Terminator Dark Fate: A remake in disguise? (No Spoiler Film Review)

Media Screening 
On Assignment: Sydney Scoop – Editor: Rebecca Varidel
Action, Adventure, Science Fiction (USA)
Duration: 128 minutes
In Cinemas Thursday 31 October


It’s a story that started when I was in diapers and it lost me just after ‘Rise of the Machines’ and barely got me back in when Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke took on the role in ‘Genisys’.   

Total fan of ‘Dark Fate’ with a few criticisms.
(DO NOT PRESS PLAY IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS – JUST READ ON)

Did it beat the legend of ‘Judgement Day’?  Not quite, but there’s enough token nostalgia in there for many to enjoy it with their kids and a balance of backstory and new characters for the franchise to carry on without Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.  However that’s the deal breaker for me at this point, this movie completely reverses the timeline of the story that people have invested it in for decades and it’s practically a remake incognito.   What wins us over every time, is the continual advancement in CGI.  Unlike the T-1000 and T-X from the previous movies, the new Rev-9 on the hunt for the heroine now has the ability to split into two when fighting multiple threats.

James Cameron always knows how to throw a cinematic party with signature car and in-flight explosions, with the crackling crescendo of guns and missile launchers using Schwarzenegger’s  classic Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 character to provide comic relief.  Instead of the usual “I’ll be back” and “Hasta La Vista baby” this new Terminator seems to have been domesticated for 22 years providing some hilarious moments discussing grocery shopping and interior design with the same blind innocence when calculating the probable success or failure of a mission.   I’ll leave that for you to figure out.

Having purposely not read the synopsis beforehand i deliberately went in with no expectations and the simple imprint left from ‘Judgement Day’ because let’s face it, you could pretty much get by without the other films that come after.  Hoping for a reprieve from the (in my book) unmatched second installment, there was a lot of promise from the opening scenes that reintroduces Linda Hamilton back to the fold.   It’s a ‘Judgement Day’ flashback of Sarah Connor in one of the most memorable scenes ever, showing this character in her prime. 

Press – Play on the following Videos – they aren’t spoilers

Whether they admit it or not, movies post Judgement Day were affected by the offscreen divorce of Hamilton and Cameron back in 1999 which derailed the momentum and promise of T2.   

In one of the most shocking moments of the film which completely redirects the story so far into a new tangent, a 1991 CGI Schwarzenegger, Hamilton and Edward Furlong have been recreated in a scene that you just didn’t see coming.  It was delicious to watch and somehow also disappointing.

For those that remember Skynet, Sarah’s Connor’s efforts weren’t a complete waste, but decades later the AI takeover still manifested into a future organization called Legion, with a new target who is destined to birth the future leader of a resistance.  Sound familiar? 

Dark Fate carries on the blockbuster trend of Star Wars’ The Last Jedi and X-Men’s Dark Phoenix with a female ‘terminator’ (told you, it’s a no-spoiler review) taking the lead, it’s a great rehash with updates for the new audience its made for.  There’s a nice nod to the past as the baton is clearly passed on to the next generation and new story.

Terminator Dark Fate begins showing in cinemas nationally tonight.
Check your local guides for listing.

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Cover Image: (Pictured) Tim Miller, Natalia Reyes,
Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Mackenzie Davis and Gabriel Luna at “Terminator: Dark Fate” London photocall. 
Credit: Steve Vas / Featureflash 

 

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