Terminator Genisys

Schwa-chan, please don’t be back

More than 30 years after the first Terminator, this loose sequel (reboot? misguided reimagining? desperate cash grab?), in order to justify its existence, throws the entire Terminator mythos out the window and comes up with this elaborately rigged, time-shuffling story that spends a lot of time explaining itself. So what we have here is lots of exposition and rejiggered backstories alternating with computer-generated fight scenes featuring liquid-metal bad guys reconstituting themselves—over and over again.

Australian hunk Jai Courtney does a one-note portrayal of Kyle Reese, and Game of Thrones heroine Emilia Clarke, as Sarah Connor, is adequate, but no Linda Hamilton. Korea’s Byung-hun Lee is a new, “bad” terminator (Asian butts in seats), and Jason Clarke does the confusing John Connor duties.

Bottom line: a big, noisy, humorless bore. To view this as the start of a new Terminator trilogy seems optimistic. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a post-Governator box office bust, has a lot riding on this film—his character actually offers a lame reason why a cyborg ages; more than once, he says, “I’m old, not obsolete.” Well, that’s up to us to decide, isn’t it? Note to Schwa-chan: Please don’t be back. Japanese title: Terminator: Shinkidō Genisys. (125 min)