So I have a confession to make: I’ve seen every single Terminator film in it’s entirety except the very first two. I’m surprised that I haven’t gotten around to watch those films and I should because before I watched Terminator: Dark Fate I learned that this takes place after Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, meaning it retcons the other films after those. So with that idea I went in open minded and somewhat optimistic because James Cameron (director of the first two Terminator films) returns to the franchise, though is not directing. Did it live up to the hype? As usual, let’s find out.
Set in a future where Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevents Judgment Day, Terminator: Dark Fate follows Dani (Natalia Reyes) as she thinks she’s going to have a regular day at work. Little does she know that a new type of terminator (Gabriel Luna) from the future has travelled to her timeline and is set to murder her since she plays a role that will stop the future terminators. Fortunately an enhanced human by the name of Grace (Mackenzie Davis), also from the future, travels back in time to protect Dani from certain death. From there they get help from Sarah Connor, and as the story progresses they run into the original Terminator himself (Arnold Schwarzenegger), as they figure out a way to stop this new terminator and save the future of mankind.
After the last film in the franchise, I went into this one with low expectations and to my surprise I found Terminator: Dark Fate to be quite enjoyable and the best one that I’ve seen in its entirety. What makes this entry work is how straightforward the action and the plot is throughout it. From the beginning the film told me what was going on and there weren’t any subplots that felt distracting. This is something a lot of action films don’t do these days as they figure the material in the film the better. It seems like people these days still don’t understand the concept of less is more when it comes to filmmaking.
There are two themes that I got out of Terminator: Dark Fate pertaining to my faith: forgiveness and redemption. I won’t go into details on both of those as they are potential spoilers, but they’re told in a way that’s subtle and that most people won’t look into that much but somehow I did.
If there’s anything negative I could say about Terminator: Dark Fate it is that it didn’t leave a huge impression on me when it came to the story. I do admire the straightforward narrative and the great action scenes, but much like Rise of the Machines and Genisys, the plot is basically the same. I may be nitpicking, but like with most action films I’m probably going to forget about the plot in a couple of months, which is a shame because this new film had a lot of potential, especially now that James Cameron is back on board with the franchise.
Despite what I have to say about the story and how I’m probably going to forget this in a couple months, I still highly recommend Terminator: Dark Fate as it’s the best terminator film that I have seen, not counting the very first two films. Not the greatest, but definitely much better than a lot of films that I’ve seen recently.