I know people were very hesitant to a “reboot” of the popular franchise. Considering the third film was awful and the fourth film was a let down to some (it was just essentially a different franchise). Some say this film aimed to erase those films, which could be a good or bad thing considering it messes with the timeline of T2. The good thing about a film about time travel is… nothing is ever final.
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones fame) steps in as Sarah Connor. I actually liked this casting a lot. Aside from my girl crush on Clarke, she was totally believable in her role and it was something different than we’ve seen from her. She’s a great actress and I’m glad she’s joined the franchise. Arnold is back as the T-800 that stole our hearts. Once again, he’s a completely different character. More of a father figure to Sarah, having raised her after the past was altered. There’s a great tie-in to the original film and we see young Arnie go head to head with current Arnie in a pretty great CGI-aided fight.
Jai Courtney plays Kyle Reese, although I’m not familiar with his other work, he did an okay job. I didn’t enjoy him being the narrator at the start of the film, to me it seemed off and a little cheesy. Not as powerful as Linda Hamilton in T2. I’ve heard people state that he’s bland and that his physique wasn’t similar to the original actor who portrayed Reese, which is something so easily avoidable in casting.
One problem with the film is John Connor in general. I won’t spoil the twist but we’ve seen so many actors in the role, I’ve kind of lost my connection with him. I know getting Christian Bale back would have been torture, and no one really liked him to begin with, but some continuity would be nice. John really is the Rusty Griswold of this franchise and it’s unfortunate. They rushed when reintroducing him to the audience so I think people who are not familiar with the earlier films could get lost.
The nice surprise was Matt Smith. Doctor Who fans were probably excited to see him in the film, even for a short while. But the post credit scene hints that his character will play a future role in the upcoming sequels.
The action was great, there was a bit of humor and a lot of nostalgia. If you’re hesitant to like it or give it chance, just understand that those old films hold something special, this is new and most certainly will get critiqued more. It’s entertaining, it holds true to the original and T2, and it has potential to bring some more awesome films. It might screw up the original timeline but that’s what these films (and series) do. This was an enjoyable action flick and I think they can really flourish with the next two.