Pros: Return to the Linda Hamilton series; the unchanged Arnold Schwarzenegger; a slightly more logical story with new heroes; references to the original The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day; some decent action scenes Cons: There are still a lot of logical holes in the plot; somewhat straightforward connection to the theme of illegal immigrants; some fight scenes look ridiculous Terminator: Dark Fate / “Terminator: Fatum”
Genre fantasy, action
Director Tim Miller
Starring Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor), Mackenzie Davis (Grace), Arnold Schwarzenegger (T-800 / Karl), Natalia Reyes (Dani Ramos), Gabriel Luna (Rev-9), Diego Boneta (Diego Ramos), etc.
Studios Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media
Year of release 2019
As we remember, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Connor and the deceased T-800 prevented a future in which Skynet was created and most of humanity was destroyed during a nuclear war unleashed by a supercomputer and the subsequent Terminator hunt for the few survivors. For some time, everyone lived happily, but people will always find a way to destroy themselves even in this future without Skynet: other scientists created another AI, which also decided that humanity is a serious obstacle to its development. This means that the new Terminator went back in time to eliminate the key person for the resistance movement, and a new soldier appeared, ready to protect the future leader of the resistance.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released 28 years ago, the same amount of time passed between the events of the second and third films. Now the target of the Terminator, and this is an updated model of the Rev-9, combining the abilities of the liquid T-1000 with the internal skeleton of the classic T-800, has become a simple Mexican girl, Dani Ramos. Three characters will protect her at once: a soldier from the future, a cybernetically modified girl Grace; our good friend Sarah Connor, who has spent the past 28 years hunting down lost Terminators (yes, there were many more), played by an older but still very cool Linda Hamilton; and the good old T-800 performed by the ever-present Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since the same T-800 actually died at the end of the second film, this is a completely different, but no less charming robot.
Rev-9 is a very serious opponent, so even such a cool trio, which will eventually be joined by Dani, who has been upgraded in the process, will have a very difficult time. After all, Rev-9 can not only take on the appearance of the people he touches, but also grow knife arms and other useful tools. Rev-9 can be divided into a liquid component and an autonomous skeleton, which act separately, so that in some scenes the defenders are confronted by two Terminators at once. In fact, playing off the Rev-9’s skills and transformations underlies most of the action scenes. And although we have seen a lot of cool sci-fi films in the almost three decades since Terminator 2, these scenes still look impressive, although sometimes they repeat some episodes of the second film. Cool, except, perhaps, for the scene on the plane followed by landing on a hydroelectric dam. I want to quickly forget this entire episode, excluding the final confrontation in the turbine hall.
In general, like in Terminator: Genisys, Terminator: Dark Fate has enough references to the original films, both the first and the second. But if in Genisys we are offered to look at the same, familiar scenes from a different angle, then in Dark Fate some scenes seem to pay tribute to the episodes and characters of the second film. For example, the freeway chase scene is largely similar to the iconic viaduct chase from Terminator 2, the final battle takes place in a similar industrial interior, the immigration sorting center plays the role of a police station, etc. Why, Linda Hamilton even directly says the iconic phrase of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character from the second film.
By the way, about the actors. Linda Hamilton’s return to the franchise is the best thing that has happened to the series in the last 28 years. Aged, not appearing on screens very often these days, but still incredibly cool, the actress looks very natural in the role of a Terminator hunter. With Arnold, everything is clear, old Schwartz will not spoil the furrow, he has already literally gotten used to this role, although the current T-800 is significantly different from its predecessors. As for the new characters, if Natalia Reyes, who plays Dani Ramos, is simply very sweet and spontaneous, then Mackenzie Davis, who plays the soldier from the future Grace, is who the real Terminator is here. As for Gabriel Luna, who plays Rev-9, it looks like he took acting lessons from Robert T-1000 Patrick: the same facial expressions, the same plasticity.
By the way, as you probably noticed, according to the latest fashion, in Terminator: Dark Fate the Terminator’s ass will be kicked by three women and a robot joining them. The film also has other feminist overtones and even plays on Sarah Connor’s somewhat old-fashioned and patriarchal view of women. In addition, the authors decided to play another card that is relevant for modern America – the topic of illegal immigrants. In a film starring a Mexican woman who needs to get to the US, this seems logical, although it’s hard to shake the feeling that the character’s nationality was deliberately chosen to create such a story arc.
Did James Cameron, who served as the film’s producer and consultant, and director Tim Miller (Deadpool, Love, Death & Robots) succeed in making a proper sequel to Terminator 2? Rather yes than no. Terminator: Dark Fate is perhaps the best part of the franchise since the second part, but… it is still very far from the 1991 film. However, old favorite actors, good action scenes and a generally more logical plot than the three previous series make watching Terminator: Dark Fate quite an enjoyable time. Plus, as with the recent Rambo: Last Blood, Terminator: Dark Fate may be one of Arnie’s last films, so it’s not worth missing out on. Of course, it’s worth watching a film like this on the big screen.
The best part of the franchise since Terminator 2, which is still very far from the second part