Part of what makes Terminator Genisys so pitiful as an evening out is that all the actors do over and over again is tell us why they're in a particular scene and why the movie exists.
Of course the special effects are more impressive than ever. But nearly every curveball offered up in this new parallel-universe version of the Terminator world isn't as interesting or as original as the timeline we loved in the first place.
Terminator: Genisys, however, has none of the stakes, and none of the moral preoccupations, of its predecessors.
"Terminator Genisys" is the first fully worthy successor to Cameron's original films and it shows Arnold may be old, but he's not obsolete.
Screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier pile on so many pulpy sci-fi conceits -- involving time travel, alternate realities, and the end of civilization -- that you might be carried along by the batty excess.
Sci-fi franchise reset that grafts a new storyline onto the 1984 original... The result looks like, oh I dunno, a 67-year-old skinjacket sagging off the skull-plate of an outdated T-800 Terminator.
The only one really having a good time is Schwarzenegger, who grins like a Cheshire cyborg even when nothing's funny, least of all the impending destruction of humanity.
As lousy as the movie is, I must speak up for its makers' valiant attempt to make something old look new and also old ... and new. It's a vexing problem for a system that relies on sequels, "franchises," "tentpoles," etc.
So what if it's a head-scratcher? Arnold is back. And he's the Man. What are you waiting for?