T-800 is back.
In "Terminator: Genisys," we return to the events of James Cameron’s 1984 classic "The Terminator," and through a series of bold, semi-confusing travels through time and parallel dimensions, effectively erase everything. Yeah, it's going to be pretty polarizing for fans of the robot franchise.
That's not to say that Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney, as franchise staples Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, don't put in convincing performances -- and for what it's worth, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in his "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" comedic form. To be completely honest, the ending of the film opens up an exciting new possibility for the somewhat tired franchise. In other words, haters to the left.
"Terminator: Genisys" may not impress all of the hardcore "Terminator" fans -- you know, the ones who can name every Terminator model and list their individual mechanics on command -- but it will appeal to those who are a little more open-minded and willing to bend logic every once in a while. The action sequences are absolutely thrilling, the reinvention of John Connor is interesting to say the least. Clarke is an impressive action-hero-in-the-making in her first major non-"Game of Thrones" role and there's even a little PG-13 nudity (butts!) to rival "Magic Mike XXL" at the box office.
Without further ado, here's why even you naysayers should give "Terminator: Genisys" a shot this weekend:
"Come with me if you want to live!"
The iconic line from the first "Terminator" is back, but this item, it's Sarah Connor who gets to say it. (Sorry, Arnie.) This just might be the film's saving grace: it closes the gender gap. In this timeline, Sarah is a badass, self-sufficient warrior woman (think "T2") who doesn't need Kyle to save her. And while the film may hit this on the nose a little too hard, it's refreshing to see a female-fronted action film where the heroine doesn't need to be saved when things get tough. In fact, Clarke kicks so much Terminator butt in this film, you'd think she was the Terminator-human hybrid.
The reinvention of John Connor.
John Connor, the courageous leader (read: messiah) of the men-against-machines war at the center of the entire "Terminator" franchise, is put in a very precarious position in "Genisys." Without saying too much, it's not a total surprise when halfway through the film John is revealed to be the time-jumping Big Bad of the movie. But his allegiance to Skynet unfolds in a very unusual way, and the reality of who John actually is will make you remember everything you wanted to forget about "Terminator Salvation."
There's a lot of naked time-jumping.
You might want to bring a pen and paper with you to the movies because when Schwarzenegger's T-800 rattles off a bunch of "important" time travel nonsense, you're going to want to write it down. Perhaps the most confusing part of "Genisys" is that you just have to accept that there are parallel universes -- one of which holds the key of shutting down Skynet permanently. Convenient! It all starts when Kyle goes back in time (naked, of course) to save Sarah, but along the way, he picks up a few memories that he never actually experienced. In them, we see a tiny, happy Kyle who looks really stoked to get "Genisys" -- a computer program that sounds a lot like the Cloud (aka synchs all of your devices) -- for his birthday. What's Genisys? Well, if we told you that then the entire movie would be ruined, so, sorry.
Jai Courtney needs to be a bigger star, like, now.
For some reason Australian actor Jai Courtney isn't a huge star yet, and that's a shame. With breakout roles in "Jack Reacher" and "Divergent" and an upcoming part in the highly anticipated "Suicide Squad" movie, Courtney has the chops to be an action hero. Let's just hope Hollywood is listening. Though Kyle may not be the hero of this film the same way he was in "Terminator," Courtney undoubtedly gives him way more charm, and in many ways, his arc acts as the emotional center of the film.
The action sequences will blow your mind.
If you like seeing high-speed car chases, grenade launches in actor and Terminators blow up, then this is most definitely the movie for you. Not to mention there's an epic Arnold vs. Arnold scene that will have OG fans cheering in their seats. Because without spoiling it too much, in this version of events, a reprogrammed T-800 met Sarah long before 1984.
Khaleesi kicks ass.
Somebody give Clarke her own franchise ASAP because the Mother of Dragons kicks major Terminator ass in "Genisys," proving that she's more than capable of fronting more action films. (Two words: grenade launcher.) Who knew training Terminators would be easier than training dragons?
Arnold brings the laughs.
"Genisys" does a great job of evoking the buddy-robot relationship between Sarah and the T-800 in "Terminator 2: Judgement Day." Therefore, we get a lot of the same jokes -- and awkward grimaces -- with a little more emotional weight because in this timeline of events, Sarah and the reprogrammed T-800 she lovingly calls Pops have been together for quite some time. Pops likes to say he's "old but not obsolete," which of course is a not-so-subtle reference to the entire "Terminator" franchise, and he's correct: true to form, the iconic T-800 does some serious work in this film. But it's Arnold's ability to poke a little fun at himself that makes this Terminator near and dear to our hearts. Wherever the franchise goes from here, we're just hoping Pops is along for the ride.
"Terminator: Genisys" hits theaters on July 1.