I'll start by saying: I watched Terminator Genisys in 3D at an IMAX theater, and the technical quality of the entire film was amazing. If you are really into that kind of thing and don't care too much for a logical or cohesive storyline, you will LOVE this movie.
Terminator's latest is about an app called 'Genisys,' which is Skynet's key to regaining what it lost in the war against humans in the previous Terminator films. It starts with Kyle Reese's trip back in time, immediately preceding the scene of the first Terminator movie. However, something sketchy happens right before the time-travel process takes him away, and when Reese gets to 1984, everything he's prepared his whole life for has gone askance.
Sarah Connor turns up to save his ass, much to his shock. It turns out that somewhere in all this time-traveling, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character ended up raising her. She even calls him 'Pops.' So they meet up with Reese in 1984, and after some weird flashbacks, he remembers they have to travel through time again in order to destroy Genisys before it is able to take control of the world.
Some parts of the movie are fun, like the scenes revisited from the 1984 film. There is a Back to the Future vibe as things are altered to reflect the changes happening with all the time travel. Additionally, the one-liners now popular fixtures of our culture ("I'll be back;" "come with me if you want to live;" etc), are scattered throughout the film resulting in a number of inside jokes for people who have seen all of the Terminator movies.
Unfortunately, the scenes and familiar lines from the previous movies are just about the only things that link the storyline of this film to the others. All of the time-travel ends up being terribly confusing, and it feels like watching Groundhog Day and Alice in Wonderland at the same time, while also tripping on LSD.
Even the brilliance of the technical effects are dulled when the images on the screen do not match up with the story. Actually, they may match up with the story, but it is very difficult to figure it out while watching the movie. A Cliffs Notes of the script, a diagram of characters and plot jumps, and a loose concept of logic would make Genisys a much easier film to cognitively process.
Emilia Clarke's rendition of Sarah Connor is difficult to reconcile with Linda Hamilton's, primarily because Clarke doesn't look a day older than fifteen. Her very youthful appearance makes the romantic interaction between her and Kyle Reese kind of creepy, in a pervy uncle kind of way.
Another issue with Clarke is her American accent. It is ironically reminiscent of Sam Worthington's in Terminator Salvation in that it starts off strong, but by the end of the film, you are left wondering if her character is really not intended to be from the States after all.
Jai Courtney, on the other hand, plays a very decent version of Kyle Reese, and his accent is consistent throughout the entire film.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance is as steadfast as in all four previous films. It was interesting how his aged appearance was explained: the Terminator, while a robot on the inside, is made of human flesh on the outside. The human flesh decays as any other non-robotic human's would, and so Schwarzenegger's aged appearance somewhat coincides with the timeline of the story.
Out of 10 stars, I'm giving Terminator Genisys a 5. 4 for technical effects, 1 for the nostalgia, and 0 for the storyline.
BONUS: Check out the limited edition collectible posters from RealD!