when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.
Coming from a time when my first viewing of the original version of the franchise had me ‘nervous’, it’s pretty safe to say that things have moved on a bit. The first time I heard Arnie say “I’ll be back” it probably wasn’t quite the event that this behemoth has now become. Granted, we’ve had some great films (early on) and some real turkeys (later on), but for the first time in a long time, this feels more like a return to form.
However, before Taylor et al get their plumage ready for a strut, it should be noted that whilst this is significantly better than more recent efforts, it still makes no sense whatsoever, assuming you can’t get the original plot-lines out of your head (yours truly).
Those of you familiar with the plot already should possibly have their memories erased before entering as this will probably help you swallow what’s coming. If not, you’re going to be a bit like me, I expect, sitting in the theatre, trying desperately (and in vain) to tie up the original plotlines with those that are now unfolding before your eyes. In this respect, it is something of a futlie enterprise, so the best adivce in this regard is just to try and sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
For that is what it is. There is no shortage of bangs and crashes for those that like a bit of destructive tomfoolery and it all looks suitably pretty. Arnie’s presence as his older self doesn’t cut the same kind of mustard as it used to and the days of Judgment Day are clearly long behind him. Emilia Clarke seems like a naturally organic successor to Linda Hamilton as the unfortunately pursued Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney reprises what feels like much of his previous work into Kyle Reese, Sarah’s would-be protector.
Jason Clarke’s admittedly bewildering display as John Connor here feels uncomfortable and the character arc seems a little too complex for anyone to pull off, least of all Clarke, though he does play him with suitable zeal at times.
With a plot that feels like it should go somewhere else, this parallel universe re-imagining (if you like) of events from the franchise will delight and befuddle in equal measure, dependent largely on your memory. It almost certainly drags on too long and the exposition doesn’t so much as explain its present as confuse its past. Nonetheless, this is still mighty blockbuster fun from all concerned.