Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate

In Theatres: 
Nov 01, 2019
Running Time: 
128 minutes

The first Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day will always be ranked among the best sci-fi movies of all time, and while there have been three further sequels and a television series since then, the franchise has struggled to capture the same magic of James Cameron’s original vision. Terminator: Dark Fate is the first film in the franchise since Judgement Day to be made with Cameron’s involvement and it intends to be a direct sequel to the film, terminating any future timelines the other films might have created. It’s a step in the right direction with Deadpool’s Tim Miller at the helm to deliver some great action set pieces and callbacks to the original, but at the same time it treads an all too familiar territory as it rarely deviates from Terminator formula.


It’s been 25 years since Skynet was destroyed and Judgement Day was prevented from happening, and a young Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is living a normal life in Mexico City. That all changes when an advanced Terminator known as a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) is sent from the future to kill her. Her survival is dependent on Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an augmented human soldier who has also been sent from the future to protect her. The two quickly find themselves outmatched and must seek the help of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) who knows a thing or two about killing Terminators. Humanity is still at war with the machines in the future, despite Sarah’s best attempts at preventing it, and now Dani is the key to everything.


Terminator: Dark Fate follows the same basic story of both Terminator and T2: Judgement Day with the main difference being that Skynet has been replaced with just another machine, Legion. It’s very much the same exoskeleton but with a new skin; Legion sends a Terminator into the past to kill the person who will destroy them while the Resistance sends someone back as well to protect the person who will save them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as Dark Fate does a good job at tying everything back to the original films. The only problem is that it can feel a little too familiar. We’ve all seen this story before so there are no surprises, and the film doesn’t do much in terms of innovation after all these years. It’s very much akin to Star Wars: The Force Awakens in that it brings the story of the original franchise and adapts it for a new set of characters.


Despite knowing every beat of the story, Dark Fate is still entertaining to watch. The film almost immediately jumps into the action with Grace squaring off against the new Rev-9, who is like a combination of both the T-800 and T-1000 in that he has a traditional solid exoskeleton but it’s covered in a metallic alloy that allows him to operate as two separate entities when needed. He’s essentially twice as dangerous. Grace is almost like a Terminator in her own right as her augmented capabilities allow her to move and react with superhuman like powers. Mackenzie Davis is fantastic in the role and easily stands toe-to-toe with everyone on screen, and that includes Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Clearly the baton has been passed to a new generation, and I feel it’s in good hands. Speaking of Hamilton and Schwarzenegger, it’s wonderful to see them reunite for another Terminator film. Even though it’s been 28 years since audiences last saw them together they don’t skip a beat. Linda Hamilton is more of a badass than ever. It’s good to see everyone back.


Terminator: Dark Fate may not reinvent the franchise, but it’s the best sequel to the series we’ve had since Judgement Day. If anything, it’s a reminder of just how good the original film and its sequel are. 28 years later and the films are still trying to live up to their expectations. 

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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