When it comes to space travel franchises, there are two major camps, depending on whether you prefer enjoyable entertainment (Star Wars) or a stimulating narrative (Star Trek). Both have value and contribute something different to the subgenre, despite their radical differences.
Similarly, time travel cinema has the Back to the Future trilogy and the Terminator series. While Back to the Future movies relied on simplistic nonsense like flux capacitors and “jigawatts,” The Terminator and its sequels have delved into time paradoxes, time loops, and alternate timelines in ways H.G. Wells couldn’t even dare to dream.
Much as a time traveller who repeatedly goes back in time to fix a single mistake could screw things up more and more upon each trip, though, the Terminator series has run amok, with a narrative so muddled by this point that it’s a headache to attempt to follow. Terminator: Genisys, the latest in the 31-year-old series, is of good quality, but cursed with the most preposterous and needlessly confusing plot of the entire series and an inadequate lead.