Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in this reboot of the first Terminator film.
Here, he’s Pops, the protector of Emilia Clarke’s suitably feisty Sarah Connor, ‘the mother of the future of mankind’. The plot is, unsurprisingly, on the baffling side because, as far as the viewer is concerned, the apocalyptic futures conceived by the previous movies are now all in the past.
So, when resistance leader and Sarah’s son, John Connor (Jason Clarke), sends his buddy Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) from the future to 1984 LA to prevent a cyborg assassin from killing his mum, she is no longer a distressed damsel in need of rescue (as in director James Cameron’s original) but a ballsy, kick-ass heroine who already knows about the threat from artificial intelligence Skynet and has spent her young life readying herself to meet it.
As if that weren’t enough, it is an all-embracing operating system, destined to be launched in 2017 (and personified by former Doctor Who Matt Smith), that is the menace facing humanity.
However, get past that and there is enough to enjoy here.
Arnie (‘I’m old, not obsolete’) spouts his self-mocking lines with glee and gets strong support from Emilia. The near shot-for-shot re-creation of the sequence from the 1984 movie in which Schwarzenegger’s malign Terminator arrives naked from the future and encounters a trio of punks is cleverly done and, all in all, it is an enjoyably inventive effort.