Terminator Genisys

For this fifth installment of the Terminator movie franchise, screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier pile on so many pulpy sci-fi conceits—involving time travel, alternate realities, and the end of civilization—that you might be carried along by the batty excess. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hulking cyborg serves as father figure to two time-traveling rebels (the mannequin-like Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke) out to stop a computer operating system from wiping out much of the human race. J.K. Simmons is the comic-relief-cum-audience-surrogate, a bewildered police detective who makes a fool of himself whenever he tries to explain what’s going on. Director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) maintains an agreeably tongue-in-cheek tone, though his visual style is pedestrian.