Plot In a Nutshell: Forget everything you already have seen in the previous three sequels (Rise of The Machines, Salvation and Genysys), Dark Fate is a direct sequel to Terminator 2 Judgement Day and thus completely reboots the franchise. Linda Hamilton is back as Sarah Connor, as is Arnie in another reincarnation of the T800, plus James Cameron returns in a principal producer capacity and contributes heavily to the story.
As we saw in T2 Skynet is no more however in the near future its been replaced by another AI program gone mad called Legion, which attacks humanity by setting off a nuclear war, the surviving humans fight back, Legion then sends an advanced terminator (known as a Rev 9) back in time to kill the leader of the resistance (Natalia Reyes), who in turn send back a heroic warrior (Mackenzie Davis) to serve as said future leader’s protector.
What worked? The action is excellent – in fact its the best its been since T2 – an opening freeway battle is expertly handled by director Tim Miller (Deadpool) as is a breathtaking aerial set piece featuring two huge planes and alot of firepower.
Linda Hamilton is once again brilliant as Sarah Connor, Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes are superb plus Arnold Schwarzenegger gives a very good and pleasingly understated performance as a T800 who has become almost human after spending years in the present timeline. Finally the effects are pretty impressive too – particularly those used to create the Rev 9 terminator who is even more unstoppable than Robert Patrick’s T1000 from T2.
What could have been better? In a word – The Plot. With the notable exception of the fourth film (Salvation – flawed but still pretty good) the Terminator series at its base level has always just been about two characters coming back in time from a nuclear ravaged future to kill/protect a person of extreme significance to the survival of the human race – with a few twists here and there.
This same story has now been done FIVE times over and its wearing pretty bloody thin. As a good friend of mine is known to say “same shit – rehashed” – and rehashed Terminator Dark Fate most certainly is. Yes there is a couple of twists (one fairly shocking) but so what?- At its heart the film is nothing more than everything we have seen before and the result is that it doesn’t move the Terminator story on one inch more. Yes i agree its a helluva lot better than the godawful Genysys – which was absolutely piss poor, but on reflection i found that it was marginally better than Rise Of The Machines and overall only managed to be on about a level par with Salvation.
So what next for this franchise? – well I for one want to see the future war actually happen, i want to know what is in store for Sarah, i want to see how Natalia Reyes character becomes the leader of the resistance, how the human race fights back, how they get their weapons, what battles they fight etc etc -what i DON’T want is the same old sodding time travel plot told over and over again as it has been done to death! I also certainly don’t want to have my intelligence insulted any more by the likes of James (slowest film maker in the universe) Cameron braying on about how he is going to bring something fresh to the table when all he and director Tim Miller have done is serve up the SAME DAMN STORY AGAIN!
Finally can someone please have a word with dear old Arnold Schwarzenegger? The man is an absolute legend, we all love him to death but theres no denying that the Austrian Oak is looking seriously past his prime and now needs to hang up the shotgun and let this franchise move on without him – just saying.
Review Summary: Certainly not at all the worst of the franchise – not by a long long way – in fact i have to admit that on the whole it IS a pretty good film, the action is superb, its well acted and its never ever less than enjoyable, indeed if there is another sequel i will of course go and see it. However – its glaringly not even close to the brilliance of the first and second films plus the plot is nothing more than a complete and utter redo/rehash/total copy of everything we have already seen before – and if anyone says otherwise (i.e James Cameron) then they are lying their heads off.
See at The Cinema? – Yes
Buy On Blu Ray? Yes
Pray the next sequel has a different plot? Get on your knees now
Author: Grosse Point Geek
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The Austin Powers to Phil Hobden’s Dr Evil, it’s fair to say Will spends his life trying to convince Phil that Paul WS Anderson ISNT a bad filmmaker, that The Hobbit movies really are THAT good and, for the most part, Phil is wrong about most things. Which he is.