Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate

2019 | Tim Miller

Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.

Average rating   7 out of 10

(8.55) Terminator Genisys | (6.97) The Terminator | (2.83) Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines | (2.71) RoboCop | (2.57) Terminator Salvation

Carsten Sørensen     2019-11-08 7 out of 10

Hasta La Vista, John Connor

Terminator Dark Fate takes place right after T1 and T2. Apparently, John and Sarah Connor have defeated Skynet by blowing up Cyberdyne Systems in T2. On a vacation, John Connor is surprisingly killed by a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator). This is the beginning of Terminator Dark Fate (sorry about the spoiler).

More than two decades later, Dani Ramos (Natalie Reyes) is being hunted by a REV-9 (a Terminator from a new future). Luckily, Dani Ramos is saved by Grace (an augmented human from the same future as the REV-9). Soon they are joined by Sarah Connor who is armed to the teeth.

The cast in Dark Fate is strong. First of all, it was a scoop to get Linda Hamilton back as an older Sarah Connor. Linda Hamilton was missed in T3 and T5 (Genisys). She gives a strong performance as a woman in grief (she is now a kind of Terminator hunter). Mackenzie Davis was also great as the augmented human soldier from the future (Grace). Natalia Reyes is well cast as a poor Mexican factory worker (she seems to be the new John Connor). The females are strongly represented in this movie.

I doubted that Gabriel Luna could play a proper Terminator, but he is actually quite convincing as the REV-9 (he reminds me of Robert Patrick from T2). The REV-9 is a mix between the T-800 and the T-1000 (endoskeleton with liquid metal). Fortunately, the REV-9 is not too advanced (this was a big problem for the T-X in T3 who was equipped with both a plasma canon and a flamethrower). The REV-9 seems to be the most agile Terminator yet, and he is able to create stabbing weapons from the liquid metal. Last but not least, the REV-9 is able to split, which actually creates two Terminators at the same time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the T-800 (with aged skin and white hair). This time he plays a different T-800. Arnold Schwarzenegger knows his Terminator, and he is also great in Dark Fate (this is his fifth Terminator movie). His part seems a bit smaller than in the earlier Terminator movies (the powerful women are the center of this movie).

The first trailer for Terminator Dark Fate was really bad (the CGI for the REV-9 did not look good). Luckily, the trailers got better. The effects in the final movie look good, but they are not as groundbreaking as the liquid T-1000 in T2 (the chase scene in Dark Fate that included two planes looked a bit too computer generated for me).

Terminator Dark Fate is directed by Tim Miller and produced by James Cameron (James Cameron directed T1 and T2). Tim Miller and James Cameron have made the controversial choice to kill John Connor in the beginning of the movie (this will probably piss off many Terminator fans and might also damage the films commercial success). However, the killing of John Connor moves the story forward (Sarah Connor wants to revenge the death of her son). Besides John and Sarah Connor had already defeated Skynet by blowing up Cyberdyne Systems in T2.

I was not able to figure out, if John Connor in the beginning of the movie was a body double or a deaged Edward Furlong (the scene takes place in 1998 right after T2). I think Edward Furlong gave the best portrait of John Connor in T2 (Nick Stahl was really bad in T3).

Skynet is replaced by Legion (a new aggressive AI). It is Legion who sends the REV-9 back in time.

Dark Fate recycles many things from the earlier Terminator movies, but it is still a well crafted movie. The movie does not feel political, but some scenes include both surveillance and border control (this works very well in the movie). On the Internet, Dark Fate has been compared to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

Terminator Dark Fate is without doubt the best Terminator movie since T1 and T2 (both T1 and T2 are better). I did appreciate T5 (Genisys), but never liked T3 and T4 (Salvation.), Both T3, T4 (Salvation) and T5 (Genisys) have poor story lines and different versions of John Connor (all Terminator movies usually have great action sequences). 

Apparently, Dark Fate is supposed to start a new trilogy of Terminator movies (this need a lot of money). I think it is okay to stop here (Dark Fate is the sixth movie in the Terminator saga). Fortunately, the ending of Dark Fate does not require a sequel. If there will ever be more Terminator movies, I hope the story will be set in the future war after Judgment Day, and John Connor does not have to be the center of the movie.

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