There is no denying that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most iconic role is that of the Terminator. Ever since the great follow up T2: Judgement Day fans have eagerly hoped for a another entry that lived up to its greatness. While they did deliver two more films in the series they were met with mixed results with fans figuring that it was just not meant to be. Once Arnold left office and headed back to the big screen that glimmer of hope returned and it has now come to fruition with the latest Terminator Genisys that not only brings Schwarzenegger back in his famous role, but also an all new cast including Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, K.K. Simmons, and Byung-hun Lee but could it possibly return the series to form or will it be terminated before it begins?
Terminator Genisys follows John Conner who sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be and it changes everything. Obviously going into a film like this dealing with an iconic character you have to have reservations and with the trailers showing that they looked to reboot the series while still keeping the originals intact it could go either way. This entry has some bumps here and there, but thankfully delivers a lot more than expected in a great way. They have stayed true to the original film and used this film to reset the timeline in a way that is respectful to the previous films, but allows it to move forward on its own in new directions. They clearly took special care in recreating the iconic opening sequences to the original film that almost looks exact and sets up a really fun sequence. They have also infused a bit of T2 into the story here to help keep it connected but once again made it their own. The opening of the film is pretty cool giving fans a peek at what happened prior to Reese originally being sent back and in turn makes it feel more connected.
The new cast all step in and do a great job with the roles. It does take a bit getting used to allow Courtney and Clarke to take on these roles, but after a while they blend right in. There are some moments that Clarke almost looks like Hamilton and both manage to bring some of their characteristics to the roles, while making them their own. Jason Clarke does a good job as Conner, but at times feels a bit off. Once he finds his groove he is great, but initially there is just something that doesn’t work very well. As good as the newcomers are everyone is really here to see Arnold do his thing and he does not disappoint. There have been a lot of people complaining about his older age in the film, but it is not only explained and handled well, but if you have ever paid attention to the first two films in the series it already explains how this is possible. Arnold doesn’t miss a beat this time around and steps flawless back into the role and while is a bit slower at times it manages to work for the way the character moves.
There are some awesome action sequences that have kept in line with the tone of the series, but also stepped things up. Arnold gets to throw down numerous times in some of his best Terminator on Terminator fight scenes to date, but have no fear he gets to bring the big guns and unload like only he can as well. If you need to pick apart some issues in the film there are a couple, but nothing that overly affects the finished product. The CGI is awesome throughout with only a couple of moments that were a bit off, mostly with a helicopter chase action sequence that is awesome, but looks a bit more video game-ish at times. The other is that anytime you deal with time travel there are some holes here and there and this is no exception. They have done a pretty good job keeping it all reigned in, but there are some moments that are questionable, but could also be addressed and answered if there are more entries into the series.
There will be some that will likely turn on this movie on principle alone and while it may never fully live up to the original two films in the series it does a great job at bringing a sequel that is worthy and opens the doors for the future. In a series whose focus is on saving the future, this chapter has done just that and saved the future of the franchise by honoring those that came before, but resetting the timeline to allow for new directions for the series and the characters involved. The Terminator is back where it belongs and hopefully this will kick off the new trilogy they are hoping for and able to keep making them better and better.