In future human rebellion led by John Connor wins the war with SKYNET, but just before the fall a terminator is sent to 1984 to kill Sara Connor, John's mother.
Kyle Reese, John's right hand, travels back in time to save her, but finds the past ultimately altered. Sara Connor is not a damsel in distress, she can perfectly protect herself. Bonded with terminator T800, who had raised her and taught how to fight, she rules her own destiny, obsessed with the idea to stop Skynet from awakening. Teaming up with Kyle they give it their best, but then they had to face an enemy so unpredictable that their chances to win the battle are next to none.
Director Alan Taylor, who had worked on many TV shows from Sopranos to West Wing, and who was at the helm of Thor: The Dark World movie, knows his business, but he is no James Cameron. Blissfully the script is well written, with just enough mixture of drama and humour to satisfy those who loved the original films. The accents are on the relationship between Kyle and Sarah, and it gets interesting nuances - knowing that they have to fall in love may just turn them off each other. Jay Courtney is best in the roles of baddies, and his charisma as a hero protagonist here is in question, however his character was never a particularly interesting one ( does anyone cares when he dies in the original?)
Emily Clarke had mimicked Linda Hamilton (original Sarah Connor) well (she does look like her a lot from a certain angle), but her story is different from the Sarah we know, so she could really turn this character into anything. She plays Sarah as a strong-willed, but a little childish heroine, with a fixation of breaking free from her fate and crumbling under the burden of guilt.
Arnold Schwarzenegger still got it. We will have a brief explanation why he looks old and the script plays a lot around his ageing, turning this, considered by many, a weak plot detail into an advantage.
Talking about the plot - we get a lot of twists and turns on the way, but not everything is explained and as the film ends, many little questions will remain unanswered.
As an action movie TERMINATOR: GENESYS really kicks ass - we get relentless fights with many evil machines, get lots of references to the previous films, car chases, helicopter chases and many head to head battles. It takes the best moments of the previous films and turns them on their heads, it relates the atmosphere perfectly and breaks some new ground. If you had not seen the trailer you are up to one hell of a twist. Whether you are a fan of the original or just like a solid sci-fi action flicks, you will not think of TERMINATOR: GENESYS as a time wasted. Unlike so many sequels, it does worth the admission price.