Since the first film premiered in 1984, the “Terminator” franchise had been going strong. It’s about a future where robots under Skynet take over the world, and human John Connor is leading a campaign of rebellion against them. Skynet sends back to the past an artificial assassin named the Terminator to destroy Sarah’s mother of John Connor to stop his conception.
The series ‘ subsequent films will follow Skynet’s same basic formula to bring Terminators back in time and change history to their benefit. To me, it really counted only the first two movies, the next three were forgettable.
A technologically enhanced human soldier Grace (Mackenzie Davis in a breakout performance) was sent back to 2020 by the Resistance to shield a young Mexican woman named Dani (a bland Natalia Reyes) from an advanced terminator called the Rev-9 (an even blander Gabriel Luna).
Just as the Rev-9 got the upper hand, they seemed to be rescued by Sarah Connor. The three women crossed the border into Texas with the Rev-9 hot on their heels to locate Sarah’s source of information about the arrivals of Terminator.
This sixth film’s very start mirrored the events of “T2” in 1998. In this version, the T-800 assassin killed the young John Connor, and Skynet was never killed. So, this is yet another attempt to reboot a franchise like “Terminator Genisys,” for which due to poor box office performance the planned sequels had been shelved. The filmmakers went further into the future here in “Dark Fate,” producing another AI aggressor named Legion, and battling against it the other human resistance.
Despite “Dark Fate”‘s thrilling CG-enhanced scenes, it all felt oddly repetitive and rehashed and unsatisfactory. Even the-9 terminator was not too much of a breakthrough over the Academy Award-winning liquid metal T-1000 that amazed us back in “T2.” His current innovation of being able to split into exterior and his black endoskeleton was not as impressive visually.
What’s worse, this Rev-9 seemed to be lacking in hand-to-hand combat skills, particularly apparent when he went one-on-one against Grace, only to be saved by his ability to regenerate — lame.
I felt the best thing about this film was the nostalgia that brought Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger back on-screen in their iconic characters like Sarah Connor and T-800. Despite looking much older, somehow Hamilton still projected the strength and fire to remember her best for Sarah Connor. At first, when we first saw him as a domesticated Carl, Schwarzenegger attempted to be the comic relief, but obviously he would also appear in big action scenes before the film ended.
However, it also made the emotional heart of the first two classic Terminator movies stop beating by deciding to lose John Connor early on in this one.
Originally published in the blog of the author, “Fred Said.”
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