Ben Hibburd’s review published on Letterboxd:
Jai Courtney simultaneously has the best and worst agent in all of Hollywood. He's received a plethora of leading roles in the last five years that are far beyond his star power. Unfortunately though they're all terrible films: "Suicide Squad," "A Good Day to Die Hard," "Divergent" and finally "Terminator Genysisis." Just one of those films would've tanked other up and coming actors careers but Jai seems to Hollywood's immovable barnacle.
Now unlike the majority of people I've spoken to I don't mind Jai Courtney. It's probably because I had the benefit of first coming across him in Starz's "Spartacus" series where he played the most charming and likeable character in the series, something that hasn't seemed to have translated well into his film career.
As is probably evident from any time I talk about the "Terminator" franchise "Genysisis" is not one of my favourites. In fact I down right hated it when it came out. It was nonsensical, it obliterated the timeline beyond repair, the CGI was rancid and the actors that I normally liked did nothing for me. The whole affair felt completely needless.
With that said, I have started to come around to this film ever so slightly. And I mean EVER so slightly. Alan Taylor isn't a filmmaker I particularly care for as he's made both the worst MCU film and the joint worst "Terminator" film. The script is so under-cooked it reads like it went through several different rewrites. This film is the prime example of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. There are so many plot strands and divergences that when the credits roll you feel like you've stuck your head in a washing machine.
It's frustrating becuase for every good idea; John merging with Skynet we get JK Simmons running around doing sod all. Why was he even in the film? I liked different POV during the first acts as the film replays the beats of the first film but it soon becomes overwhelmed by a myriad of strange ideas that are brought up and then dropped at the touch of a hat.
So, why did I like this film more on a re-watch? Quite simply the characters came across far more likeable this time around. Emilia Clarke could talk to wall and still have amazing chemistry with it. She doesn't have the gruffness of Linda Hamilton but she does a valiant job channelling the spirit of Sarah Connor. Likewise Jai Courtney. I hated him as Kyle Reese the first time around but he had some good interplay with Arnie and his relationship with Emilia Clarke's Sarah Connor felt a bit more natural than before.
On the subject of everyone's favourite cyborg, Arnie, he did a great job. He's the glue that keeps this clunking wreck of a film ticking over. Without him I'd hate to think what this film would've been like, and once again he proved that whilst he might be old, he's sure as hell not obsolete!
Jason Clarke was meh....
Over-all, "Terminator Genisys" is an overwrought hodgepodge of five films crammed into one narrative. It buckles constantly under the weight of its own ridiculous script, but there's also an odd charm that just about saves it from being thrown on to the Hollywood trash heap.