Screenings With Migs: Terminator: Dark Fate

The Terminator franchise is among my favs when it comes to science fiction.

The first three films have a special place in my cinematic heart. The Terminator is one of my all-time great movies! The story gave audiences a harrowing vision of the future and Arnie as the cold, calculating T-800 was fantastic. Scary too! Those red eyes when the skinless cyborg was finally revealed still sends a small tingle up my spine. Terminator 2: Judgment Day is hands down classic! One of thee best sequels ever!! EVER!!!!! T2 was the first rated R film I saw in the theater, and also the first movie I saw in the theater at midnight! I’ll never forget that night in Fayetteville, NC! Thanks Dad!! Seeing T2 as a kid blew my mind. Those effect and the T-1000….WOW!!! Seeing him walk through the psych ward bars was epic. I really like Rise of the Machines. I was in Hawaii for the first time, and T3 is the first movie I watched in the theater there. Ahhhh, the memories! Sure it has some spotty CGI here and there, and some of the narrative could have been written better, but Arnold was in top form after a long absence from the franchise, and I really liked how the format of the film got back to the style of the original. The T-X was a relentless Terminator that didn’t give the good guys a chance to breathe! I didn’t hate Terminator Salvation. It was acceptable to me, and I thought the story was moving towards the full scale war against Skynet. Salvation didn’t do great box office numbers, which led to the rebooted pile of crap that is Terminator Genisys. I despised what that movie did so much that I don’t even have it in my collection. I can get it for 3 bucks and I still won’t buy it! Maybe I’ll cave one day, but whew……what a dud! Genisys left me highly disappointed to the point that I didn’t get overly excited for Dark Fate. I was happy to see Cameron and Hamilton back, but I told myself not to be jumping for joy until I saw the movie. I wasn’t jumping for joy after last night’s screening…….
Terminator: Dark Fate entertained me, but the tagline of “This is the BEST Terminator since Judgment Day” is not one that I will agree with. I’m not going to go deep into the story, but a lot of ground that was covered in Rise of The Machines was rehashed in Dark Fate, with some different spins. Rev-9, which is the new model of Terminator that debuts in Dark Fate, really reminds me of the T-X. If you’ve seen the trailer then you can see the similarity. Rev-9 and the T-X even share similar capabilities. I liked Gabriel Luna as the Rev-9. He had that expressionless face down pat. He did some cool stuff as the bad guy, but not enough to make me a huge fan. Mackenzie Davis was a good contrast to Linda Hamilton’s Old Woman Sarah. Davis plays Grace, who was sent from the future to protect Dani (portrayed by Natalia Reyes), a young woman who will have a significant impact on upcoming events. Grace is pretty tough, and doesn’t back down from anyone who tries to stop her from completing her mission. Arnie is back too, and his character might make you laugh. I’m talking “Hahah….Get outttttaaa hereeeeee” laughing. Sarah being back was the best part of the story for me, even though I don’t agree with Dark Fate “erasing” T3 or Salvation. Erase away with Genisys though! Linda Hamilton does her thing once again, bringing that grit and tough resolve. The back and forth quips and verbal jabs between Sarah and Grace was one of the fun parts of the film. I liked Old Sarah the same way I liked Old Laurie in 2018’s Halloween, which followed a similar retcon. The events of T2 had consequences, but I wasn’t fascinated with the route Dark Fate went. It was like the writers copied a lot of T3’s “homework”. On a scale of 1 to 10, I will give Dark Fate a solid 6. It has good action scenes, the cast works, and most of the CGI is decent, but I did not leave the theater wowed. The runtime didn’t need to be over 2 hours, and there are some super cheesy moments that should have got cut or rewritten. The atmosphere in the theater when the screening was over was somber. I didn’t feel an overwhelming sense of excitement from the audience, but plenty of people told the studio reps that they enjoyed the movie. I know I can’t speak for individual taste and preference, but I can’t see hardcore fans of the Terminator franchise being overly amazed by Dark Fate when they see it. I am going to watch it again though. Dark Fate is being released in premium formats, so I’ll put the ole AMC A List to use. If you feel the need to see this premium style, save yourself some bucks and go to a matinee or on discount day.

See my live review here:

Migs Rodriguez


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