** out of ****
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to his most iconic role in Terminator: Genisys. While he remains a likable screen presence, the movie is mired in mediocrity.
The film begins in the future with humans battling the evil computer Skynet’s robot army. John Connor (Jason Clarke) is leading the resistance. He sends his top lieutenant Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to save his mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). This is basically the plot for the first film, but it’s clear once Reese arrives in 1984, things aren’t the way they were in The Terminator.
The plot, like many time travel films, is too convoluted to delve into here, and doing so would require divulging a big twist halfway through. The problem is there doesn’t seem to be much at stake, which initially seems like an odd thing to say considering that on the surface, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. But considering this is the fifth movie in this time traveling series, it’s clear that everything can be reset at the drop of the hat so there’s not the sense of urgency that existed in the first two films.
Overall, Genisys just feels like a movie that’s going through the motions. There’s no signature action scene and the story is old hat by now. It’s likely to be forgotten by the end of the summer.