So many actors have played John Connor, savior of humanity in the war against the machines, that this time-traveling fifth chapter in the Terminator series could be a head-scratcher. My advice? Stick with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the “one true Terminator.” Yes, he’s back, busy here jumping time zones — 1984, 2017, 2029, pick a year — to protect Sarah Connor. Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke — that’s right, the khaleesi — takes the role created by Linda Hamilton, and she’s a dynamo. Sarah is the future mother of John, but when we meet her she’s just met Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), the destined hero’s baby daddy. So what to think when the grown-up John (Jason Clarke) pulls a Back to the Future and shows up to confront Mom with nasty secrets she shouldn’t hear?
Still with me? Hope so. Terminator Genisys fires on all action cylinders when director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) follows the model James Cameron set in the first two films, still the glory of the series. “Genisys,” with the odd spelling, refers to a new OS that has consumers lining up to become slaves to digital masters. Some things never change.
Most of all Schwarzenegger: At 67, he can still kick girlie-man ass with the best of them (eat your heart out, Ant-Man). “I’m old, not obsolete,” says the guardian Terminator, barely annoyed with the aging flesh attached to his metal ecosystem. He’s back. And he’s the Man. What are you waiting for?