The Yellow Flick Road
Terminator Dark Fate: Dorothy Saves the World
Dark Fate: Dorothy saves the World
With Tim Miller at the helm as director, and James Cameron as Executive Producer, The Terminator franchise reboots to directly after the second film in the series. Spoiler alert if you have never seen T2: A robot from the future is sent back in time by an Artificial Intelligence called SkyNet to kill 12 year old John Connor in order to preserve a dystopian machine-controlled society. His death as a child would eliminate his development as a leader of a human resistance that eventually defeats the machines. The Resistance sends back an older model robot reprogrammed to protect John. This model appears identical to the robot (known as T-100) originally sent twelve years prior to kill John’s mother, Sarah. That first unit was destroyed by Sarah and a resistance fighter named Kyle Reese, sent back in time by John to protect his mother from the T-100. Kyle dies in the effort to stop the T-100, but not before a sexual encounter with Sarah which leads to the birth of John. Twelve years later, Sarah, John and the second T-100 are able to destroy this new robot, called a T-1000, through serious hard work and effort, but the T-100 insists on being completely destroyed by fire to avoid his advanced technology to be discovered during this time. Apparently, some of the original T-100’s parts were found by a company called Cyberdyne, which leads to the development of Skynet. What this actually means is that these future actors arriving in the past changed the future, but not significantly enough to avoid Armageddon, as it were.
Ignoring all the films after T2, Dark Fate begins right after the events of the second film. The first chapter of the film is a CGI masterpiece, and sets the tone for the rest of the film. Twenty-four years go by, and we are then introduced to a new set of characters: Grace, an enhanced human from the future sent to protect Dani, a young woman living in Mexico City, from the most advanced Terminator yet - the Rev9, a symbiotic robot with a liquid metal endoskeleton that combines the durability of the T-100 with the mercurial and mimetic nature of the T-1000.
This is when we see The Yellow Flick Road effect in full action. Dani is living the Mexican version of a Kansas life, until she is caught in a twister of activity that involves the new T and Grace, one trying to kill her and the other shielding Dani from danger. We can always tell the time traveling humans from the machines because of their superhero landings. While Dani is clearly the threat to the new T for actions she hasn’t committed yet, it does foreshadow what happens later.
Without revealing too much information, what can be said about Dark Fate is that it is a good Yellow Flick that rings all the bells: new companions, road trip, poppies (or a variation), an Emerald City, a witch hunt, flying monkeys (that part is very interesting), Winkies, and a heel clicking. Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger give great performances, and Arnold comes off as very funny. Sarah has become an even more jaded version of who she was in T2, and yet is still hanging to some old fashioned ideas about protagonisms and fate. This movie doesn’t overly preach MeToo movement, but it doesn’t have to. Dark Fate reminds us of who Dorothy truly is : the female antihero who overcomes stereotypes to become the savior of the universe.
Linda Hamilton - Sarah Connor/Lion. Why? Courage
Arnold Schwarzenegger - T100/Carl/Tinman. Why? Literally made of metal, wants a heart
Mackenzie Davis - Grace/Scarecrow Why? The Brains of the outfit. Had no purpose before meeting Dorothy
Gabriel Luna - Terminator/ Rev9/Witch Why? Wants to kill Dorothy.
Natalia Reyes - Dani Ramos/Dorothy. Why? Literally will save the world… if she survives.