"Elegant" may not be the first word that springs to mind when it comes to heavily armed Austrian cyborgs, but in the case of 1984's The Terminator, it fits. Even some 30 years down the pipe, James Cameron's nitro-burning B-movie remains a witty marvel of construction, smuggling some surprisingly resonant themes amid its carnage and—possibly most impressively—delivering the necessary exposition in quick bursts while the protagonists are on the move. Any sci-fi elements that don't expressly serve the narrative are dealt with by an annoyed character stating that he doesn't know tech stuff.
Terminator Genisys, in contrast, is all tech stuff, adding wormholes, temporal burps, and other Bill & Ted shenanigans to a framework that has always functioned best when built for speed. While it's always entertaining to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Major Appliance, this fifth installment comes off as serviceable at best and officially sanctioned fan wankery at worst.