For the most part, the Terminator series is about how to kill the unkillable. Chop him up and the parts scramble back to the base and re-form. Melt him and the liquid trickles and oozes like a snake to gel back to the original form. Shooting is a mere blip on its radar. Terminator: Dark Fate is no different. And so, it is no surprise critics are ambivalent. Some say that the movie is a mere re-hash of its predecessors; others say it returns to its classic roots. Regardless, the CGI is impressive, the action is non-stop though sometimes over-the-top, and it’s nice to see Linda Hamilton and Arnold back together again. I give the movie 3.5 Gavels and it has a 69% Rotten Tomatoes rating with an 85% Audience score.
in 2020, Gabriel, a Rev-9 is sent back from the future to kill Dani. But why? She is a mere factory worker. Grace, a cyborg, was also sent back, yet her job is to protect Dani. To do so, she will need the help of Sarah Conner and an old T-800 Model, now known as Carl. As always, the future of the human race hangs in the balance.
By now, we are quite familiar with Hamilton and Schwarzenegger in their roles. In either a finale or a re-boot, we meet Natalia Reyes as Dani, who must lose her innocence quickly if she wants to survive. Mackenzie Davis is quite good as a tall, lean, fighting machine. Her humanity is quite the contrast to Gabriel Luna‘s Rev-9. The new Terminator is able to exhibit emotions, but generally not the type we humans prefer.
For a movie that cost nearly $200 million, Terminator: Dark Fate needs to make nearly $500 million to break even. So far, it is under-performing. Granted, I am still suffering from severe jet lag, but the repeated dismemberment/liquefaction of Rev-9 only to have him rise like a phoenix from the ashes gets stale. After seeing Arnold protective of Sarah and John Conner in previous versions, the opening sequence is disconcerting. The film is worth seeing, if for nostalgia purposes only. Yet, unless the Chinese audience bails out the flick, don’t be surprised if the Terminator is finally terminated.