Terminator : Dark Fate - Arnold Has Still Got It

by Rich Monetti about a month ago in movie

2019 Installment is Good Enough for Another Run

Terminator : Dark Fate - Arnold Has Still Got It

Terminator : Dark Fate, pretty much got killed at the box office in 2019. Jason Guerrasio of Business Insider had a appropriate summation to add up the negative. “It seems audiences are truly tired of this franchise,” Guerrasio wrote, and the general audience is not motivated to go to the theaters to see Terminator movies anymore. But it still got some decent reviews, and since Skynet has not yet taken over my entertainment delivery system, I put a hold at the library and got the DVD for free.

James Cameron’s Dark Fate has negated the timeline set in T3 : Rise of the Machines. “There once was a future in which humankind was hunted by a machine that could think and Terminators built to kill. A future without hope. That future never happened because I stopped it,” a youth enhanced Sara Connor tells us.

She saved 3 billion lives, but time travel conquered, has multiple futures competing for the present. In other words, the technology has terminators coming back to preserve their timeline, and in one, John Connor is killed before Sara’s eyes.

The lust for vengeance encompassing our heroine, mother makes sure she’s there to terminate the latest and greatest incoming cyborg. How so? A mysterious text message arrives beforehand, and Connor goes into full T2 mode. (Spoiler : It’s Arnold)

But the future/present we are following has an AI army known as the Legion, and they return in hopes of killing the mother of their human enemy. Her name is Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) and REV-9 (Gabriel Luna) goes south of the border to maintain the timeline he’s from.

Of course, Dani has a protector, and getting in on the IT ground floor as Cameron in Halt and Catch Fire, Mackenzie Davis stacks up pretty well. Grace is a computer enhanced human from the same future and shows up just as REV is ready to roll on Dani.

Thus the dance begins. The first encounter goes hand to hand, unloads all the available chambers and does a high speed, full contact chase until Linda Hamilton’s surly nature provides escape. “I’ll be back,” she steals the franchise’s signature line.

And so will REV-9. Before we know it, the chase and escape is on and on again. On a loop, haven’t we seen this movie already? Yeah....

I also started to wonder whether the computer enhanced technology of today’s movies opens too easy an avenue to multiply the fisticuffs/chase scenes at the expense of exposition and story. Yeah again...Either way, we don’t get the deep T2 soul search that tries to find a balance between human emotion and the limits of machine existance.

Worse yet, the 21st century thrill ride aspect of Tim Miller’s direction looks more like a 20th century cartoon, and this is no more apparent than the titanic tussle that takes place on a crashing plane.

Still, Dark Fate does put some twists on the previous versions and accrues points for another retelling. Unfortunately, Linda Hamilton does come up short in her re-imagining. The actress in no way brings the intense fire she ignited in the second installment.

But I don’t criticize too hard in this regard. Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Mulder, Scully, Jesse Pinkman or Picard, it’s got to be near impossible to recreate characters after so much time.

Arnold, on the other hand, is on point, but he’s not really an actor so it’s not the same thing. Nonetheless, the governor delivers a number of one line deadpans that made me break out in laughter (and had me lamenting the fact that the action icon only showed up at the halfway point.

Saving the day too, I can never tire of that, and if you loved being here before and want to be again, I'm sure there's a library near you. Of course, Netflix probably works too.

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Studio : Paramount Pictures

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Rich Monetti
Rich Monetti
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