To put it in one line – Terminator: Dark Fate is quite an improvement from 2015’s utter debacle that Terminator Genisys kind of was. In terms of its story, the movie does a pretty good upgrade. It is laced with nostalgia galore, as it tries to bring back the original Sarah Connor – Linda Hamilton.
Even so, with a completely different storyline that tries to open countless possibilities, the niche on which the story bases itself remains the same. Only a few changes that try to speak the original tongue, otherwise the heart and soul kind of sticks to what it has always been.
You may have changed the future, but you didn’t change our fate.
What makes this flick different from others? The movie’s ripping action. The movie this time leverages Arnold Schwarzenegger to the maximum, who at one point had felt like a cameo from the trailers. The good news is that he is very much there, and the best thing is that he walks in at a point that matters the most.
In Compliance with the Cause
I have spoken this enough, to the point that it has become beyond exasperation. Agreed that the world is gradually changing, and the change is good. But a lot of things feel forced.
Scripts written, keeping in mind everything that the current affairs are bothered by. Actors chosen, based on their gender, their marked provinces on the enclaves of earth.
That being said, Terminator: Dark Fate adds up to the increasing feminist momentum further fueling their movement to assist their cause. While there are many who think it was something quite dispensable, Tim Miller, the director of Deadpool had other ideas.
Not only him, but the whole team seems to have defined the roles first, ensuring that there would be only one absolved man Arnold Schwarzenegger who could be shown as a strong and supportive bloke while the rest be manifested as losers or threats.
Grace: Why do you care what happens to her?
Sarah: Because I was her.
The Theme of Terminator: Dark Fate (Spoilers)
What happens when you can’t milk a story enough? You scrounge for bits and pieces then try to change the whole story. Come up with new characters and change the villains so that you have a whole new spin-off as a distributary in the process. Terminator: Dark Fate kind of feels like that.
Herein we get an entirely different timeline. The one wherein T-800 goes ahead and kills John Connor. It sort of defeats the whole purpose of James Cameron‘s era, erases the timeline wherein events of T-2 and what had followed took place. BTW, great CGI there! Bringing Edward Furlong, a timeless version of Sarah and T800 alive in the prologue was very exciting to watch.
The plot here makes you wonder about the place we are headed, all the things that we have left behind, and how the original theme never really changes. Frankly speaking, it kind of makes you very apprehensive, for the future of Terminator movies feels quite prosaic.
Natalie Reyes as Dani Ramos – The New John Connor
How does it feel when all the stories you grew up with get written over? In your story, John Connor used to be a hero. Suddenly that wasn’t good enough.
In today’s changing times, a girl protagonist had to be brought in, since the writers today are more concerned about changing the human perception instead of actually focusing on the story.
Because this new world asks of a whole new version of Connor, the one who is nothing like him. Someone who does not belong to the same gender.
In this new world, the men are weak and the women are strong. This is something that shows in every scene the movie carries. Even if you were to decode a hidden meaning, you would be surprised to learn that the story is simply about a regressive man who is after a helpless woman, who eventually with some support realizes her true potential, and fights back for herself. The whole theme literally screams that out loud.
Natalie Reyes as Dani Ramos barely feels like a renaissance leader when she tries to deliver. You don’t get that leadership vibes off her. You could tell her acting apart as she simply doesn’t fit the bill. Things feel a bit off when you see the future where she has suddenly become a new avatar of herself. Everything seems quite out of place.
Mackenzie Davis as Grace
Probably the most badass element in the whole movie Grace (Mackenzie Davis) is what feels like what you call a valid addition. Clad in merely a vest, showcasing her operated body, she has been leveraged like a super-soldier. Her action scenes are the most amazing ones, properly choreographed with a hint of badassery.
Even though she has a part to play she is unafraid to put down even the likes of Sarah Connor. On so many occasions, she goes on to prove that she is simply a step above the threat that has been sent back from the future as well.
That being said Mackenzie is no Kyle Reese or Arnold for that to matter. You barely feel bad when she fails to make it toward the end.
Gabriel Luna as Rev-9
Too cool, I would say, for a robot. Gabriel Luna, even though he brings his wickedness to Dark Fate, somehow doesn’t feel as lethal as the past villains of the franchise were.
There are instances where you are made to feel how great his AI must be that he doesn’t feel like a robot at all. He talks and behaves quite normally for an AI.
My whole body’s a weapon.
Also, it is kind of too “primary target focused” as he keeps running after Dani more before laying off other threats. If I were to write his code, I would probably put that basic need of neutralizing all threats that try to stop you from finishing your mission first, than actually going after the target.
In the movie’s final moments, you could feel that obstinate compulsion of going after Dani a little too much even before properly neutralizing his secondary threats.
Arnie as Carl
Goes without saying that Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been the center pedestal that has dictated every flick’s direction in the franchise.
Even here, he simply takes the movie up one notch with his presence. Ever since he shows up, the movie suddenly becomes good. As if something wonderful had just happened.
There’s just more to it than picking the right color. It’s the texture, the weight of the material. One wrong choice, it can destroy the look of the entire room. There was this one customer that came to me, he wanted solid colored drapes in a little girl’s room. I said ‘DON’T DO IT.’ – You need butterflies, polka dots, balloons.
Arnie also doesn’t leave out any opportunity to make you feel nostalgic. A scene where you can see him looking at his old pair of glasses literally cracks you open as the Terminator’s quintessential music plays in the background.
Not only that, he brings brute force to the story too. Decimating Rev-9 whenever he gets a chance even as Gabriel returns the favour. His action frames are simply the most dope ones that the movie retains.
My past has caught up with me, and I won’t be back.
The CGI of Dark Fate
Great work there! Especially toward the beginning where we saw Eddie, Arnie, and Sarah getting revived straight from the 90s.
Also, the future wherein we see the nuclear holocaust has been brilliantly filmed. The Legion’s rad unit called Rev-7 will boggle your mind for they are extremely hard to kill and really fast too.
That whole future universe has been splendidly depicted and visualized. Something we can be psyched about if they are to continue on this timeline in the long run.
Where CGI doesn’t impress is Rev-9’s metamorphosis. Doesn’t really give you goosebumps. There was something about T2 that had us teetering in fear back then. Maybe it was the slow theatrical transformation, that did the job. Even with all this technology, Rev-9 somehow falls short from terrorizing you.
You can order Terminator: Dark Fate from here:
Terminator: Dark Fate may not be a fair movie that does justice to Cameron’s original since it basically writes all over it but the flick isn’t an exercise in futility either, primarily because what it writes is another franchise in the making, provided everything goes fine. Keeping fingers crossed there!
It’s a major improvement if you look back at what damage Salvation and Genisys had done to the franchise. But then again, given the statements, Arnie has been making and with no surefire powerful characters to back the future, dark clouds are hovering over what’s imminent.
Check out the trailer of Terminator: Dark Fate here: