"Terminator Genisys" Proves Franchise is Old, But Not Obsolete


Terminator Genisys” is everything you would expect a Summer Blockbuster to be. It’s high energy explosive action with a wit and charm to keep people smiling throughout. It reminds me a lot of “Back to the Future, Part 2,” which can be a bit overwhelming at times if you put too much effort into fully comprehending the time travel logic. If you can just let yourself go for two hours and embrace Schwarzenegger in his natural environment, you’ll have a heck of a time.

When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future.

Arnold Schwarzenegger slips right back into his iconic role like he never left it. You can tell by his performance that this is the role he’s been patiently waiting to return to since he started acting again. Emilia Clarke does a fine job taking over the character of Sarah Connor in both looks and attitude. I also think Jai Courtney did a fine job portraying Kyle Reese. Jason Clarke has what I feel is the hardest job taking over the always sympathetic role of John Connor and making him calmly vicious and malevolent.

One critic I was speaking to after the screening I attended felt the audience was left with more questions than answers after “Terminator Genisys” ended. I understood where he was coming from, but don’t feel like it will hinder someone from liking the movie. There were no “plot holes” or “devices” that couldn’t be answered in one of the planned sequels.

The CGI and special effects for “Terminator Genisys” all look good. Young Terminator in 1984 looks exactly the way he did in the original film. The explosions, shapeshifting, and everything else blend well with their natural surroundings and the actors for the most part.

A rating of PG-13 is given to “Terminator Genisys” for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language. The partial nudity consists of Arnold and Jai Courtney’s shadowed bottoms as they time travel. I didn’t notice anything other than that. If you’ve seen any of the other “Terminator” movies, you know what you’re walking into.

“Terminator Genisys” does a remarkable job taking the franchise in a new direction while paying homage to what’s transpired in the past. There are many enjoyable nods to what’s come before on our way to new territory laid out by writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. As with any film that dabbles in time travel and alternate timelines, you run into some issues many would consider “plot holes.”