Oooh great… Terminator is back.
At the end of October the sixth instalment in the Terminator franchise was released because James Cameron and Hollywood are convinced that people still care about the Terminator. So the big question is should you care about Terminator: Dark Fate?
My answer would be depends on what you’re looking for from this movie. Just like last year’s Halloween, Terminator retcons every crappy movie in their library and only keeps the great ones. Which, if you’re a fan of those movies, is kind of too bad because the producers are also saying they sucked. While also at the same time they’re retconning the old story from the first two movies by focusing on a new set of characters with a brand new story that’s ultimately an exact clone of the old one. (Brilliant work writers.)
Terminator 6 is pretty much a soft reboot of T2 except now they’re in Mexico! The little boy is replaced with a grown woman, Arnold is replaced with Mackenzie Davis, Sarah Connor is replaced with an older crustier version of herself and they’re up against the T-1000 again except a different evil robot company slapped their logo on the robot and are the cause of Judgement Day. If you’re not looking for anything more than that you’ll probably get a kick out of it, if you wanted more then you will be disappointed.
How does the CGI work on the T-1000 from almost 30 years ago look so much better than in this reboot? The CGI looks really terrible and the more it’s used the worse it gets. The de-aging effects at the beginning of the movie are completely abysmal. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer when Judgement Day was filmed on an obvious set rather than in a green screen studio. It also doesn’t help that the action isn’t very good. It’s cool seeing our strong heroine beat up the super robot, but how it’s filmed is quite sloppy as there is some bad slow motion and super quick cuts so you can’t tell what’s happening. The action seemed quite mundane at times as the main character is surrounded by badass warriors who are almost invincible as they battle a super robot that is also invincible.
What also made the first two movies really good is the character interactions, which these sequels also love to disregard. One of the big problems with Dark Fate is that the plot is always moving and not giving us a reason to care about what’s going on. When our lead Dani is introduced we learn next to nothing about her before the action starts. We’re given no reason to care for her and are not told why is she so important, information they decide to save for later which I found very annoying. Her interactions with Grace the super human are sidelined so she can also get to know Sarah, who was the better of two. Sarah Connor felt a bit redundant as she was just in the way. Not bad by any means, just in the way.
I was surprised that there are some enjoyable aspects to this movie. Whilst it was great seeing Arnold play the T-800 again, I wish he was left out of the advertising as it did kind of ruin the movie a bit. He’s not in it much, which is a shame, but he provides some good comedic moments. It was also awesome to see Linda Hamilton return as Sarah Connor. Despite my faults with Sarah, her performance was great. The same could be said for our other two heroines.
The best character in the movie was the villain. This new T-1000 clone perfectly recaptures what made Robert Patrick’s character so intimidating and terrifying. It doesn’t make much sense to me that Legion never bothered to learn from Skynet’s mistakes of sending one indestructible robot at a time, but I think I’m willing to forgive that. It was also nice to see a violent Terminator again along with a very foul mouthed Sarah Connor.
Overall, Terminator: Dark Fate wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was still more bad than good, but I like surprises so thank you Terminator: Dark Fate. I feel generous so I’ll give it a 6 out of 10. If this is the one that successfully reboots the franchise I would like to see something a little more creative in the next one and it will be the same if there is another reboot in 5 years’ time. I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.