Spoilers Ahead… for a two year old movie.
Terminator: Dark Fate is a scary film. Not in the typical idea of scary, but because it leaves the Terminator franchise is a scary place. Frankly, I really enjoy all the Terminator films except Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; Yes, I even enjoy Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys. The films are fun, frantic, and the definition of a blockbuster that (originally) has a deep story. After Terminator 2: Judgement Day the franchise took an obvious and indisputable decline. While the first two films are considered masterpieces by many, the sequels have left a major sour taste in the majority of audiences. With Terminator: Dark Fate, Paramount is trying to bring the series back into the golden age and harken back to the films that were, just like Halloween back in 2018. They erased all the films after the second and they pick up the film decades later. Well, although they tried the film struggles to recapture the essence of the originals.
The films stars Linda Hamilton who returns as Sarah Conner for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgement Day. After the events of Judgement Day, Sarah and John Conner go on a holiday which results in the death of John. Heart broken and destroyed she begins to hunt down Terminators that appear every few years. Mackenzie Davis plays Grace, a cybernetic/human hybrid who is sent to present day to protect Dani, Natalia Reyes, the future mother of the resistance leader. Dani is hunted down by Gabriel Luna aka Rev-9.
The plot is pretty basic but it is fairly enjoyable. The action is crisp and the visual effects are pretty good. The score does its job. However, the cinematography is lackluster and a lot of the time just looks plain ugly. The performances are all great especially Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Grace, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The directing is okay at best. I for one never really liked Tim Miller as a director. While yes his last outing as a director with Deadpool was okay, his part of the film was the worst, which I believe was heightened by the greatness of Deadpool 2.
Now a common criticism I have seen online is for the first five minutes of the film. Many hardcore fans are angry that John Conner is uneventfully slaughtered in the opening. I for one find it both a positive and a negative. It strengthens Sarah as a character and gives her an easy motivation for the film, although, it completely makes the fantastic ending of Terminator 2: Judgement Day feel worthless.
After the film ended my dad and I said in silence, he then broke the silence saying “I want them to stop.” I sat there a while longer and thought to myself, “do I really want another Terminator film after this one?” And my answer was no. The franchise has tired me. While I only find one of them awful the rest I find guilty fun or just flat out masterpieces. I just cannot see the future this franchise has without Arnold or John as a character. If you like the Terminator franchise then give this one a shot, but if not this is a definite pass.