Terminator Dark Fate is a roller coaster full of action, comedy, and sorrow. Bringing back Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and being written by James Cameron Dark Fate brings a new dynamic but familiar feeling to a beloved franchise. Unfortunately the film had a horrible opening weekend. My assumption is the audience exhaustion from sequels, reboots and recycled classics turned horribly wrong. Thankfully though, this movie is not a horrible experience. So let's jump into what makes this movie great and where it falls flat for some.
PROS Action, action, action!!! This movie has some really fun and out of this world action sequences. Yes it has loads of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) but you are going into a freaking Terminator movie it's kind of expected. Terminator vs Advanced Super Soldier vs Humans. A fun and tricky story to convey on screen, but is done in such an entertaining way.
Truly strong women! This movie has some of the best female characters I've seen in awhile. Brining back the badass that is Sara Connor immediately meant the story was going to have some punch to the throat moments and it did. The new female character that shares the burden once held by Sara goes through a such an emotionally heart breaking transition, and we see her emerge as a freaking badass! Lastly, the protector of this film is also a strong female character and brings a more militaristic approach. Three strong characters with all completely different motivations but the same goal made me want to see where all of them ended up, and I was far from disappointed.
Fanservice is always a bittersweet thing in long running franchises, but the small nods to the original Terminator felt organic. Brief scenes to remind us of the story we know so far, but knowing that change is inevitable. The story of Dark Fate, just like many other sequels is a head scratcher, but is able to make sense for itself in the end. Time travel movies that spread into a series makes itself its own enemy. The Legend of Zelda series is a great example at a beloved franchise that makes its own story complicated and I like to believe that Terminator is on the same level as that. If you haven't watched Terminator 2 than it is highly recommended before jumping into Dark Fate. The character growth of Sara Connor is one of the most important piece of the story.
Sara freaking Connor. This character alone is reason enough for me to go watch this movie. Linda Hamilton really stole the show in this movie. Her sarcastic, straight forwardness is just too badass for any of us to handle. CONS
For me the worst thing you can do to a character is force them to change in a blink of an eye, and that's the way it felt for one of the characters in the movie. Hard headed with tunnel vision, Mackenzie Davis' character held us all by the balls. The soldier who will not give up. Her character drops a huge story plot, but in the strangest scene in my opinion. I just don't enjoy seeing a character change personalities for the sake of plot and not for the growth of a character.
The length of the film felt a little drawn out for me. I felt certain scenes could have been cut to bring the run time down a bit. Staying engaged for more than two hours is hard for any movie, but sometimes the second act doesn't captivate audiences and unfortunately that happened in this film for me. Sometimes, as a movie audiences we don't have to see every movement a character makes to go from one place to another. If it brings new breath into the plot then I understand, but to buffer the run time feels like a cheat to me.
OVERALL I truly believe that Terminator Dark Fate brought some new elements to the franchise. Changing the future has consequences, and I'm glad to see the writers thinking outside of the box, but still staying within its own realm. I highly suggest watching this film if you are a fan of the Terminator series.
RATING: 8/10 - Let's Terminate the naysayers!