‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Movie Review
With James Cameron back at the helm and the return of Linda Hamilton, Terminator: Dark Fate gets the franchise back on track.
In Mexico City, a newly modified liquid Terminator — the Rev-9 model (Gabriel Luna) — arrives from the future to kill a young factory worker named Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). Also sent back in time is Grace (Mackenzie Davis), a hybrid cyborg human who must protect Ramos from the seemingly indestructible robotic assassin. But the two women soon find some much-needed help from a pair of unexpected allies — seasoned warrior Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and the T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
With so many sequels, remakes, and reboots, Terminator: Dark Fate is another great example of the do-over formula. The Tim Miller directed movie marks the most welcome return of James Cameron to the franchise as executive producer for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). This film is in a way of apologizing to its fan base saying, “Ok, we admit it, we screwed up with the last three movies. Let us make things right.” Dark Fate is an engaging, tough, fun sequel that brings back what is so good about the first two films.
Part of what makes the film work is that it colors carefully within the lines, introduces new characters by switching character situation for another without trying to repeat familiar territory. By doing these things, Dark Fate keeps things fresh and new while still appealing to long-time fans.
Gabriel Luna is the film’s new Terminator baddie, doing a great job sporting a focused scowl and at some moments a small grin indicating he is enjoying his mission of destruction. Another thing that one can admire about the film is that it proves that some of the more classic elements of the series can become new again. Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor who has been an outlaw taking down Terminators since after the events of Terminator 2 (I can’t say more than that without getting into spoiler territory). Hamilton anchors the film with a sort of ‘I’m-getting-too-old-for-this-to-give-a-sh*t’ attitude and is just as badass as ever while still being funny and alive. I can’t say much about Arnold Schwarzenegger except that he has been set free since the defeat of Skynet. The first meeting between Hamilton and Schwarzenegger is sure to have fans jumping out of their seats with joy.
Miller does a great job of staging the action with dream-like clarity and flair. He doesn’t reinvent things, however, his action sequences are gripping nevertheless. Overall, Dark Fate will make fans forget the three films and offer something for fans new and old.
Critic Rating: 5/5 stars
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