A review of “Terminator: Dark Fate”

I thought the first two “Terminator” movies (1984 & 1991) were terrific and the third (2003) and fourth (2009) were entertaining enough, but the fifth (2015) was disappointing and I felt that we’d seen the end of the franchise. However, it seems that – even after 35 years – you just can’t keep those killers from the future crashing into the present with seemingly unstoppable intent. In fact, pleasingly this is the third best segment of the franchise.

A major factor is that, as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger as the original T-800 Terminator (now with the funniest lines), we have Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor, looking great after all these years and packing a bigger arsenal than ever. We have a new Terminator – a Rev-9 model – with the metal skeleton of the original and the oozing liquid of the T-1000 plus the capability of functioning in both forms simultaneously (Latino actor Gabriel Luna). And we have a new protector in the shape of an female augmented human called Grace – she calls herself a “super soldier” – portrayed with style by Mackenzie Davis (who had the eponymous role in “Tully”). 

Also we have all the classic tropes but with subtle variations. So there is no Skynet (that future was prevented) but there is Legion which is as bad. The new Terminator is not trying to kill the mother of the future leader of the human rebellion but such a warrior of the future himself or herself. And the original Terminator doesn’t announce “I’ll be back”; instead Connor utters the famous lines, while Arnie tells his ‘family’ “I won’t be back”. 

All the usual chasing, shooting and fighting is there in entertaining formats and the storyline is very similar to the second film (although set in a post Judgement Day 2022), but there are some contemporary political references with a Mexican heroine and scenes at Trump’s border wall and US detention camps. 


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