Ryster’s review published on Letterboxd:
Here's the thing with Terminator Genisys, it was better than the previous two movies but still is nowhere near what T1 or T2 are. I avoided most of the trailers and posters because I heard from a friend that there were big spoilers in them, thanks to this there were a lot of surprises that I did enjoy and thought were smart ideas. I did enjoy the first half of the film more than the second mainly because I thought that it was well made and thought out. The second half also has great surprises if you haven't seen trailers but it's not as entertaining. I've heard a lot of complaints that this was very confusing to people and to be honest I don't know how. The Terminator films have always required you to focus a little bit (maybe not so much Salvation) and this one just wants you to focus a little bit harder. If you don't switch your brain off you will follow the story without trouble. I do however agree that this film has way too much plot points and things can be forgotten.
This film takes place after T2. The events of T3 and Salvation didn't happen in this films timeline so this is a direct sequel to Judgement Day. John Connor has grown up into the leader of the Resistance and they've come to a big day. The day they stop Skynet. They think they succeed but Skynet has sent back a Terminator to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor. So John Connor sends back Kyle Reese to save her. However unlike T1, when Kyle gets to 1984 things are different. Cops show up to the scene and one of them turn into a T-1000. Kyle then runs into the clothes store to only get saved by Sarah Connor, who's already a badass in 1984. Sounds all over the place written down but when you're watching it it's easy to follow.
I loved the references to T1 and T2 in the first half of this film. I loved the fact that it adds even more to the previous Terminator movies. I love the idea of the timeline getting changed for them to reboot the franchise. I think it's inventive that this is both a sequel and a reboot. I loved the scene where old Arnie versus new Arnie, it was fun. Does this film have flaws, many but that first half is a cool film to me. The second half isn't as good but it's still more entertaining and better than the previous two films. I liked John Connor's reveal in the second half. But the second half is where the film just has too much information and the whole timeline just falls and we don't know what films count in the series anymore. I did love the idea though and wish that the second half could've been as good as the first.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back and on top form. He's back to what he was like in T1 and T2 which I like. Emilia Clarke is great as Sarah Connor but no one can beat Linda Hamilton, Clarke is really good though, she's badass. Where can I start with Jai Courtney, I didn't like him in Die Hard 5, he was alright in Divergent and in this he's decent. This is the best I've seen him but I just would have never thought of him as Kyle Reese. Jason Clarke as John Connor was good, I've got no problem with him and what they did with Connor was fine by me. We also see J.K. Simmons in this and his character is also a great idea and I really enjoyed the concept but he's just thrown to the side, I would've liked to have seen a lot more of his character because by the end we don't know what's happened to him or where he is. Matt Smith of Doctor. Who is also in a smaller role here and he was a surprise for me. The action here is good to watch but nothing spectacular like the other Terminator films, it's actually quite disappointing in that field. The action scenes are very much the average blockbuster type when it should be a lot more. All in all I enjoyed Terminator Genisys. Is it as good as T1 and T2 definitely not but at least it feels like a worthy sequel to those films unlike T3 and Salvation.