“The Terminator” and it’s incredible sequel “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” are legendary action films that proved that gritty conflict and elaborate science fiction can indeed work wonderfully together, but somewhere along the line the franchise lost it’s way with sloppy additional installments. Now “Terminator: Dark Fate” brings back what made the series work in the first place, including it’s original protagonist, Sarah Connor, and top flight action sequences.
Linda Hamilton returns as Connor as she is once again is charged with protecting humanity’s future, in Dani Ramos (played by Natalia Reyes). She’s not alone, Arnold Schwarzenagger is back as the old school killing machine, along with Grace, a cyborg played nicely by Mackenzie Davis. Together, they’ll take on the killer “Rev-9” Terminator that looks to destroy Dani and anyone else who gets in it’s way.
The action is excellent and Director Tim Miller understands that people just want to see solid action in these movies and he delivers that. We get shootouts, clever robotic fighting moves, and a constantly evolving landscape for our story to run on. Hamilton also manages to return back to the role she hasn’t touched in almost 30 years with almost no lag and lifts the mythology back up very nicely in the process. The Terminator needs her as much as she needed him for these films to work.
Our problem here is that this group has to clean up after the three poor movies since Judgement Day and that’s no easy task. The story is still kind of muddled and not everything makes as much sense as it should. The new Terminator also gave me too many “Venom” vibes and I would have appreciated a more unique look with the special effects involved.
Still, “Terminator: Dark Fate” puts the franchise back on track. While it’s not as good as either of the first two movies, we finally have a serviceable next chapter for the story of Sarah Connor and the ultimate killing machine.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Running time: 2hrs 8 minutes