More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. Dani Ramos is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator – a Rev-9 – travels back through time to hunt and kill her. Dani's survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace, an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor. As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 from Sarah’s past that may be their last best hope.
ActorsStarring: Natalia Reyes, Mackenzie Davis, Linda Hamilton, Gabriel Luna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Diego Boneta, Fraser James, Alicia Borrachero, Enrique Arce, Edward Furlong, Jude Collie, Brett Azar, Nicholas Wittman, Mario de la Rosa, Claudia Trujillo, Rochelle Neil, Tom Hopper, Steven Cree, Pete Ploszek, Tábata Cerezo, Christine Horn, Pedro Rudolphi, Blair Jackson, Kacy Owens, Phillip Garcia, Lorna Brown, Stuart McQuarrie, Tristán Ulloa
The original Terminator film was a fantastic film for the low-budget 80s movie that is was. Terminator 2, still the highlight of the franchise, is one of the best action movies ever made. And then there’s the rest. And that’s not even addressing The Sarah Connor Chronicles tv show. While the TV show was not bad, movies 3-5 were nowhere near as good as Terminator 2. Despite the franchise trying desperately to mimic its success ever since. This time around, the tactic for doing so was ignoring everything that happened after T2 entirely. Which, thankfully, turned out to be a good idea.
So, just to be clear, Dark Fate is a sequel to T2 and ignores all the previous sequels to it. While Dark Fate is not on the level of the first two movies, it is not an objectively bad film. The action feels almost non-stop with only brief reprises. The new villain Terminator is much more of a threat than previous models, even more so than the T-1000 from Terminator 2. Every Terminator is hard to kill, but this thing is damn near invincible. And it has a bit of personality, seeming to actively enjoy its job of killing. Despite that, it only kills people in the way.
While the action, effects, and scenery were all top-notch, the characters were somewhat lacking. And that is really what made Terminator 2 special, the writing and acting. Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger both did fantastic jobs reprising their old roles. The rest of the cast felt like they could have benefitted more from stronger writing. The thing that made John Connor special was that he was a kid. He knew bad things were coming but still had a bit of a wide-eyed view of the world. Dani (Natalia Reyes’ character) is an adult and more able to take care of herself (albeit still being the least badass main character).
The biggest issue with Dark Fate is not the movie itself, it is the franchise. Terminator as a whole is a victim of its own success. The franchise knocked it out of the park with T2 and have been trying to do that again ever since. And audiences have seen, time and again, that they just can’t. Dark Fate is definitely a step in the right direction, but audiences will always compare a new Terminator to T2. Given that T2 is considered one of the best action films ever, that is one heck of a high bar.