Arriving in time to light up the Fourth of July with director Alan Taylor and Paramount Pictures is “Terminator Genisys.”

It’s the future as John Connor (Jason Clarke) is still leading the resistance against the machines. Taking a young boy under his wings and now a man, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) follows John into battle. There plan is to take down Skynet for one final time.

What they don’t expect is a fracture in the timeline which changes everything. Kyle must still return to 1984 to save Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) who he happens to be in love with from a photograph he always carries.

When he arrives it is crazy clear that things have changed. Sarah has had the protection of a terminator named Pops (Arnold Schwarzenegger) since she was a child. She explains that although Pops’ parts are good as new, his skin covering ages him.

Quickly followed by a liquid metal T-1000 terminator, the race is on and another plan to travel through time. Skynet will be introducing their new product that will connect everyone to everything and everywhere – especially to Skynet!

Pops whips together a little time machine of his own as Sarah and Kyle make another journey forward and who should be waiting for them? John Connor! But once again something is off as a twist no one saw coming makes the fight to take down Skynet even more imperative.

The past and the future are determined right now!

Clarke as Sarah Connor (or as most of us like to call her – Daenerys, Calysee, Mother of Dragons or your Majesty) does a fine job taking a role that has been etched into most of anyone who remembers 1984 as a frakken awesome year. What she brings to Sarah is humor and a bad ass attitude – since everything has changed it gives Clarke the opportunity to mold this character into her own. The relationship between Sarah and Pops is hilarious – trust me you’ll enjoy it.

Courtney as Kyle Reese is definitely more buffed out but still in love with Sarah – see even in our world some things never change. Believing he is going back to protect John Connor’s iconic mother, he arrives discovering he’s actually the one who needs a little help and protection. It’s hard to grasp being protected by a terminator but with a face like that it’s all good.

Schwarzenegger as Pops gets to have fun in this role as well. The CGI gives us an Arnold vs. Arnold fight that is entertaining (and much better CGI than the prior attempts) and a thrown down that’s well done. Schwarzenegger actually takes a step back letting Clarke and Courtney take the lead but when he is on screen he’s either fun or intellectually irritating (you’ll get that joke when you see the film).

Jason Clarke as John Connor gets the opportunity to really turn this storyline on its ear. Starting out as the gritty leader of the human resistance who freaks people out with his knowledge of the future it all changes when Sarah and Kyle come knocking on his door. Of course there usual knocking comes in the form of large weaponry that they don’t hesitate to use on anyone who get’s in their way – even John Connor. I enjoyed Clarke’s performance but then again I’ve pretty much enjoyed almost everything Clarke does.

I have to give a shout out to Academy Award Winning Actor J.K. Simmons as Officer O’Brien. It is a small role but I enjoyed it because his excitement just came through and it seemed like he was having fun – hey, I know I would be!

Other cast include: Dayo Okeniyi as Danny Dyson, Courtney B. Vance as Miles Dyson, Byung-hun Lee as T-1000, Michael Gladis as Lt. Matias, Matty Ferraro as Agent Janssen, Griff Furst as Agent Burke, Bryant Prince as Young Kyle and Matt Smith as the creepy Alex.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Terminator Genisys” four tubs of popcorn out of five. I’m probably being a little sentimentally generous but I did have fun watching the film. Was it predictable in places – absolutely. Did I think the twists were a little much – of course but then again how else would they pull this off.

I think the borrowing from “Star Trek” with the alternate-time-warp-changing-things-not-the-same idea is a tad stolen but easily forgiven by fans that are excited about the film. I don’t care much for messing with movies that I have come to love (especially 80s films) because I think the remakes don’t do the original justice in any way, shape or form. In this case it was nice to see that they didn’t do that but instead give fans what they want and twisting it just for good measure.

The action is spot on and the cgi isn’t half bad and that’s important if you are going to pull this off. The audience had lots of laughs thanks to Arnie and the action is what you’d expect when a Terminator is along for the ride.

So with the two Fourth of July offerings this week – this is your best bet for action and a little 1984 reminiscing – enjoy!

In the end — the rules have been reset.

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.