<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Tim Miller. Starring Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta

Running time: 2 hours 10 mins


You can’t be a Terminator fan and not watch a new sequel that has both Arnie and Linda Hamilton in it. Those two reasons are enough to watch Dark Fate; James Cameron’s name is the cherry on top.

Most Terminator fans wouldn’t think that the three films after T2 were really a part of the original franchise. They didn’t have Cameron’s involvement and they were pretty crap, having nothing much to do with the first two movies. So, James Cameron basically said ‘Screw the other films, Dark Fate is the sequel to T2 and nothing else matters.’ And while this ‘third’ (sixth with the name) Terminator film is certainly not the best, it is the most logical and endearing sequel they could have had.


We start off with a recap and then an added scene that shows us something shocking that happened between T2 and this film. Flash forward about 22 years and a new set of Terminators from an alternate dystopian future – despite Skynet being wiped out of existence in T2 – arrive on earth, a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) to kill Dani (Natalia Reyes) and the other, Grace (Mackenzie Davis), to protect her. Of course, there’s nothing new to this plot, but then Terminator’s premise has always been the time travel loop to protect the future.

We don’t really care about any of the above characters that much, especially not Dani, who for some strange reason keeps sympathising with the other characters with a succinct ‘I’m sorry’! With nothing meaningful to say and pretty formula dialogue anyway, it rests on Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s capable shoulders to carry the film stoically and sometimes comically. You love their love-hate relationship, which is what made T2 the success it was.


There are some plot twists that you see coming, there’s a weird chemistry between Dani and the ‘enhanced’ Grace, which I thought at some point would turn into romance, but doesn’t. Of course, this new Terminator is all about woman power, to the extent that the hunky Diego Boneta who plays Dani’s brother is killed off quickly; Grace doesn’t even bother to save him.

At points the CGI is great, at others it’s cartoonish and silly. But it doesn’t matter. We’re here to watch a duo that I think could’ve had far more screen time in movie history than they were allowed to have. As fans, we were clamouring for a decent end and to be able to forget the ridiculous Terminator films in between. With Dark Fate, we have that. Perhaps Cameron thought he owed it to us, because he couldn’t have been daft enough to think this movie would’ve broken any records.


Dark Fate hasn’t done well because most kids today won’t even know what T2 (‘is it an airport terminal siri?’) is and most reviewers aren’t looking at it from a fan’s point of view. If only other directors who have had terrible reboots of their wonderful originals would take a chance though. I’m happy Michael Bay did so with the new Bumble Bee movie that restored our childhood memories of animated The Transformers and helped alleviate the utter mess that were the terrible live action movies.


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