Hi, it’s been 28 years since Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Yeah, I scoffed seeing that.
Almost THREE DECADES have passed since said masterpiece was delivered unto us. Though masterpiece is a value that is quantified by the individual rather than the masses, majority is rule and many would say T2 was our last great Terminator film.
While we’ve had Rise Of The Machines, Salvation and Genisys all meet the market with a myriad of m’eh, will Dark Fate save the day and save us from the SkyNet of terrible sequels?
Or are we fated for this very dark…uhh…fate…
More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race.
But now, a new Terminator has been sent back from the future to hunt Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). With the help of an enhanced super-soldier, Connor must help avoid this new dark fate by turning to a past she tried to escape
If someone had told me at the start of the year, that a competitor for the best action film in the year of John Wick 3 would be Terminator: Dark Fate, I would’ve laughed.
But here we are.
It was RELENTLESS in how much action it delivers, and in many respects left me wholly breathless in a lot of parts.
Starting off with some of the craziest a$$ VFX I’ve seen yet, the film springs into literal action as Mackenzie Davis‘s excellent Grace makes like an enhanced human and takes the man down. Or in this case, men.
With the first on-screen reference starting to nod at you, it doesn’t let up from there with it’s very heavy-handed “AHHH…AHHH…did you see what we did there??” throws of nostalgia. I personally adored this, but I can see how it won’t come off so slick with others.
I made the call that Terminator’s are only good because Linda Hamilton is in them. Yes, they also need Arnie as the perennial Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 T-800, and maybe Cameron with his…PRODUCING, but you need that human who’s been there since the start dealing with this sh*t.
And that’s the Connor we have now; She has absolutely dealt with all of this sh*t.
She joins the scene after Grace has come back to save Daniella Ramos, because there’s someone who always needs saving from a future corrupted by humanity itself. Sarah Connor also laughs at that because of course they always do that.
More action starts to occur, because really the little moments of lull are just to explain why all these future-robot people keep fighting and stuff keeps exploding.
Again, this is 100% okay with me.
Gabriel Luna is a good Terminator; More chatty than the former models, deadly in modern ways, but…well that’s about it. Davis stands out as the informed Grace of the future, whose bada$$ery threatens to overthrow Connor’s sheer ferocity, which gives us a sort-of Terminator Girl Gang which is kind of sick, and empowering for women. And with the character Reyes portrays being based in Mexico, the film makes light of current immigration laws being fought within the U.S presently, because it should and also #WOKE.
Oh yes and Arnie is just great. Dude is the Terminator just like Hamilton is Sarah Connor, so that’s that (sorry Lena Headey…).
Director Tim Miller continues his great action film run, with Deadpool continuing to be a fantastic CV for his work within cinema. He knows how to capture the beat of action, so much so that the audience almost feels it themselves.
While the film can feel overly loaded, for me it felt like I’d finally gotten a Terminator sequel I enjoyed. Filled to the brim with intense action, weird time stuff, fun references and the option of completely ignoring every other sequel is refreshing (in fact, they make fun jabs at them).
Come the film’s conclusion, it feels like they could park the franchise for a bit. And maybe that’s what may need to happen. While the lore is juicy, with more stories to tell, let it go out on a high note.
Let this be its thumbs up as it sinks into liquid-hot metal, instead of its “I need a vacation”.
The Terminator deserves that.
I was wooping and hollering because I was so damn happy with the experience I'd had watching Terminator: Dark Fate.
While it may not touch the greatness of the originals, it leaps tall to avoid the unfortunate dredge of its former sequels, gripping tightly to the boot of the originals with sheer reverence.
This is no dark fate. This is a pretty decent future.