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Terminator: Genisys 

Wednesday, Jul 1 2015
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To call something "the best Terminator movie since Judgment Day" isn't quite high praise, considering how terrible Terminator 3 and Salvation were, but Alan Taylor's Terminator: Genisys nonetheless earns that distinction. Genisys begins with an often shot-for-shot recap of the opening of James Cameron's 1984 original, as Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) goes back in time to save Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from the young Terminator (CGI Arnold Schwarzenegger), only to find the timeline has gone all cattywampus, and a Judgment Day-style badass Sarah has to save him with the help of a much older-looking Terminator (flesh Arnold Schwarzenegger). Aside from that dumb, dumb name, Terminator: Gensisys is far less offensive than it could be, and Taylor keeps the action brisk and linear, maintaining a clear sense of geography often lacking from modern blow-'em-up films. The picture's main flaw is the leads' lack of charisma and chemistry; Clarke can be a fine actress with the right material (i.e., Dom Hemingway), but she's woefully miscast in a part that cries out for Edge of Tomorrow's ripped Emily Blunt, while the hunky but vacant Courtney lacks the scrappy desperation of the original's Michael Biehn. They're actually both out-acted by Schwarzenegger, which isn't as backhanded as it sounds. Like his franchise, the old man's learned some new tricks along the way.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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