At the onset of this fifth installment, Terminator Genisys bumps shoulders with a ton of timeline scenarios from the first two films (aka the two good ones) that get your blood pumping – moments that resonate, that make you feel, that get you excited for what’s to come… Once those initial 17 minutes are over, however, we’re left with nothing more than an emotionally hollow, distantly disheveled and ridiculously convoluted tale that seemingly tries to rewrite all the goodness that preceded it… And if fish line-tangling the mythology weren’t bad enough, we’re presented with a poorly constructed story that makes little sense, lazy scriptwriting/uninspired direction that make no attempt to untangle the clumsy narrative and big budget special effects that we’ve seen a million times before (much of it within this series). Worst of all (yes, there’s more), is the horrific casting of three of the four leading actors… Rest assured, by playing to his current age, Schwarzenegger makes it out relatively unscathed – he was actually quite fun to watch. The real iceberg(s) that ultimately sink this ship are the one-dimensionality of the villain (played by the talented Jason Clarke; his character issues speak more to the writing) and the seemingly talent-free environment created by Jai Courtney (exclusively never good in anything) and Emilia Clarke (supposedly great in Games of Thrones, but atrocious here). Their chemistry is no deeper than a flipped over Frisbee collecting rain water. There may be enough sideways-to-the-future, wormhole, time travel antics in play to keep tempers at bay, but this type of clunky, clumsy, tired, empty and ill-planned stuff ensured that, like the Terminator himself, I didn’t feel a damn thing. So, in reaching to retool the franchise in to relevancy, we’re left with nothing more than a big budget dud of a firework for the Fourth of July weekend. You’ll be back, Arnold? Yeah, don’t bother – I think we’re good.
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke and J.K. Simmons Directed by: Alan Taylor (THOR: THE DARK WORLD) Rated: PG-13 Running time: 1hr. 59min. Story: When John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian, dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future.