Terminator: Dark Fate

               review by Bobby Blakey

There is no denying that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most iconic role is that of the Terminator. Ever since the great follow up T2: Judgement Day fans have eagerly hoped for another entry that lived up to its greatness. There have been three films since then with the last being Genisys that fans hoped would be its return to greatness. Now Deadpool director Tim Miller has teamed up with original Terminator directory James Cameron for a new entry into the franchise with Terminator: Dark Fate bringing back both Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger along with Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta. Will this old school team be what this franchise needs to return to its iconic roots or is it a future not worth fighting?

Terminator: Dark Fate follows more than two decades since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. Dani Ramos is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator - a Rev-9 - travels back through time to hunt and kill her. Dani's survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace, an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor. As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 from Sarah's past that may be their last best hope.

 

I love all things Terminator, even the ones that didn’t quite deliver. There is just something about the character and seeing Schwarzenegger kicking ass that just works for me. I was a bit bummed when I heard they were rebooting the franchise again, but with this direct connection to the first two films it infused that missing something that it has needed for some time. I loved this new chapter and it offered up tons of fresh new material to be its own thing while still feeling like it was a part of the first two films. This is no doubt in part to the return of all the major players to the franchise who are clearly all in for this one.

The story takes the familiar and turns it on its head by resetting the future direction through new events here and those that have already occurred in the previous films. This allows it to grow into new stories while not forgetting what

came before it. That is part of what is so great about dealing with time travel is that you can reset things and offer up new things if handled properly. The cast all did great with Hammilton chewing up the scenery as an even more hardended version than we had seen in T2. I love that they gave her less dialogue as well as she has evolved into something new due to varying scenarios that have occurred. Schwarzennger is back at it like only he can, but the new direction of the iconic character offers up some fresh vibes that allowed him to do more and add a new depth to the role.

Makenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes both do a great job and bringing in two strong females that are much more than victims. That has always been a strong stance in this franchise with all the women being strong without feeling like it was just making a statement. They are who they are and you believe it. Davis’ character offers yet another cool new take on this new future that in turn sets up all sorts of new possibilities. Gabriel Luna is awesome as the latest Terminator who as expected has very little dialogue, but as needed says so much with just his face and mannerisms.

The CGI is great with only a few moments where it didn’t fully mesh, but not in a way that stands out enough to affect the film. I loved the use of this new version of the terminator and applaud them for continuing to get creative with these characters. In the end this is a great addition to the franchise and one that feels more like a true sequel to the original two than any of the other films ever did. I hope this has brought new life to the franchise like it deserves and get a chance to see where this new direction for the future takes us.

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