. Sarah yang ini adalah Sarah yang berbeda—artinya, Sarah ini tidak seperti Sarahnya Linda Hamilton. Sebuah terminator model T-800 telah dikirimkan dari masa depan untuk melindunginya saat ia berusia 9 tahun. Sejak saat itu, Sarah menjadikannya mentor dan kakeknya. Kerennya, dia tahu lebih banyak daripada Kyle. Tapi, karena masa lalu berubah, masa depan pun berubah… dan itulah urgensi Genisys sebelum akhirnya para tokohnya ber-time-travel ke tahun 2017 untuk misi mereka.

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Pembuatnya sadar, setelah melihat performa Terminator Salvation, bahwa Terminator selalu memerlukan Arnie. Akhirnya, ia pun dihadirkan dalam film ini dengan melupakan satu hal yang pasti: Arnie sudah menua, kebintangannya sudah menurun, dan ia tak bisa lagi membantu banyak.

Emilia Clarke tak mampu menampilkan semangat Sarah Connor yang sebenarnya. Ia gagal menangkap dan mengeluarkan sisi badass Sarah seperti yang dilakukan Linda Hamilton. Yang ia tampilkan malah persona Daenerys Targaryen-nya di Game of Thrones; dan itu menyebalkan. Reese yang diperankan Jai Courtney malah tersesat dalam karakternya sendiri—akibatnya kita tak bisa melihat percikan cinta antara dia dan Sarah. Hanya penampilan Jason Clarke sebagai John Connor yang meyakinkan. Meskipun sering terasa one-sided, tapi karakternya sangat mengerikan di kedua sisi—manusia ataupun mesin.

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Memang Genisys cukup seru. Action-nya padat dan tajam; full dengan aksi a la B-movie tahun 80-an lengkap dengan one-liner-nya. Masalahnya: plot time-travel ini malah mengundo keajaiban yang dihadirkan pendahulunya (terutama Terminator 2: Judgment Day)—temanya yang sangat gelap dan paranoia akan masa depan yang nyata. Namun, film ini tetap harus berterima kasih pada film orisinalnya. Seolah-olah berusaha menampilkan sebanyak mungkin referensi pada pendahulunya; hasilnya: terlalu banyak inside story yang hanya dipahami penonton film Terminator yang sudah-sudah.

Gampangnya: franchise ini sudah mulai tua dan usang, tapi malu mengakuinya.

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