Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Directed by Tim Miller

Starring Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes


What’s most impressive about Cameron’s Terminator movies is that they essentially tell the same story over and over. Different characters and different settings, but essentially the same story in each. This one is no different. And it works. Really, the only difference is that this one has a Spanish vide to it.

Cameron didn’t direct, but you can see the influence. This is another one of his stories, and a lot of scenes and situations pay homage to the first two films.

The opening scene with a young Sarah, John, and Terminator was well-done. Not perfect, still something a little dead in their expressions, but it’s real enough that it’s creepy to watch. The gentle aging around Arnold’s face was a nice touch, but his body (belonging to Brett Azar) was a little too vascular. Have to say that it was a little anticlimactic to see John killed so quickly, after the entire dramatic push of the first two films was to keep John alive.

Nice to see an older Linda Hamilton back. She really owns the role, though as a woman in her 60’s, it’s a little hard to believe that she’s as tough as she is. She’s got some crazy eyes, not sure if that’s Linda or intentional for her character, but it works for the role. Arnold’s great, interesting how they’ve humanized him for the story. He’s funny, and the Terminator effects on him are probably his best yet.

Despite my initial skepticism, nice additions to the cast. Davis has an impressive physicality and look, her feminine cuteness constantly battling her masculinity, but she pulls it off and creates a character we want to root for. Luna is chilling as the REV-9, reminiscent of Patrick’s T-1000. Reyes is good as Dani, wonder if they’ll make any more sequels with her.

Most of the action is intense and gripping, but it started to lose me in the scenes with the military transport. Do you think the odds of a parachuting Humvee landing right on top of the Hoover Dam by chance are more than or less than 364 trillion to 1?

One of the most obvious departures Miller makes from Cameron’s style is his fast-paced editing. Cameron’s edits are more deliberate and motivated, while Miller’s are more gratuitous. We don’t need a quick cut close-up of Dani’s purse as she lifts it off of the couch before heading out the door.

So the inevitability of AI taking over the world is the core theme of this franchise. Will this really happen?