Five complaints about Terminator: Genisys we think are just plain wrong

As of the time of this writing, a mere 27% of critics on the aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes approve of Terminator: Genisys. Because the Tomatometer gives an accurate average of film scores, we must therefore conclude the reviews themselves are flawed: Terminator: Genisys was a much better movie than the critics would have you believe. 

We don’t write reviews here at Blastr. Viewers' experiences are unique to them, and one person's treasure is another person's Prometheus. Still, we believe that Genisys was unfairly criticized. And we have the responses to particular criticism.


Original review:

“Game of Thrones star Clarke lacks Linda Hamilton’s essential wide-eyed humanity…”

Why it’s just plain wrong:

Emilia Clarke isn’t playing Sarah Connor, the naive waitress. She’s playing Sarah Connor, the young woman who has spent her entire life preparing for an apocalypse. Clarke nails it, by the way. She’s untrusting, unsentimental, and quick to give orders. In other words, she’s the perfect person to tell the Terminators, “Who’s your mommy?”

The Toronto Star

Original review:

But the T-brains also trample on key aspects of the humans versus machines narrative, introducing alternate histories that are explained away as “nexus points” of disrupted lives.

Why it's just plain wrong:

Terminator: Genisys makes it a point to provide the connective tissue between this movie and the original, as well as Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Historical events can be changed.  And more than one timeline can exist. It seems pretty clear that this aspect of the plot isn’t “explained away.” It’s explained. 

Richard Roeper

Original review:

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the old-school cyborg who never uses 10 words when five will do — but he’s actually called “Pops” by Sarah Connor throughout the movie.

She named him that because — well, I don’t want to give it away. All I’m saying is, “Pops” is a character in a Muppets movie, not a badass cyborg!

Why it's just plain wrong:

Pops is the perfect name for the T-800, who is much more than a badass cyborg. He's a father to Sarah and has been for at least a decade, and their relationship means more to her than even her relationships with Kyle or even John. They're strangers to her. She only trusts what she knows, and she knows Pops.

Original review:

In particular, the scene in question is where - spoilers alert - John Connor has arrived from the future and is now a Terminator himself, some sort of nano-technology bot.  When he tries to kill his parents Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor, Kyle offers him a word of warning, “If you kill us, you will never exist!” John Connor, who - more or less - is now Skynet, just shrugs and says something like, “We’re all lost in time, none of it matters anymore.” 


It’s at this moment that I need to pause and remind readers about the single most important underlying act in the entire franchise:  The travel through time to kill Sarah Connor so that John Connor can never be born….  If killing Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor won’t ensure John Connor is never born, then what was the purpose of this entire film up until the point that John Connor uttered those words?  

Why it's just plain wrong:

True, John’s response might not have been the best line ever, but the fact is, he is actually trying to kill Sarah. The premise remains firmly within the laws created by the first movie.

Also, Terminator: Genisys is keeping solidly on the path of the premise: Sarah and Kyle have to go forward in time to kill Skynet before it can kill Sarah. And that’s exactly what they set out to do. 

Seattle Weekly

Original review:

In its best action moments (plunging helicopter, plunging Pops, plunging school bus, etc.), the movie reminds you how George Miller’s Mad Max reboot jettisons the backstory to make the chase that much lighter and faster. 

Why it’s just plain wrong: 

It's not unfair to place Mad Max: Fury Road in the same category as The Terminator. Both are about the post-apocalypse, and both were dialog-light (Mad Max: Fury Road theoretically didn't have a script, only storyboards; the extended fight scene at the end of The Terminator was practically wordless). But Mad Max told a much simpler story: The Road Warrior escapes his kidnappers and helps some runaways along the way. Terminator: Genisys, however, was about time travel and its wrinkly consequences.

If the writers jettisoned the solid backstory, we could never feel the weight of the character's decisions and their consequences. 


But of course, not every negative review was wrong. The movie wasn’t perfect. In particular, one less-than-stellar aspect stood out for me, and I agree with this particular aspect completely:

Austin Chronicle

Original review:

Oh, Michael Biehn, where art thou? 

Why it’s just plain right:

Jai Courtney, who played rescuer Kyle Reese, was weaksauce. In the original Terminator, when Michael Biehn told Linda Hamilton, “I came across time for you, Sarah,” you believed him. I never got the feeling this Kyle even liked Sarah, let alone wanted to risk his life to meet her. Not the stuff that romance is made of. It's a pity, because I found The Terminator deeply romantic

More from around the web