Terminator Genisys review: Least-exciting installment of the series

Terminator Genisys
Direction: Alan Taylor
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke
Rating: **

He may have opted out of the 2009 reboot (Terminator: Salvation) of the iconic franchise, but Arnold Schwarzenegger has made good on his earlier promise by returning for the fifth and arguably least-exciting installment of the post-apocalyptic saga that sealed both his and James Cameron's reputations 31 years ago.

The confusingly spelled rehash, helmed in workmanlike fashion by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) begins promisingly enough in Los Angeles, circa 2029.
The long-standing leader (Jason Clarke) of the rebellion against the automatons sends his best friend (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to save the life of his mother.
By one of these coincidences endemic to sci-fi spectacles, it turns out that the matriarch (Emilia Clarke, taking over the character memorably created by Linda Hamilton in the landmark original) doesn't need any protection. In fact, she is now a skilled warrior flanked by an ageing android (Schwarzenegger) she calls 'Pops'.

The altered timeline of the script will likely leave viewers flummoxed. Human emotions are missing from the one-dimensional characters. Unduly reliant on CGI action, the two-hour narrative gets increasingly tedious as it plods along.

As for the actors, including the recent Oscar-winner JK Simmons, they are almost as robotic as the cyborg foes they are attempting to exterminate. At least Schwarzenegger provides comic relief as his craggy saviour. In one scene, he even battles a digitally tweaked younger avatar.

This one has been long due for termination.
 

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