In the sixth franchise film TERMINATOR: DARK FATE A young Mexican woman has to deal with a new killing machine. Luckily, Linda Hamilton and Mackenzie Davis come to her rescue. And Arnie is on board too! We reveal more about the film in our review.
Grace (Mackenzie Davis) stands in his way.
The plot summary
More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) managed to avert the day of reckoning. Back then, she rewrote the future and steered the fate of humanity in different directions. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) lives a simple life with her brother and father in Mexico City. Until a new, advanced and deadly Terminator – known as Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) – travels back in time from the future to kill them. To survive, Dani must team up with two warriors: Grace (Mackenzie Davis), a super soldier from the future, and the battle-hardened Sarah Connor. Then, while the Rev-9 is mercilessly killing everything and everyone who stands in its way in the search for Dani and destroying everything in the process, the trio encounters a T-800. This Terminator from Sarah’s past may be her best hope for survival.
Terminator: Dark Fate Movie Meaning
Probably the most important fact about “Terminator: Dark Fate” first: You don’t have to have seen parts three to five, or better: you should even mentally exclude them entirely, because in the world in which the sixth takes place, they never took place . The reason for this is simple: “Dark Fate” is the first film in the franchise since “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in which James Cameron – director and writer of the first two parts – worked on himself (as a producer and consultant). For this one, Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) took a seat in the director’s chair and filmed a script by David S. Goyer (“Man of Steel”) , Justin Rhodes (“Grassroots”) and Billy Ray (“Gemini Man”) . Before working on the script for “Dark Fate”, they apparently carefully looked at all the “Terminator” parts in order to identify the advantages of the first two as well as the major weak points in all the subsequent ones. What sounds like praise can easily be blamed on “Dark Fate”; Everyone involved delivers a work that is largely risk-free. Simply because they cling so tightly to the tried and tested structure (especially of the first film) that you look for new impulses in vain. But all of this also has its advantages. “Terminator: Dark Fate” is equally purposeful – in the best sense. As a viewer, you get exactly what you would expect from a “Terminator” film. Anyone who can do without elements of surprise in favor of this should have a surprising amount of fun with “Dark Fate”.
The Terminator (Gabriel Luna) has the ability to split.
Although “Terminator: Dark Fate” was not announced in advance as one of the currently popular gender switch projects (i.e. films in which, unlike the previous series, the focus is no longer on men but on women), it could be I can classify the film in this list, which is not very inglorious from a box office perspective, with a clear conscience. So far, this form of realignment has been less well received by the audience. That could change simply because we now have two women, Mackenzie Davis (“The Martian – Save Mark Watney”) and Natalia Reyes (“Birds of Passage”) , who are here against a new killer Terminator Have to defend yourself. But with Linda Hamilton (“The Line”), one of the most important characters from the “Terminator” universe is returning and this time she can kick even more ass than she has already done so far. Otherwise, the actions and deeds of this trio can be described very simply as saying that they do pretty much exactly what men did in the first two films: first flee from a Terminator and then fight against a Terminator. The script routinely reels off the adventure of the two and later three women, which is sometimes presented like a road movie. A first big fight with a rather spectacularly staged chase is followed by a long period of narrative down-to-earthness. Without fights or excessive action scenes, the first thing is to show how the three women, strangers to each other, become a cohesive team. And since the chemistry between Hamilton, Davis and Reyes is absolutely perfect, “Dark Fate” keeps you entertained even when very little is happening on the screen for an action film.
Where other directors would try to lighten up this narrative part with the help of misunderstood coolness such as funny oneliners or attempted references to previous parts, those responsible behind “Dark Fate” rely on a pleasant seriousness. Even scenes in which verbal or visual quotations literally jump out at you are not taken up by the authors; rather, they play with not giving the audience exactly what they probably expect from them. Especially when the narrative connections between “Terminator”, “Judgment Day” and “Dark Fate” are so great that you can sense the original at any time. This will certainly disappoint some viewers. Apart from a “I’ll Be back!” (this time pronounced by Linda Hamilton) , there is no “Hasta la Vista, Baby!” to be heard, nor do we see Arnold Schwarzenegger in his typical sunglasses outfit – even if it is a scene , if not the best in the film, in which the makers allow themselves a charming wink at Arnie’s iconic eye outfit. In general, Schwarzenegger’s appearance is probably the biggest positive surprise about “Terminator: Dark Fate”. We don’t want to go into too much detail here, but this much: The now 72-year-old actor finds exactly the right balance between being based on his original role and excellent development in keeping with the franchise – and the Austrian-born actor’s comedic timing has rarely been better than here.
The main focus, on the other hand, is on the three main actresses and their integration into the action sequences, which are sometimes quite gigantic but not nearly as formative. While “Terminator – Judgment Day” is still one of the biggest milestones in special effects cinema, nowadays you can see almost everything visually, which makes it all the more difficult to differentiate “Dark Fate” from its blockbuster competition on a technical level. Despite Cameron’s involvement – i.e. the director who, among other things, managed to make the 3D effect socially acceptable again with the help of “Avatar” and who recently once again demonstrated his passion for expansive spectacle cinema with “Alita: Battle Angel” – comes “Terminator: Dark Fate” doesn’t go beyond “solid” in terms of tricks. Some of the action scenes look really good; Especially when the first big chase scene mainly uses haptic effects such as exploding cars, there is a lot of noise in the cinema. All the effects surrounding the Terminator, which this time even has the ability to split (a property that the script unfortunately doesn’t make much use of – it just makes the Terminator even less vulnerable than before), also look good. Then again, the CGI and green screen are so clearly identifiable as such that it’s difficult to imagine that Miller was actually filming on a dam or in an airplane. The director is clearly the one who has already directed “Deadpool”: He knows how to put his heroines and heroes in the spotlight, but everything around them is rather average.
Conclusion: “Terminator: Dark Fate” doesn’t risk much in terms of narrative, but Tim Miller solidly implements the script, which mainly relies on set pieces from the first two franchise films. The new trio harmonize well – especially in the interaction with scene-stealer Arnold Schwarzenegger – while the effects have a remarkable qualitative range between catastrophic and outstanding. All in all, you get exactly what you would expect from a modern “Terminator” film: little surprise, but all in all decent genre entertainment.
“Terminator: Dark Fate” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from October 24th.