When I first heard there was yet another Terminator movie in the works, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, upset and quite honestly disrespected as a fan of the first two classics. And then, when the first trailer for “Terminator: Dark Fate drooped,” I felt my disappointment justified and had nothing but very low expectations, thinking “Meh. I won’t get my hopes up.” Especially after having been slapped in the face with the last three let-downs that audaciously called themselves sequels. I was angry and heartbroken. “Here we go, let’s drag this franchise in the dirt. Again.”Hey, I grew up with “Terminator”, “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” and other bad ass flicks from James Cameron like the xenorph ass- kicking sequel “Aliens” and “True Lies.” I have a deep-rooted childhood love for those movies and a personal attachment to characters like John Connor, Sarah Connor and Arnie’s T-800, a.k.a The Terminator. Hell, what kid wouldn’t want it’s own “cybernetic organism; living tissue over metal endo-skeleton,” as their personal body guard!? Imagine riding the bus to school with that thing! No one would’ve ever punked me for my lunch money in school! Ever! “Dickwad!”But Holy Mother of John Connor! “Terminator: Dark Fate” wastes very little precious time launching you back into the heart racing, ass clenching, adrenaline pumping action and it keeps you there for the next two hours! It felt so good to finally breathe a breath of fresh, familiar air and we have a gang of people to thank for that! To top it off, it’s Rated R! Something we haven’t seen a Terminator movie labeled with in 16 years! Excuse me?
Directed by Tim Miller (Dead Pool) and written and produced by James Cameron (Terminator 1 & 2, Aliens, True Lies), Terminator: Dark Fate is what fans should have gotten, and deserved, after Terminator 2: Judgment Day!
The flick reintroduces us to some familiar faces with some genuine “W.T.F” moments and takes off running, never slowing down from there.
Gabriel Luna’s character “Rev-9” is a vicious, savage, relentless, un-killable and downright dangerous new machine with Natalia Reyes’s “Dani” in its cybernetic/ mimetic polyalloy crosshairs. If that felt like a lot to say in one breath, good! Because that Rev-9 gives you absolutely very little breathing room when it’s on the attack. Mackenzie Davis kicks some liquid metal ass – or lack there- of – as Grace, Dani’s protector from the future. But she can’t do it alone, oh no, no, no! Linda Hamilton makes an explosive, rocket propelled, full-auto shotgun entrance as Sarah Connor, reprising her iconic role as one of sci-fi film history’s most bad ass women! Seeing Sarah Connor had me bouncing in my seat hooting and hollering, throwing fists in the air like I was actually there, watching these three women face off against the Rev-9! And let’s not forget Arnie! Oh, Arnie! The original Terminator! The T-800! Or in this case, known as “Carl.”
Terminator: Dark Fate does a clean job re-introducing Arnold Schwarzenegger as a familiar face in a new light with some details that die hard fans will remember from T2. The good thing is, you won’t catch Arnold rocking any star-shaped sunglasses in this movie!
There are plenty of subtle nods to T1 and T2 in this direct sequel to T2 that fans will recognize. Yes, there are a few cheesy one liners, but not so much that it just feels forced, like your father-in-law’s dad jokes. And not from someone you’d expect! Is Terminator: Dark Fate perfect? Of course not, it’s got some problems. But it definitely outshines and outperforms T3, Salvation and certainly Genesys.Though I did find myself having some problems with a few plot holes and some writing, it ultimately and genuinely went against all negative expectations I had going into it. Terminator: Dark Fate is fast, relentless, gritty and intense! It’s fun and adrenaline pumping with a bunch of great action sequences and a phenomenal cast. It’ll make you sweat, it’ll make you laugh and it’ll take you on a joyous ride!Terminator fans rejoice!
Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters this weekend!