When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) 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 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future…
“Terminator: Genisys” does a good job in giving the audience the feeling they just finished watching the first two “Terminator” movies and the story has simply continued. Indeed, both Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is one of the stars again in the “Terminator” franchise, as well as the original Director, James Cameron, have said they like this one the best in terms of subsequent sequels following the original two movies.
This time Director Alan Taylor is at the helm and the special effects and story reminds the viewer of Cameron’s style, which is to say slick and fast. Emilia Clarke is a real treasure. It is eerie how much she looks and sounds like Linda Hamilton at various times during the film. She plays Sarah Connor with the same toughness that Hamilton did. The film alternates between the future when the Terminators and Skynet are at their peak in holding off the human resistance, and then the time travel takes the viewer to 1984 and then to 2017, just two years into our own “present” future. There is a reason for the trip two years ahead which the movie’s plot reveals when Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) travels first to 1984. Make no mistake about it, a viewer could get lost in the alternate time frames and story lines if not paying close attention.
One of the most action-packed sequences, and interesting, involves the older Terminator (Schwarzenegger), now called “Pops” by Sarah Connor, confronting his younger 1984 self. Ultimately, the goal of Kyle and Sarah is to prevent Skynet from ever getting started in the first place. However, there is a surprise they have to deal with in order to be successful, and it involves their own son, John Connor (Jason Clarke).
Despite the themes of sacrifice and loyalty, and terrific special effects, the film contains strong language and brief rear male nudity, not to mention a lot of violence, so we are prevented from awarding it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.