Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’

Wooden leads weigh down the dynamic script and direction of ‘Terminator Genisys’

December 15, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 15, 2017

Terminator Genisys, the would-be 2015 blockbuster, does its best to invigorate an action-adventure franchise that James Cameron unwittingly launched back in 1984. Alas, the movie falls flat — an immense soufflé prepared by a chef who lacked just one or two vital ingredients.

The plot is complex but holds up as long as the viewer simply accepts it as the necessary mishegas that propels the movie from one set piece to another. The action opens in the year 2029, just as John Connor (Jason Clarke of Zero Dark Thirty, Everest and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is on the brink of leading humanity to a decisive victory over the evil computer Skynet and its legion of murderous Terminator robots.

As the last battle is seemingly won, humans seize a large machine-built device that the near-prescient Connor somehow knows is capable of sending people (and flesh-covered machines) back in time. Connor uses it to dispatch his right-hand man, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney, Bruce Willis’s son in A Good Day to Die Hard and a key character in the Divergent movies), to the year 1984. Reese’s mission is to protect John’s mother from a Terminator that’s been dispatched to kill her and thus crush humanity’s rebellion even before it can reach the cradle.

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‘Last Action Hero’ needn’t be at the top of your list

October 1, 2012

Arnold Schwarzenegger has played the lead in any number of action films. Of the ones I’ve seen, Last Action Hero, the 1993 feature helmed by John McTiernan, is probably the least impressive.

Which isn’t to say that Last Action Hero is bad. It’s not. There’s just nothing that really stands out about the film, despite an interesting premise and some humorous touches.

This is an offbeat buddy movie in which Schwarzenegger, as Los Angeles supercop Jack Slater, provides the brawn. The brains are mostly supplied by his pint-sized sidekick, Danny Madigan, played by Austin O’Brien. The two normally wouldn’t join forces to investigate either the killing of Slater’s favorite second cousin or a bloody war between Southern California drug gangs. But this is, of course, a movie.

And that’s the running joke of this film: Most of the action occurs in Jack Slater IV, a movie within a movie, after Madigan uses a magical ticket to insert himself into the action during an advance screening.

After surviving a pursuit through the streets of suburban and industrial Los Angeles — as well as what I believe is the flood control system featured in Terminator 2 and many other movies — the pair drop by the swank (movie) headquarters of the Los Angeles police department. Read the rest of this entry »

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