I've been reading many reviews about Terminator: Genisys and one thing is abundantly clear: few, if anyone actually watched the movie at all. I mean, I know that they went to a theater and sat there and allowed the images and sounds to enter their brains via their eyes and ears, and that they retained most of what they saw. And yet, ultimately, it all seems to have gone through the oft-cherished but ultimately biased filter called 'nostalgia'.
Most of us, I'd wager, have seen some of the movies in this franchise and already have strong feelings about it, one way or the other. So, when we see a movie based on something that we've established a feeling about, we tend to be extreme in how we perceive the movie we're watching now; either we are far too forgiving (case in point, the Star Wars prequels) or we are overly critical (like the... Star Wars prequels. Funny how that works). Terminator: Genisys I fear, like Episodes 1-3, are a little of both, and suffer for it.
On the one hand, fans of the franchise who wanted more have gotten what they asked for, and then some. Arnold is back, in rare form (and CGI form, in the case of his younger self) and doesn't appear to have missed a beat. Just as visually imposing a presence as always, this Terminator is, to quote the man (or machine) himself, "Old, but not obsolete". Even though this Terminator is actually more human than ever before (especially when it comes to his interactions with Emilia Clarke's Sarah Connor), he is just as convincing as a man-machine as always. And speaking of Sarah Connor, Emilia Clarke was definitely more than capable of the task of filling Linda Hamilton's shoes. She has the 'tough as nails yet vulnerable' thing down. From her first popping up on the screen with her yelling of the iconic phrase, "Come with me if you want to live!", to her awkwardness around Courtney's Kyle Reese (for a variety of reasons) and her frustrations about her situation, Clarke's a worthy successor to the role. Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, however, is only slightly less convincing. Though honestly, that seems to have to do with more the writing and direction than his acting ability. Confused about why events aren't as he thought they would be, and having to adjust to a drastically different set of circumstances, Jai does the best he can to convey these emotions. Does he always succeed? For that matter, are Clarke or Schwarzenegger believable? That depends.
It all goes back to nostalgia. If you're a diehard fan of the original films, nothing about the actors or the plot or the technical aspects of the film will mean a thing; Clarke is not Linda Hamilton, and in their eyes, that automatically translates to her being an inferior Sarah Connor. (It's worth noting that Lena Headey from FOX's 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' was only found acceptable because she was given to us in the form of a TV show, so we had seasons of seeing her in the role to convince us). There was virtually nothing inherently wrong with the story, all things considered, but because the movie dared to tread upon the proverbial 'holy ground' that is Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it's been considered blasphemous.
None of this is to say that the movie is perfect. Far from it. But it's not as bad as some critics and fans made it out to be. Should you try and watch this movie, try to judge this film based on its own merit, instead of comparing it to an impossible standard set by the nostalgia-tinted glasses of a fond memory.