Terminator Genisys parents guide

Terminator Genisys Parent Review

There isn't much to recommend about this new Terminator -- except for the brief message tacked on at the end of the film.

Overall B-

The Terminator Franchise gets off to a new start with this reboot of the sci-fi series. In order to fix present problems, resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke), sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) into the past -- but an unexpected complication threatens to destroy the hoped for future.

Violence C-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity D+
Substance Use B+

Terminator Genisys is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language.

Movie Review

Terminator fans will likely enjoy the latest film more than newcomers, most of whom may be floundering in the dark. The franchise, which has toned down the violence in order to grab a PG-13 rating, glosses over the back-story in favor of getting on with this new tale about time traveling terminators and the humans that are trying to stop them.

From a newbie’s perspective, this script has some problems. For instance, can your older self kill your younger self and still exist? Who wrote the rules that said time travelers must do it naked? And can robots age? Even get wrinkles and gray hair? Wouldn’t they just rust? Have more questions? Well don’t expect to get them answered.

This action-packed film starts with bullets flying and keeps up the gunplay for most of the runtime. It begins when rebel leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) agrees to send Sgt. Kyle Reece (Jai Courtney) back in time to protect John’s mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clark) from a robot who has been sent back to kill her. Yet when Kyle arrives in the year 1984, things are different than expected.

For beginners, Sarah isn’t the innocent young adult Kyle imagined. She has teamed up with a terminator she calls Pops (Arnold Schwarzenegger). He was originally sent back to kill her. However Pops has apparently reprogrammed himself and become a protector instead of assassin. Knowing when his younger self is supposed to arrive (again), he blasts a hole in the youthful version and prevents Sarah’s death.

Yes, from the get-go this is a confusing script that has people repeatedly confronting themselves in another time and dimension, and then living to tell about it (another thing I thought you couldn’t do).

So to truly enjoy or at least swallow this premise, you’ll need to check your brains at the ticket counter and sit back for a ride where California’s former governor appears on the screen as a young, buff terminator (thanks to CGI), a graying one, and finally an old but not obsolete version of himself.

Still, the one thing you won’t question is the amount of non-stop violence this film includes. Because most of it involves robots, there is a minimal amount of blood. All the same, we see repeated depictions of impaling, shootings and hand-to-hand combat. Characters are crushed, dismembered, thrown off buildings and blown up. Luckily for the terminators, the new models come with a self-healing upgrade that lets them get back in the action in a matter of minutes. There’s also the depiction of time travel, sans clothing. That results in a few scenes of male buttock nudity and a bare embrace between a time traveling couple.

There isn’t much to recommend about this new Terminator—except for the brief message tacked on at the end of the film. After fighting to save the world from total destruction, one character finally feels like she has a chance to choose the kind of life she would like to live, instead of being a victim of fate. Considering that most of this screenplay centers around blasting your enemy to pieces, the idea of choosing a better future is a brief but bright notion on which to terminate the movie.

Directed by Alan Taylor. Starring Emilia Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Jai Courtney, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Running time: 125 minutes. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Terminator Genisys here.

Terminator Genisys Parents Guide

Talk about the movie with your family…

The first Terminator movie released in 1984. How has this film upgraded the science and technology to reflect our time? What modern devices are used to control the human population? Do you think people can become slaves to their machines? How does this film establish human superiority over robots? What makes them superior?

Why do we often humanize technology? What are some ways that we do it?

Sarah is given a chance to choose the life she wants to pursue. What kind of choices do you have? What impact will the choices you make today have on your future? What kinds of things limit our choices?

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