The effects are awesome. The Governator looks good in his various forms. The Khaleesi looks good with her natural brown hair. The chases are exciting. The pace is breakneck.
Terminator Genesys has all the things you want in a summertime action pic. Okay, the 3-D doesn’t add much. But, the gunplay, the explosions, the battles are all epic. Still, TG is not quite a must-see.
The story leaves a bit to be desired. Here’s the scoop: In 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the resistance against the machines (who took control of the humans on “Judgment Day” in 2017), sends right-hand man Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to reset history.
When he gets there, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke, AKA Daenerys Targaryon on Game of Thrones) is expecting him. At her side is a good guy robot guardian she calls Pop (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Kyle’s mission is immediately complicated when a machine disguised as an LA cop (played beautifully by Korean actor Byung-hun Lee) begins a violent assault.
Kyle and Sarah time-travel to 2017 to prevent Judgment Day by taking down the giant Genisys organization. (The dominance San Francisco based Genisys has over all of communication and life may bring to mind Google or other similar giant real-life entities.) Pop meets Kyle and Sarah is 2017 SF, but while they jumped ahead three decades, Pop lived those years and aged enough to become gray-haired.
As our heroes pursue their world-saving goal, they hijack a school bus on the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge and soon become precariously perched on the edge of the bridge, just above the water below, before making their escape. Later, a copter chase provides thrills and provides a chance for Arnold to deliver a famous line. (Although he does not get to say, “Get to da choppah!”)
Another time-jump at the film’s climax is an attempt to try to put things in order, but time travel has a way of gumming up the works.
Director Alan Taylor has directed several Game of Thrones episodes, which may explain Emilia Clarke’s casting as Sarah Connor. On Game, she has an imperial look with her blonde hair. But in TG, as a brunette, she brings the approachable girl-next-door look.
Terminator Genesys has what it takes to rock your holiday weekend with exciting action and cool effects. But whether you feel an urgent need to see this film (as you and others have with several movies in recent weeks) remains to be seen.