Terminator: Dark Fate Review: Linda Hamiton & Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie is the sequel fans have craved for
Terminator: Dark Fate Movie Review: A trio of powerful women and an aged robot walk into the present to beat the bad 'technologically enhanced to 150' robot may not seem like original 'out of the box' content, however, with Terminator: Dark Fate, it still pleasantly surprises us in the best of ways.
Terminator: Dark Fate Review:
Terminator: Dark Fate Review Director: Tim Miller
Terminator: Dark Fate Review Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis
Terminator: Dark Fate Review Stars: 3.5/5
It's been a long time coming but man does it feel good to hear Sarah Conner bellow the words symbolising the Terminator franchise in a nutshell - "I'll be back!" Fans of the franchise have long since awaited for an honest sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day and years of leaving them deprived with really bad films to conjure to, it took the original Terminator trio (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and James Cameron) to bring back the lost sparks. But, they were not alone! Old will always have to be in tune with the new and the inclusion of characters like Grace and Dani adds a modern element to a nostalgic been-there, done-that storyline.
22 years after John Connor's murder, we are welcomed into the life of a Mexican factory worker Dani (Natalia Reyes), whose life alters to 360 when she becomes the target of an unbeatable REV-9 (Diego Luna). Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced augmented human is sent from 2042 to protect Dani at any cost in order to protect the future. However, she isn't strong enough for REV-9 and enlists the help of a middle-aged alcoholic Terminator assassin Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and T-800, now known as a good guy with a family Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to neutralise the bad guy.
Unlike the other failed Terminator "sequels", Dark Fate comes the closest to justify itself as a true successor of Judgement Day. Tim Miller, whose major claim to fame as a filmmaker is the super-successful Deadpool, doesn't negate the past. Instead, the director strongly brings back the old-school charm with odes to the iconic characters and even more iconic dialogues. With the storyline, it's extremely predictable but it's the strong background of the characters that really justifies the endgame. On one side, old Terminator junkies will hoot and whistle when they see Sarah and T-800 kicking ass while the new fans will empathise with Grace and Dani. And who would have thought a day would come when a Terminator film would involve political dialogue. Whether it be about the Mexican heritage of Dani or even focusing light on the US Detention Centres.
When it comes to the performances, Mackenzie steals the show with her versatile act as the common denominator between the present and future. It's her vulnerability that makes her even more of a badass. On the other hand, Natalia delivers a power-packed performance as we see her transformation to one of the pack. Linda proves yet again why Sarah Connor was such an integral part of the franchise as she tantalises with her refreshing act. Seeing three powerful women stand their own ground and fight the bad guys? Oh, what a concept! As for the Schwarzenegger fans, you will not be disappointed as Dark Fate adds a fresh take to T-800 as Carl, and there are a few zingers by the actor in between too. It's the face-off of wits between Sarah and Carl that bring us back to 1997. Diego Luna embraces the dark side with a calm exposure that makes REV-9 truly terrifying.
Special kudos to the CGI team when it comes to bringing back the 1990's sequences with a young Sarah and T-800 that almost feels lifelike. Even the VFX does absolute justice to the brutality and gore of the Legion, which is necessary for such a flick. The action sequences are so precisely performed to a T and will be enticing for Terminator fans. The climax, in particular, is a befitting and just Hasta La Vista moment that makes the wait of all these years, worth it!
In a nutshell, Terminator: Dark Fate is an age-old recipe that has been cooked to well done with some new ingredients added to give it a fresh take. Terminator fandom, you will not be disappointed!