"Hasta la vista, baby!"
*Warning: This article contains spoilers for "Terminator: Dark Fate."
Terminator: Dark Fate was intended to be a way to reignite and save the quickly depleting franchise, which has been struggling to bring the same intensity and energy that T2: Judgment Day had when it hit theaters back in 1991. This new installment had been advertised as the one true "sequel" to Judgment Day, ultimately retconning (or removing) the previous three films—Rise of the Machines (2003), Salvation (2009), and Genisys (2015)—from canon, which is something that I'm sure many Terminator fans were more than okay with.
But that's its only redeeming quality; the rest just felt like lazy storytelling.
And yes, while it was great to see Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reunited on screen again, as the Terminator and Sarah Connor, respectively, the entire thing felt more like a ploy to merely get the long-time fans of the franchise into seats rather than stay true to its overarching story, which is that John Connor is the savior of mankind. I mean, all of the movies are based on this sole fact.
Yet, Dark Fate completely destroys that within the first 5 minutes with a simple pull of the trigger, literally. It starts off with a young John Connor being shot and killed by a stray Terminator following the events of Judgment Day. This gutsy and shocking decision made John's storyline across the Terminator movies utterly pointless.
Then, Dark Fate has the audacity to go on as if he never mattered in the first place, introducing new characters almost immediately afterwards. Why should we suddenly care about these new characters when the well-established and key characters from previous movies are treated like that, particularly your main protagonist of the entire series? It makes no sense.
Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes | Courtesy of Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures (via IMDb), Photo by Kerry Brown
Now, all of this isn't to say that the newcomers weren't impressive on screen, because they were. Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, and Gabriel Luna all brought intensity to their roles and complimented their on-screen counterparts nicely. But it makes one question: why should the audience even care? What purpose are these new characters going to serve if you can so easily dismiss other central characters on a whim? It really didn't leave very much to be desired as an audience member, in my opinion.
Also, I can't have been the only one to notice some similarities between Dark Fate and the first Terminator movie, right? And by "some," I mean that they're the exact same movie, just with fresh faces, fancy special effects, and a new timeline ...
The Terminator (1984) tells the story of an indestructible robot that gets sent back in time, from 2029 to 1984, to kill a young woman, who ends up playing a big part in humanity winning a war against the machines, while a human soldier is sent to protect her.
Terminator: Dark Fate tells the story of an indestructible robot that gets sent back in time, from 2042 to 2020, to kill a young woman, who ends up playing a big part in humanity winning a war against the machines, while an augmented human soldier is sent to protect her.
I understand sticking to what you know and to what works, however, that's not always a good thing. And Dark Fate suffers, because it's merely recycled from the original Terminator. It's not an original story.
In all honesty, though, I'd rather watch Dark Fate again over Rise of the Machines, Salvation, and Genisys any day. It's not the best movie to come out of the Terminator franchise, but it's far from being the worst one (looking at you, Terminator Genisys).
Did you see Terminator: Dark Fate? If so, what did you think? Where does it rank on your list of Terminator movies? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below.
Courtesy of GIPHY