Thirty-one years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger blasted on the scene in a role that took full advantage of his commanding physique and monosyllabic catchphrases in the form of the Terminator.
Twelve years ago, he donned the role seemingly one last time for “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” before transforming into the Governator.
Now, at age 67, Schwarzenegger’s still got it, but the newest sequel/reboot hybrid “Terminator Genisys” is a sad case of “Been there, done that.” Or should I say “Blown up there, shot that.”
In “Terminator Genisys,” the whole mythology created by James Cameron has been given a reinvented treatment that is plot-heavy and logic-light. This one involves the threat of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” by the evil robotic force known as Skynet from taking over the world and destroying humanity.
Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) once again is on the run from the deadly cyborg, but there’s a twist: She now has a reprogrammed Terminator (Schwarzenegger) to protect her so her son John can be born. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) also is sent back in time to protect her, but little does he know about her Terminator or its mission. The adult John Connor from the future (Jason Clarke) sends Reese back through time to make sure he can be born and that Judgment Day can be eradicated.
Like I said, the movie is a reinvention of the franchise and does pay homage to the series including introducing a revamped T-1000 (Lee Byung-Hun). Robert Patrick, who memorably played the character in “T2,” has nothing to worry about.
It’s certainly great to see Schwarzenegger back in his element, delivering his signature one-liners and interacting in action sequences that are befitting for this entry but contain no real impact like the previous films did.
The problem with “Genisys” is its script. As I said, this entry is much more about playing around with the paradoxes of time travel, but the execution is far too convoluted and, oftentimes, it’s difficult to keep track of who’s who or what’s what. Nor are the action sequences particularly thrilling or memorable. It seems much more like a retread of special effects that were used better before.
As a fan of this series, it breaks my heart to see it take such a wrong turn. If there’s going to be a sequel or — God forbid — another reinvention, there got to be a lot more reprogramming on the script as opposed to the ideas.
“I’m old, not obsolete,” Schwarzenegger variously quips. Sadly, this movie feels like both.
(Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.