Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate ★★★

Underneath the franchise fatigue & nagging feeling of director Tim Miller not being the right choice, there’s a unmistakeable passion to tell a new (yet still unremarkable) spin on the Terminator myth is admirable that’s bursting at the seams.

The action and script are lean and overlong but there’s always a need to come back and check on how the characters are doing and feeling.

That little bit of humanity in it’s filmmaking goes a long way.

Mackenzie Davis (one of the more underrated actors working today) anchors the film’s heart & Linda Hamilton is a welcome and warm addition.  Natalia Reyes is a admirable but misdirected. They for some reason always want her to look like she’s ready to be in a make up photoshoot while Hamilton & Davis are always presented as gritty & realistic to the film’s environment.

As a Terminator-sequel apologist, this one checks all the notes that people seem to have been looking for since T2.

It ties up John Connor’s story and gives Sarah Connor a compelling, albeit far fetched, reason for coming back into the franchise.

Dark Fate however lacks a certain artistry that made Cameron’s films stand out...and I know I’m going to get flack for this...but it lacks the insane & still interesting take that McG attempted with Salvation.

But artistry at a studio level comes with lots of comprise & based on the interviews with James Cameron...he might’ve been the film’s downfall.

James Cameron wanting the film to copy & paste the formula of T2 but set in Mexico is fresh for 1999 but not for 2019. It’s very evident Miller shines (but overdoes) the action set pieces that all try to allow genuine emotion in them.  He never forgets that our protagonist can die any minute and these people/machines are always somehow bound to help or kill them.

The Terminator franchise is a chain that needs to be broken and Dark Fate cracks it but keeps it intact.

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