Terminator: Dark Fate Review – Finally a Sequel Fans Can be Proud of

Linda Hamilton, left, and  Arnold Schwarzenegger star in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures' "TERMINATOR: DARK FATE."

Terminator: Dark Fate is the newest entry in the long running Sci-Fi saga, and after years of mediocre sequels it seems the franchise has finally gotten back to basics. With the return of creator James Cameron (The Terminator, Terminator 2, Avatar) producing, co-writing, while also having fan favorite character Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) back on board they might have just finally found the missing ingredients to making a worthy viable sequel.

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So by retconning the last three films (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, Terminator Genisys) and declaring them non-canon, Dark Fate takes place right after the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, where we last saw Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) and John Conner (Edward Furlong) stopping Skynet from turning the world into a dystopic wasteland and preventing the loss of over 3 billion lives. But, evidently all that tremendous work to change the worlds future apparently didn’t change the worlds fate.

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The film starts of very strong with a fantastic opening, from there we meet the new protector Grace (Mackenzie Davis) who is a cybernetically-altered super solider from the year 2049 that has only one mission, to protect Dani (Natalia Reyes) from the new unstoppable terminator called a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) who I think was just about as menacing as T2’s T-1000 (Robert Patrick). Which in my opinion was one thing that has been lacking in the previous installments. So after a couple chase sequences we eventually see Sarah Conner’s character meet up with Grace and Dani by saving them both from the relentless Rev-9.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gabriel Luna, left, star in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures' "TERMINATOR: DARK FATE."

Now of course, you can’t have a Terminator film without the famous T-800 model (Arnold Schwarzenegger) appearance. In this outing I gotta say I actually really appreciated the way they handled his return, and how they gave the character a little bit of depth. Honestly, it’s the first time he has introduced true emotions (as much as a robot can do) into one of his Terminator appearances, and he actually does it with great effectiveness.

While the plot itself is admittedly the same as always, but what makes this entry stand above the others (beside the return of Hamilton) is director Tim Miller (Deadpool) with his R rated realistic gritty take on the franchise, added with some gorgeous action sequences, set-pieces and with the beautiful backdrop of Mexico City, in my opinion gave Miller the ability to re-capture the essence of what made the first two films one of the greatest action franchises of all time. Not to mention some wonderful performances from Hamilton, Davis, Reyes and of course my favorite Gabriel Luna. My only issue with the film is I felt it could’ve used an extra 15 minutes of run time just to add a bit more character development. But, besides that, I truly think Terminator Dark Fate is the sequel fans can finally be proud of.

I score this film 4/5