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Terminator: Dark Fate Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, October 31, 2019 • Hollywood ]
Terminator: Dark Fate Review
Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Skydance Media, Lightstorm Entertainment, Tencent Pictures
James Cameron, Charles Eglee, Josh Friedman, David Goyer, Justin Rhodes
Tim Miller
James Cameron, David Ellison
Junkie XL

Terminator Dark Fate - He is back but merely as a  pale shadow

The 'Terminator' released in 1981 made the careers of director James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a decade later 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' gave the worldwide audience its first taste of state of the art technology in computer graphics which remains unparalleled even to this day.  'Dark Fate' the direct sequel to these iconic films is sadly pretty low on writing and is just a mere shadow of its predecessors on the whole.

Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is a Mexican factory worker whose ordinary existence is devastated by the arrival of a 'Terminator' from the future Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) who for some reason wants to kill her.  Enter her rescuer Grace an augmented human from the same future who takes dangerous risks to save her.  While the young Dani and tries to figure out what is happening around her, she gets to meet the elderly Terminator hunter Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and finally the original Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is now a family man.  Why is Dani being hunted and do all the good guys make it to the end is what 'Dark Fate' is all about.

This time the 'Terminator' franchise is all woman powered and if Linda Hamilton brings back the nostalgia of the other two films (and nothing more), Mackenzie Davis shines as the loyal half human half machine whose only aim is to protect her ward.  The diminutive Natalia Reyes is perfectly cast as the confused young girl on the run who slowly comes to terms with her fate and hit back when the time comes.  Gabriel Luna who is lean framed is quite menacing every time he is destroyed and every time he gets back to his shape and gives a semblance of a smile.  Oh and lest we forget Arnie is back as a grizzled old machine ( if you dont count the CG aided de-aged look in a crucial assassination scene) who forgets who he is and tries to be human.  What is sad is (at least to the star worshiping Indian audiences) it's hard to digest the quintessential action hero reduced to a supporting role, getting down billed in the credits.  But the 72-year-old does have his moments including an "I won't be back" one that is touching.

What works best in 'Terminator: Dark Fate' are the action set pieces with cars and trucks being destroyed and one implausible battle on a jet plane.   The shape-shifting villain can now also self split which is visually stunning.  Some nostalgia thrown in would attract the older members of the audience and its good to see the female characters taking the center stage in the world's biggest futuristic film series.

On the downside even though James Cameron is one of the writers the lack of novelty associated with him is deterring and similarly 'Deadpool' Tim Miller is the director but there is very less humor in the proceedings.  Except for the change in the name of the AI from Skynet to Legion, the story does not move forward and technically does not match the quality of  'Judgement Day'.considering the twenty-seven years advancement in technology.  On the whole this whole exercise is a pale rehash of the original premise and action.

Verdict : Go for this one for the stunning action sequences with a mix of nostalgia

Rating: 2.75 / 5.0

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