Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Directed by Tim Miller
Starring Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis & Natalia Reyes
By Tim Basaraba
Heeeees Back! James Cameron returns to produce and co-write the next installment in the franchise that made him a household name! With Tim Miller directing and, one of the most prolific screenwriters of the genre, David S. Goyer writing, Skydance Media surely has a huge hit on their hands, especially with distribution and marketing help from Paramount and Disney!
Guess what, Terminator… you won’t be back.
Dark Fate’s initial action sequence shows promise, but once lines of dialogue are spoken our suspension of disbelief melts away like a T-800 in molten metal.
Aimless in its plot, the film offers little in the way of excitement outside of nostalgia. This is most likely due to poorly-realized scenarios and unreal dialogue. Sure, it’s great to see Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner, but when she spits out tacky one-liners I kinda wish she’d been left in the past.
We’re introduced to two new female protagonists: Grace and Dani, the former serving as the new “protector” and the latter as the new “protected.” They’re less of a caricature than Sarah, but their lines are also poorly written. Nevertheless, they are delivered with sincerity by both Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes, which unfortunately makes the overall female empowerment angle feel even more forced and unfulfilled.
Amazingly, the cast member who’s arguably the worst actor turns in the best performance, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He plays the character for laughs, but the pathos of “Carl” is one of the bright spots in this otherwise slog of a film (2 hours? Really?)
The film’s hyperactive action scenes are admittedly amazing and fun to watch but the penultimate scene in the sky is shot too dark to make sense of what is actually happening. Hey Miller, Goyer and Cameron focus on new intellectual property because this franchise is TERMINATED!
If Terminator and T2 are both a B+, Terminator 3 is a solid C then Dark Fate and the rest of the films in the franchise are D’s