Published on November 6th, 2019 | by Tim Chuma0
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Review
Summary: It has all the ingredients of the birthday cake of your childhood and the same chef but it is somehow not the same cake.
Director: Tim Miller
Writers: Too many!
Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta
Whoops, I mean
The right one I swear
Throwing the events on the past three Terminator movies into the bin this movie goes one step too far and retcons the events of T2. From then they try and dig themselves out of the hole by pretty much trying to redo the events of T2 but somehow not as well.
Although Arnold Schwarzenegger is in it as the T-800 aka Carl it is really Linda Hamilton’s movie. I just could not care that much about Dani (Natalia Reyes) or Grace (Mackenzie Davis) as the opening scene proved that every character is pretty much disposable.
While the action is set in Mexico they really filmed it in Spain, there is a lot of stunt work but it does not stand out as much as it did in T2 due to the CGI blunting impact. They really did build the interior of the cargo plane and throw the actors around in it, but there is so much going on in that scene you cannot tell.
Somehow having James Cameron involved makes it worse as you can’t blame anyone else for the way it turned out as while he did not direct this time out he had a major impact to the production. Given the scale of the achievement of T2 it still pales in comparison to it, that movie advanced technology and production techniques and won 6 Oscars. I doubt this one will even raise a blip.
This movie has the problem that the Raid series will have if they ever try to make a sequel. There is nowhere more they can go with it. Filming T2 left permanent scars (Linda Hamilton is permanently deaf in one ear), in the Raid 2 the director was almost killed filming one of the car stunts.
Another connection between the Raid movies and T2 is that a lot of the blows traded on screen are real. Linda Hamilton and Iko Uwais were both in peak physical condition and Robert Patrick got so good and running as the T-1000 he had to slow down as he was catching the actors.
Having three female leads in the film is a high point and it does pass the Bechdel Test. They don’t bitch about each other and are there to help. Sarah Connor spent the last 22 years before the events of the movie “killing Terminators and getting blackout drunk”.
I suppose it is a passable action movie in its’ own right, but now we have 22 movie behemoths in the form of the Marvel series and not even Godzilla could stand up against that. Not everything has to be a franchise, just leave it be I reckon. Also nobody cares about any more Avatar movies, stop making them.
As I have heard elsewhere it might even be better to retire some of these characters as we don’t need to see big Arnie in every movie. He is getting old and needs a rest. I would like to see the movie of Carl the draper as his description of what curtains should go in a little girl’s room is the film at its most passionate.
Fury Road showed you could do this sort of sequel the right way with the original director. I am not sure it would have worked successfully with Mel Gibson as a millstone around its neck and having new characters allowed the story to go off in a different direction.
Having the movie set outside the USA was original at least as the apocalypse never seems to effect any other country.
The Terminator Rev-9 model in this movie is just not that scary in comparison to the ones in the first two. It seems to just walk up to its targets rather than run or just keep walking. Arnie in the first movie channelled his weight training to be more robotic and hardly said anything due to not knowing much English, but it worked in the context of the movie.
The T2 script was finished off in an all-nighter before James Cameron got on the plane to Cannes so it is lucky it turned out the way it. Too many cooks in the script for this movie it seems.
It is a Terminator movie but not the best one to watch if you haven’t seen any of the movies in the series. Just go back and watch the first two again for a much better experience.
Terminator: Fate of the Machine (Whole franchise review)