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November 8, 2019

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) --- “Welcome To The Day After Judgment Day.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     22 years have passed since Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevented Skynet’s creation, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. But now the future faces a new threat that is even deadlier than the last one. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is living a simple life with her father (Enrique Arce) and brother (Diego Boneta) in Mexico City, when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator, a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), is sent from the future to kill her and thus end the human resistance. But not all hope is lost. Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced super-soldier, is sent from the future with one purpose: to keep Dani alive at all costs. And as the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path in order to complete its mission, Grace and Dani must join forces with a battle-hardened Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Sarah's past if they have any hope of survival.
     In 1984, former Austrian body-builder, Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared naked on the streets of LA and since then has become part of a world-wide sensation, The Terminator franchise. The reason for his nakedness was because he was acting in a film called The Terminator (1984), where a cyborg, a Terminator, from a war-torn future between machines and humans is sent to the past to kill the leader of the Human Resistance by making sure that he is never born. Of course not all hope is lost because the Human Resistance also sends someone from the future to stop the Terminator from complete its mission. The 1984 film became a highly popular and successful film that was followed by an equally well-received sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), and a few minorly successful sequels - Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), and Terminator Genisys (2015) - that were met with mixed reviews. Now the 6th and possibly final installment in the Terminator franchise has hit theaters. Directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool), screenplay by David Goyer (Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Justin Rhodes (Robocop Returns) and Billy Ray (Overlord, Gemini Man), and produced by James Cameron (Avatar series), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) is a science fiction action film that is a direct sequel to The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).  
     For a franchise that is all about time-traveling and messing with the timeline to prevent future tragedies, it makes perfect sense for Terminator: Dark Fate to make some revisions of its own. Dark Fate resides in a world where the last three films - T3, Terminator Salvation, and Terminator Genisys - don’t exist. Instead, the story picks up where Judgment Day left off in 1991, giving audiences the feeling that we never had to trudge through the last three films. Much of this film’s success stems from the story returning to the original storyline that tapped into the technophobia of the 1980s and presented a world where machines gained sentience and decide to kill all of humanity. Although people are more comfortable with technology now, in fact, we thrive on it, Dark Fate modernizes the franchise by using certain aspects that instill fear and paranoia into the people of today: like the knowledge that technology surveillance is an absolute certainty and privacy is merely an illusion, a lie we tell ourselves. Of course, by relying on these aspects, the film, in turn, veers away from the sci-fi aspect of the franchise and places more emphasis on its thrills and action sequences, which were impressive.
     The cast performances were great and something new for the series. Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire, Station Eleven) was incredible and delivered a believable performance as an augmented human from the future, Grace. She is essentially the Kyle Reese of this film and turning her into an augmented human gives her a better chance at survival and completing her mission. Natalia Reyes (Running with the Devil) was good as Dani Ramos but there were times when she came across as too whiney or too easily believed that a machine was hunting her.  Gabriel Luna (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was fantastic as the Rev-9, which has the ability to separate into two fully autonomous Terminator units. In addition, the Rev-9’s ability to exhibit human behavior and emotions makes it all the more dangerous than any other Terminator before it. It was nice to see Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton rejoin the series after being away from it for 28 years. Schwarzenegger offered comic relief to the story and was mainly used as a much-anticipated cameo rather than being the savior of our characters. It was interesting to see where he’s been and what he’s been up too since completing his mission, which more domestic than I think anyone anticipated. However, while Hamilton’s performance as the battle-hardened and grieving mother, Sarah Conner was spot on, there were times when her tough act and snappy dialogue caused her to be annoying in some scenes. 

     Overall, Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) is a thrilling action film and the Terminator sequel that fans have been asking for. The film is a breath of fresh air for the Terminator franchise. Rather than focusing on discussions of race and gender which plague our modern world, the story instead stays true to the original premise by focusing on the pulse-pounding action, sci-fi thrills, and some iconic moments from the original stars, Hamilton and Schwarzenegger. The cast performances were spot on and the CGI moments were incredible. If you're a fan of the series and you're looking for a good film that is not associated with the lackluster T3, T4 or T5 and has James Cameron as the producer once again, then I highly recommend that you check out this film while it is still in theaters.

Final Vote --- 7.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
The Terminator (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Terminator Genisys (2015)
Terminator Salvation (2009)

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