The Terminator franchise has had a rocky road since its inception 35 years ago. First, there was James Cameron’s pitch-perfect double whammy followed by T3: Rise of the Machines which I actually like. Then came Terminator Salvation which was hit or miss. Then the franchise came crumbling down with the colossal disappointment Terminator Genysis.
So, where does Terminator: Dark Fate stand up in the series? Well, it’s certainly better than the sequels after Judgment Day, but that’s damming with faint praise. Overall, though, not a bad effort.
This latest chapter serves a retcon to the series and functions as a direct sequel to Cameron’s first two.
We pick up the action in the year 2020 as a new Terminator of sorts named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) is sent back through time to protect a girl named Dani (Natalia Reyes) from yet another advanced prototype known as the REV-9 (Gabriel Luna) in Mexico City.
After an extended albeit impressive fight and chase scene, they cross paths woth the likes of an older, battle-hardened Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) who at 63, proves she still has the big guns and the big guns.
Connor takes them across the border to locate an individual who can provide access to weapons against the REV-9. Plus, a side note: Connor mentions that she’s “wanted in a couple of states. Actually 50.”
They eventually encounter their help in the form of Schwarzenegger who has gone through some interesting changes and at 72, he still proves he has the big guns and the big guns.
Dark Fate may not compare to Cameron’s first two films, but it will certainly terminate any memories fans had of the sequels that followed.
At times, it plays more like a greatest hits compilation rather than a full new album, but considering that my expectations weren’t that high and with Cameron returning as producer and crafting the story, it gives it the touch the movie deserves.
All the performances all solid: Hamilton and Schwarzenegger fit back into their roles like a custom made glove and the new additions bring some depth and intrigue instead of being if watered down versions of characters we’ve seen before.
The movie does hint at a seventh film, and if it’s a success, well, I’ll be back.
Rated R for violence throughout, language, and brief nudity.
Hall is a syndicated movie critic in South Georgia.