Terminator: Genisys [2015] ★★½

terminator_genisys_poster3Going into the fifth movie of the “Terminator” series, I expected the worst. Arnold Schwarzenegger is clearly desperate for a hit after a series of flops (“The Last Stand” and “Escape Plan”). Never mind that it’s been 12 years since Arnold’s final appearance in a Terminator movie. Or that he’s 67 years old. Or that James Cameron isn’t directing his comeback. The man will do whatever it takes to score a hit. So here’s the verdict: “Genisys”, directed by Alan Taylor, definitely lacks the freshness of the 1984 original (and its sequel), but it’s a potent popcorn movie that works…at least for a while. The plot this time around involves Schwarzy jumping time zones (again) to protect Sarah Connor (Games of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke). Sarah is the future mother of John Connor (if you’re a newbie I suggest you watch the first 3 movies before you continue reading), but when we meet her she’s just met Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), John’s future dad. Still with me? Good, because the movie will jump back and forth in time so many times that your head will spin. But even with a confusing script, “Genisys” still manages to blend action and feeling. Director Alan Taylor, filling the big shoes of James Cameron on the first two films, and Jonathan Mostow on “Rise of the Machines” gets some terrific visual effects to satisfy fans of the series. Taylor pulls out all the stops. Maybe too many. Recycled lines (“I’ll be back”) and a cheesy finale don’t help. But the actors do. Even at 67, Schwarzy can still kick ass. “I’m old, not obsolete”, he says. Overall, “Genisys” is a mixed bag, but it’s a fun time at the movies.

Rating: 2.5/4

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