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Doug's take: 'Terminator Genisys' actually works
Series T-800 Robot in Terminator Genisys. - photo by Doug Wright
"Terminator Genisys" (PG-13) 3 stars

Amidst all the mayhem, destruction and potential end of all mankind, theres something nearing comfort in the familiarity of the new Terminator movie, "Genisys."

I dont know how many times you can re-work, re-invent, re-imagine, re-tool and re-ignite or re-cast this tale, but "Genisys" actually works.

So, heres the deal, and the name says it all: What if human kind could go back to the genesis and stop Skynet before it ever took root? I know, weve kind of done this in previous films, but theres a different twist here, kind of.

Well, thwarting the machines is easier said than done, but John Connor, this time played by Jason Clarke, believes its possible, and with his insights into the past he dispatches his closest lieutenant, a young man who Connor rescued from the machines when he was just a boy, to go back and protect his mother, Sarah Connor, at all costs.

Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese steps into this critical role, but when he arrives back in 1984 all set to try to convince Sarah of her critical role in the future and her imminent peril, well, lets just say he finds a totally unanticipated scenario. Emilia Clarke stars as Sarah, and she knows exactly whats going on and exactly where she stands. How? It seems a certain terminator has been her protector and teacher for some time, and she even has an affectionate pet name for him. Shes even taught him to smile, sort of.

See, I told you this was comfortably familiar with a different spin.

I enjoyed the entire cast with just a little reservation about the casting of Emilia Clarke. I kept thinking she should be playing Shakespeares Juliet instead of Sarah Connor. Oh, I know shes tough enough in "Game of Thrones," but even my wife whispered, She looks like shes 14. Still, I got over it. Theres a great character, played by J.K. Simmons, a cop who had a close encounter with the terminators back in 84 and has been searching for answers ever since hes wonderful.

Without going through all the twists and turn of "Genisys," let me just say that the story is compelling and entertaining, but if you want the bottom line: The movie stands on the very broad shoulders of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The fact that hes aging is plausibly explained and capitalized on in the plot. Arnolds reprisal of this iconic role is priceless.

Oh, and dont leave when the credits roll, theres a little scene you dont want to miss about half way through.