genisysBy Jarrod Jones. C’mon, everybody, it’s in the title: Terminator Genisys is dumb as shit.

It is not, however, hatefully dumb. In fact, it pays proper tribute to James Cameron’s nigh-flawless Terminator films while completely forgetting about McG’s lamentable Terminator Salvation, and 2003’s utterly forgettable Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. (No cheating; who played John Connor in the third one? Eh? That’s what I thought.) So it’s no wonder that Cameron says this is the definitive third chapter in the series that made him and Arnold Schwarzenegger household names. And don’t that feel like a kick in the ass.

Because Terminator Genisys might actually be the worst out of the bunch. Whenever it looks like Alan Taylor’s by-the-books sequel might accidentally traipse into inspired territory (The Terminator‘s outmoded timeline hangs in as long as it can until the film’s dangerously idiotic screenplay stomps on its fingers), the movie opts for the shallow waters enjoyed by most contemporary franchises. It’s rote, derivative, and — when Genisys is at its worst — boring. “I’m old. Not obsolete,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gray-templed T-800. If only that were anywhere close to being true.

So if you happen to see Terminator Genisys, just know that this contains none of the Corman-esque severity found in The Terminator, nor is it capable of supporting the surprising humanity that was so essential to T2. What What you’ll encounter here is a blank-slate CGI Arnold met with the brick wall that is the former Governator (who, despite being actual flesh and blood, is just as hollow). Time has not been kind to our Schwarzenegger, so the film spends a lot of its time explaining why his lovable ‘borg looks a bit long in the tooth. (Though it seems that his expository receptors are still firing on all cylinders.) We lived long enough to see a Terminator movie where the dauntless killing machine has to pop his knee back in place. Doesn’t that sound like fun.

A narrative ploy like that might have had room to be interesting (or at the very least, funny), but the film decides to fire through its humor at a steady, blistering clip. As for any intrigue, it tosses any and all enticing whys right out the window. (Who sent Sarah Conner’s Terminator into the past? You see, the film seems to say, it’s interesting: go fuck yourself.) Remember, this is a time travel flick we’re dealing with here, and paradoxically, if you came in with any hopes to flex some neurons, well, Buster — you came to the wrong movie. Just fix your gaze to the perpetually befuddled Kyle Reese (played with the complexity of a parsnip by Jai Courtney), and his dopey facial expressions will often match your own. It’s a film designed to collect money, not to inspire abstract thought.

TR-02299R - EditedSo the fate of humanity is at stake, and in the hands of Courtney, Schwarzenegger, and the Mother of Dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, everyone would be better off drinking the funny-smelling Kool-Aid: Clarke appears to have been hired because of her passing resemblance to Linda Hamilton (especially when wet, dangly brunette strands fall into her face), but she is far too soft to hold a candle next to Hamilton’s chiseled Sarah Connor, let alone a pump-action shotgun. (What makes matters even more infuriating is that she’s the second actress from Game of Thrones to take the role, and, considering GoT director Alan Taylor’s presence, that can’t be a coincidence. What’s more, she’s the lesser of the two.)

Say what you will about the numbskullery of Terminator 3 — and you likely already know everything there needs to be known about Salvation — Genisys is the true byproduct of every parent’s worst fears prophesied in the early ’80s/’90s: R-rated films are in fact marketed to children, and the PG-13 Genisys is now a direct (and deliberate) funnel to them. (Genisys is shrewd enough to toss in Bill Paxton’s iconic “fuck you, asshole“, but don’t worry; it chickens out before the ’84 Arnold can put a fist through any of the scene’s miscreants.) With all the market-tested appeal surrounding Terminator Genisys, it might be time to realize that all the adult-themed allure and pioneering chutzpah found in Cameron’s Terminator films has finally been put to pasture. Maybe it’s time this franchise experienced the same fate.