Noob Reviews: Terminator: Dark Fate
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Terminator: Dark Fate?
Released in 2019 Dark Fate is the latest addition to the Terminator franchise and the sixth film since they started to be released in 1984. Picking up directly after The Terminator’s events (released in 1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (released in 1991). Dark Fate sees us thrust into an alternative reality where after John Connor’s death, a new heroine is set to rise up and defeat the latest incarnation of human-hating sentient AIs known as Legion, which replaces the original Skynet.
Enter Dani Ramos.
Dani Ramos is a young woman living in Mexico, struggling to make ends meet and to keep her family in line. Unbeknown to her, though, she is set for great things and is to become the saviour of mankind and defeat Legion. Before she can do so, though, she must suffer significant loss and face off against Rev-9 - a new breed of super deadly and efficient terminator with the ability to split its human form (composed of highly adaptive nanobots) and terminator exoskeleton into two independent killing machines. Luckily for Dani, she is not alone in this fight, the human resistance has sent their own augmented super-soldier (Grace) back in time to defend Dani. And the duo will also find more allies from the most unlikely places, bringing into the fold US military officers, John’s executioner and the original terminator slaying warrior herself Sarah Connor.
What type of genre is the film?
Terminator: Dark Fate is an action-adventure film with heavy elements of Sci-Fi.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Paramount Pictures’ YouTube channel -
When was Terminator: Dark Fate released?
Terminator: Dark Fate was initially released in Europe in October 2019 and hit American screens across the US in November 2019.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Carl the friendly T-800 drapery expert)
Gabriel Luna (Rev-9)
Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor)
Mackenzie Davis (Grace)
Natalia Reyes (Dani Ramos)
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Terminator: Dark Fate?
Dark Fate is a really odd entry into the Terminator franchise as it not only totally disregards three of the previous five films but is also meant to be the saviour of the Terminator franchise. An unfortunate state of affairs the franchise finds itself in after some really appalling reviews from both fans and critics alike for Salvation (released in 2009) and Genisys (released in 2015). Unfortunately, though it (Dark Fate) seems to have done more harm than good, losing Paramount around $130 million.
I thought the film was great for many aspects. The action and fight sequences were well choreographed. The visual effects were fantastic, and I loved the new Rev-9 terminator model as an antagonist. However, the story for the film was severely left lacking. Dark Fate attempts to reboot the original Terminator film after John Connor’s death with a brand new saviour of humanity (Dani). It rebrands Skynet as Legion - even though they are essentially the exact same thing. The script was sloppy, there were barely any meaningful changes to the story, and at times it seemed very pushy from a feminist point of view which only served to undermine its own message. I love a strong female character and strong female leads, but when painting Dani as a damsel in distress needing saving all the time, it just cheapened itself and came across at times as preachy which made me lose interest. Besides, some of the best characters that could have carried on the story into future films were killed off in some genuinely boring and easily avoidable situations.
When it comes to the cast and the acting, I thought they were all fantastic with Gabriel Luna (Rev-9) really coming across as cold, calculating and driven only by the need to get his mission done. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been playing the original terminator for so long I can not fault his acting. Still, he was let down by some feeble script and a primarily dull story for what he had been doing between John Connor’s death and when he enters the fight later in the film. Linda Hamilton absolutely dominated her screen time as the undisputed terminator slaying badass of all time (Sarah Connor). And both Mackenzie Davis (Grace) and Natalia Reyes (Dani Ramos) did superb jobs as the newbies leading the charge against Rev-9, but again were let down by some feeble lines which at times just had me wanting scenes to end and move on to something else.
Overall, when considering the actors, the special effects, beautiful filming locations, and my love of the Terminator franchise, I can honestly say that Dark Fate’s entertainment value is a solid 4 if not 5 stars. The story and weak script really let it down though, and I can see where many abysmal reviews and critic scores are coming from. Because of said reviews, the poor general reception for the last few films and the loss of such enormous profits for Dark Fate, future film plans were apparently scrapped by Paramount Pictures. Personally, I would love to see more Terminator films, and I hope given time and substantial restructuring of how they want the franchise to progress, the Terminator franchise eventually finds it’s new modern era identity. For now though “I’ll be back” is more of an uncertainty than a promise.
What rating would you give Terminator: Dark Fate?
I would rate Terminator: Dark Fate as a 3.8 out of 5 bananas.
Dark Fate is a fantastic Sci-Fi action adventure that you can switch off and watch for a few hours. With a solid cast, excellent entertainment value and mind-blowing special effects, it is definitely a treat for the sense and top tier eye candy. However, it is let down by a weak story, preachy undertones and too many dull filler scenes that in all honesty bring nothing new to the beloved franchise.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Terminator: Dark Fate and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out on Blu-Ray, DVD or many streaming services
such as Amazon’s Prime Video.