Terminator Genisys is truly the real third installment. I can now forget Rise of the Machines and Christian Bale's Salvation ever existed. The fifth movie reboots the franchise with a new timeline. Almost everything is new.
Sarah Connor is Emilia Clarke (*bows before Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons*) and she makes a fine badass Mother of John Connor. Yes, she isn't some helpless chick anymore.
John Connor's The Hand of the King, Sgt Kyle Reese is now Jai Courtney a.k.a. John McClane's son from Die Hard.
John Connor himself is also new. Inside and out (see trailer for spoiler).
Even Arnold is new because there are three Arnold Schwarzeneggers: Young T-800 Arnold, Middle-Aged Guardian Arnold, and "old, not obsolete" Arnold.
It does get confusing at times, with so many Terminators and Arnolds running around, and as the plot twists and turns trying to explain alternate timelines and memories, and why the merry band of Sarah, Kyle and Good Guy Terminator is jumping between time periods to stop Skynet.
But time travel stories are confusing to begin with. At the heart of it, the movie goes back to the great action and the look of the first two movies. As a fan of the first two movies, I found the allusions to the first two classics satisfying. And also to hear the old lines again.
Some of the CG was suspect. You can tell sometimes that they cheated a little. I suspect liquid metal is easier to show than hybrid flesh-metal shape-shifting.
There were genuinely touching moments, especially between Old Arnold and Young Sarah Connor. The last time I felt this way was in T2, when he was lowered into the boiling metal.
My only gripe was the name Genisys. I kept thinking it was the launch of the Sega Genesis console that caused the evil Skynet to go live. Instead, Genisys in the movie refers to the pre-state of Skynet, an OS that unites the Internet of things.
Why not just call it Terminator Google or Terminator Facebook? That's closer to our reality of putting everything in the hands of a pervasive online system.
I don't know how long Arnold Schwarzenegger can do the sequels that will spawn from this reboot. The guy is kind of old, don't you think? Even body doubles, CG and make-up can only do so much.
But I sure wouldn't mind seeing more Emilia Clarke. Maybe give Khaleesi her dragons in the next sequel, Terminator: Rise of the Dragons.