Film Review – Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Title – Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Director – Tim Miller (Deadpool)

Cast – Mackenzie Davis, Linda Hamilton, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Plot – Sarah Connor (Hamilton) is back as she must fight to help protect Dani Ramos (Reyes) from a terrifying new cyborg threat that wants to change the shape of mankind’s future.

“Two days ago, I had this nice, simple life. And now it’s a nightmare”

Review by Eddie on 01/11/2019

Sometimes in life your best off taking hold of the positives and with that in mind, it’s nice to report that the newest bout of machine v human carnage Terminator: Dark Fate is more tolerable that previous franchise entries Salvation and Genysis, which it’s fair to say isn’t that much of a high achievement.

Promoted as a return to the gritty roots of the original James Cameron films, with the great grey haired master even jumping on board Dark Fate as a producer and overseer of the production as Deadpool director Tim Miller took the reins, Dark Fate does indeed gift long time franchise fans Linda Hamilton’s reappearance as Sarah Connor, which is a lot of fun and an extended Arnie cameo as the Governator plays an important role as the famed T-800 (now known as Carl!) but there’s something worryingly stale and pointless about Dark Fate that ensures viewers will be left cold by another series entry that feels mostly pointless and arbitrary.

Hired no doubt for his action directing skillset, Miller does bring some neat set-pieces to Dark Fate’s plotline, such as a fiercely staged car chase and a mid-air plane set piece but in amongst all of that as we follow Mackenzie Davis’s human/cyborg hybrid Grace and Connor trying to protect Natalia Reyes’s Dani from Grabriel Luna’s seemingly indestructible Rev-9 terminator, Dark Fate is frequently an uninspired creation that sticks far too close to previous entries formulas to feel like the fresh and reviving addition it was striving to be.

At the time of release both Terminator and its beloved sequel Judgment Day were relatively fresh ideas, born out of Cameron’s unique ability to recognise a winner when he sees/imagines one and with ground-breaking special effects, classic acting turns and gold-standard action to boot, they set the bar high for all other Terminator products that would follow and its almost sad watching Dark Fate try to relieve the glory days of old as it introduces us to a bunch of far less interesting new characters all the while treading on a very well-worn path of an evil big bad sent from the future to kill an important figure from the past.

Hamilton and Schwarzenegger both give their returning roles a red hot crack, and their character beats and certain throwback lines are sure to bring a smile to fans faces and while Davis seems to be cut from a much more interesting film as she tries to add spark to Dark Fate’s otherwise tiresome plodding, Miller’s film never threatens to get anywhere near the benchmark’s of the series as we become more and more aware that the glory days of this franchise are long gone as it disappointingly attempts to tell the same stories again and again, in frequently bland ways.

Final Say –

Better than what we’ve been dished up over the last couple of entries, Terminator: Dark Fate may have some nice nods to the good old days and a couple of worthwhile set pieces but as an overall experience, Dark Fate is forgettable and incessantly bland new addition to a property that is finding it increasingly hard to remain relevant.

2 interrupted BBQ’s out of 5   

9 responses to “Film Review – Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

  1. That sounds about right! Genesys set the bar so low, I was not impressed with Dark Fate for its mildly entertaining set pieces. Shame the franchise’s been going downhill. But at least we’ll always have T1 and 2 to watch again!

    • I had my fingers crossed for it Cedric but it was most certainly a massive letdown. I think this may be the death knell to the series.

  2. Pingback: 20+ Reviews – Terminator: Dark Fate is Ironic, Prophetic Title – Movies, Movies, Movies·

  3. My least favorite elements of this latest sequel (re-do over?) may be Linda and Arnie. They weighed the movie down with nonsensical fluff — remember the hoops the writers had to jump through simply to justify their existence in the story? — and made the film’s central concept feel even more dated that it already is.

    Just having Davis and Reyes fight with/flee from Luna’s Rev-9 might’ve worked — I suppose a soft-reboot of Terminator (84) would feel less repetitive than the 3rd(!) remake of Terminator II (91) — but then your problem is how poor of a performance Reyes gave with such an uninteresting character. At times I forgot her character was in the movie.

    Call me crazy, but upon rewatching the “lesser Terminator sequels” after seeing DF (i.e. T3, TS, TG), I found myself enjoying *Salvation* the most because it actually looked its budget and remains the lone modern Terminator-sequel that didn’t try to *yet again* remake T2. I’m reaching for positives, here…

    • I agree with the point of Salvation that at least it wasn’t trying to repeat the same story over and over. That was certainly my biggest issue with this film, it was just a cookie cutter copy of what has come before, just not a good version of it.

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