Terminator: Genisys  — whose name isn’t doing it any favors, is the new sequel/reboot of the franchise that everyone loved until the third film. The first film of a planned money-grabbing trilogy, Genisys finds a timeline split altering the events of the original film. Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) is now a full-on warrior, trained and protected by a different T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) finds a very different girl than he did in the 1984 original and together they must stop Skynet (again), this time in the form of the mysterious program known as “Genisys.”
...Fries your brain like an egg. The Terminator films have always included time travel and diverging timelines. In the past, they have been complex, but not extremely difficult to follow and keep track of. That is not the case here. Many time periods are covered and future-altering actions affect several different timelines. It is not hard to understand because it is complex or intelligent. It is hard to understand because it is dumb and poorly thought out.
Wait, this is a remake? The entire deceit of the film is the change of events in comparison to the original film. That’s an interesting launchpad, but the film forges no new ground. It is stuck trying to pay homage and reference previous films and when it does try to go off the beaten path, it feels just like every other blockbuster of the past 20 years or so. And for a film that’s pretty relentlessly paced, it’s actually quite boring, as well. The characters that were so likable in the ’80s and ’90s are unrecognizable here, oftentimes being monotonous and even annoying at times. And don’t even ask about those attempted one-liners.
But it looks cool, right? No, it really doesn’t look cool. The action setpieces range from bland and boring to hilariously, ridiculously awful. The action starts off at the beginning as pretty nondescript and eventually nosedives into lunacy with blatant disregard for believability and physics. The one thing that even the worst blockbusters can often be counted on having, cool CG effects, is missing here, too. This looks like the CG of a $150 million blockbuster of 2005, not 2015.