‘Terminator Genisys’: Clank

An endless revival featuring endless revivals, “Terminator” truly is the franchise that will not die. But, hey, considering the country’s much-discussed fixation on technology, the suggestion that the Cloud secretly contains the system that will one day rise up and overtake mankind should be kinda scary.

It’s not. The robotic, PG-13-rated “Genisys,” which is much worse than 2009’s barely OK “Terminator Salvation,” has not one moment of suspense, nor an ounce of freshness. It’s constantly, defiantly revising its own expiration date, as the friendly Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) self-consciously refers to himself as “old, not obsolete” and you stop keeping up with the “use the past to rewrite the future” stuff because the logic is always subject to change. Your brain likes time off, but not like this, which is just sci-fi for dummies.

Proving they’re both not ready for the big leagues, Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) and Jai Courtney (“Insurgent”) blandly star, respectively, as Sarah Connor (a major badass when played by Linda Hamilton in the franchise-topping action classic “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”) and Kyle Reese, who journeys from 2029 to 1984 to protect Sarah and ensure that her son John (Jason Clarke) eventually still can be born and defeat the evil Skynet program and … you know how this “Back to the Deadly Future” series goes. Anyone who’s about to lose jumps in a time machine to try to kill someone in the past and wipe out the future. People who travel naked have a significant chance of arriving in an alley. Many liquid-metal villains, who looked pretty awesome 24 years ago, always get up after being shot and repairing themselves. It doesn’t get tiresome at all.

For better or worse, only one movie this summer will have a former governor fighting against his younger self in a sequence that’s an example of special effects showing off and nothing more. If only the movie had something to be proud of. Directed by Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”), “Terminator Genisys” opens by aping “Starship Troopers” and later recalls better scenes in “True Lies.” The Golden Gate Bridge gets a whupping, since the Bay Area didn’t just have enough mayhem in “San Andreas.” The stiff, far-too-jokey script earns no laughs, despite really great stuff such as Schwarzenegger’s character, whom Sarah calls “Pops,” saying, “I read about this on”


Jason Clarke’s pretty good, and at least Sarah Connor’s a stronger female action hero than Bryce Dallas Howard’s character in “Jurassic World.” “Genisys” is mostly just boring. And every time someone said, “Genisys is Skynet,” I really wanted them to add, “Finkle is Einhorn.”

1.5 stars (out of four)

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