The year was 1984 when a young director named James Cameron introduced us to The Terminator, a film that launched both the director and the franchise that would eventually become legendary. The year is now 2019 and the hero and villain we loved are back in the film Terminator: Dark Fate.
For those of you who don’t know some of the Terminator series backstory, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) has been hunted by terminators sent from the future to eliminate her and later her son John to prevent them from stopping the encroaching doom.
Early in Dark Fate we are greeted by the obvious machine Gabriel (Gabriel Luna) and a seemingly human Grace (Mackenzie Davis), showing up in grand fashion.
Grace is there to protect Dani (Natalia Reyes). Dani has been targeted for termination and Gabriel is there to carry out that task. While Gabriel and Grace battle it out on a bridge in Mexico City, an older Sarah Connor arrives and does everything she can to ensure Dani is kept alive. You immediately realize our hero is back.
The battle between man and machine is a difficult one, and Sarah has been on the front lines in the past. Her invaluable experience allows her to assist Grace in keeping Dani safe. But along the way Sarah must confront some of her own demons as well. Speaking of Connor’s demons, we can’t help but mention the introduction of the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), now known simply as Carl. The hunter and villain from The Terminator is here to help, and help he shall.
I love the nostalgia of bringing back Hamilton and Schwarzenegger. The two of them bring their hard edges to a film that needs their influx of power. Sure, Davis is fine taking the lead role, but without our classic hero and villain, Terminator: Dark Fate would be just another action movie — with them, it becomes an event.
Just a reminder, there is action here, lots and lots of action. From some really cool sequences in an early chase scene including some large vehicles to a series of scenes involving airplanes, helicopters and of course hand-to-hand combat, we get blown away.
I’ve always liked the various iterations of films in the Terminator family. To different levels, all have explored the future, what to expect and the thought that we can help shape what is to come: We can shape the future as we learn from the past.
Hamilton is back, Schwarzenegger is back, and I’ll be back (with a another review, soon).