Movie Reviews

Published on October 30th, 2019 | by gareth

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Terminator: Dark Fate

The battle for the future is about to unfold and if you think that “Terminator: Dark Fate” is dancing around to a familiar tune; you would be right to a certain point. Once again a killer cyborg from the future is dispatched to our timeline in order to destroy someone who will play a part in the downfall of an A.I. system in the future.

As before; a protector is sent back and this time around it is a woman named Grace (Mackenzie Davis); who will need every bit of her augmented abilities to stop a deadly new Terminator (Diego Luna), from killing a young girl named Dani (Natalia Reyes).

Grace is soon joined by Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), who has been waging a war on Terminators for most of her life and now has an even bigger reason to hate them. Sarah clashes with Grace as she tells her that she was Dani at one point and knows all too well what is going on even though Grace’s future does not include the exploits of Sarah and her son.

The crew eventually join forces with an older Terminator model (Arnold Schwarzenegger); to try to stop the new threat and what follows are some amazing action sequences along with some light comedic moments.

While the film opens with epic battles and chases which bring back memories of the earlier films it is the breakneck intensity that sets this film apart. While audiences are not in awe with a liquid metal Terminator as they were in the second film, it is done in a new and creative way to keep you guessing.

The film also cleverly throws some unexpected twists which helps explain the divergence from the futuristic timeline that was displayed in the prior films.

However this time around we get a fresh new wrinkle with a new A.I., new Terminator, new characters, but the same intense action sequences that have been missing from the series.

Creator James Cameron has returned to the franchise as a Producer and story contributor, and Director Tim Miller using the earlier Cameron films to set a tone that makes this film stand out from the recent sequels.

The return of Hamilton is great and she shows off a gritty and tough Sarah that has been missing greatly from the series. Luna plays his role with an icy efficiency but also has some good lines in the process showing how his model is an even more skilled and deadly infiltration unit.

While it will not be in the same class as the first two films in the series; it is much more enjoyable and much better than the subsequent films as Cameron and Miller have created an intense and relentless action spectacle.

4 stars out of 5

 

Second review by Joseph Saulnier

Terminator: Dark Fate (“Dark Fate”) is the 6th and possibly final movie in the Terminator franchise, but James Cameron is back and he considers this film to be the direct sequel to his own films The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). Cameron was not involved in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015), or the short-lived TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008); so Dark Fate mostly disregards the events of these entries into the franchise. While Cameron has been supportive of these films due to his close relationship with the franchise face Arnold Schwarzenegger, but they just didn’t do it for him. So, what else do you do about this in a franchise about time travel? Well shuffle them off to an alternate timeline, of course.

Dark Fate opens with catching us up with some of the events of the last film, and what’s happened since, including the hell Sarah and John Connor went through following the events of Judgement Day. Once caught up, the movie mostly takes place in 2020, where the new threat from the future, Legion, has sent back a Terminator known as the Rev 9 (Gabriel Luna). He is a familiar sort of liquid metal robot with some cool new tricks up his sleeve. Shortly after the Rev 9 arrives, Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an unknown from the future. Grace looks like a Terminator in action, but she is actually an augmented human sent back to protect a young girl named Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes).

As Grace is trying to get Dani out of harms way, a familiar face shows up to help them out, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Connor helps them to safety and fills in some back story on how and why she has been intercepting and taking out Terminators as they continue to arrive from the future. Their path eventually leads them to a T-800 (Schwarzenegger), but is he friend or foe?

It is really sad to see that Dark Fate is the final entry in the franchise. It really shows how, under the write leadership, the franchise can just shine. Dark Fate is a fantastic entry into the franchise, and while not quite as good as Judgement Day (in my opinion), it is a close by a nose hair second place. The action scenes were non-stop, with a great storyline that doesn’t simply fall back on Skynet and the things that have already been established. Schwarzenegger probably gives one of his best performances in years, if not decades. There were plot holes, as with any time-travel movie, and errors, but in some weird way they added to the charm, and possibly nostalgia, of the franchise. I also see three new breakout stars in Gabriel Luna, Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes. They’ve all done stuff previously, but I believe that this film will help make them a bit more noticeable with outstanding performances all around from these three core cast.

I can’t really comment on sound or score that much. The audio in our screening was atrocious, and nothing was really done about it. It wasn’t bad, but just not the movie theater experience you are expecting. Not even the home theater experience you would expect as it felt sound was only coming from the front of the theater.

All-in-all, if you are a big fan of the first two Terminator films, you will love Terminator: Dark Fate. Personally, I didn’t hate the three movies in between (save Salvation, get it?), but this movie definitely puts those to rest as being what Cameron intended, the true sequel to Judgement Day. Definitely catch this one in theaters if you can, and it will most definitely end up in my home collection. And while I respect Cameron’s want for this to be the final film in the franchise, I certainly hope that we can see more of this story in the future.

 

4 stars out of 5


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