The Reel Review


A girl living a simple life in Mexico City is caught up in the battle to save humanity from the machines when a hybrid human/cyborg soldier from the future (Mackenzie Davis) drops out of the sky and teams up with Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) to prevent yet another Judgment Day from happening.

Co-writer/producer James Cameron (who directed the first two Terminator films) and director Tim Miller (Deadpool) have created in this final installment of the franchise, a story that helps us forget the terrible three films (and the awful TV series) that were spawned in the wake of the first two iconic flicks. The first half of this film is a thrilling, relentless rollercoaster of action reminiscent of the original 1984 film, with Hamilton as a super badass who chews the scenery like a Terminator. It is set to a backdrop of current themes of job loss due to automation, immigration, digital privacy and women’s empowerment, with Arnold Schwarzenegger providing comic relief.

Then there is the much less impressive second half, which isn’t so much a story as it is a frustratingly frenetic orgy of CGI action. There literally is so much going on – the insane, mind-numbing pace slows down only for a very ho-hum, predictable finale. Davis (Tully, The Martian) does an outstanding job holding her own as the human-hybrid soldier, and Natalia Reyes is fine as the savior of the human race, but make no mistake: Terminator: Dark Fate is Hamilton’s film, from start to finish. She owns it. Arnold and the rest of us are just along for the ride.


• Producer James Cameron considers this film a direct sequel to his films The Terminator and 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, ignoring the three “Cameron-free” films that followed.

• Mackenzie Davis also starred in another sci-fi sequel to a classic 1980’s movie about synthetic humanoids – 2017’s Blade Runner 2049.

• Linda Hamilton, who lived with James Cameron for several years and briefly married to him from 1995 to 1997, says although she describes herself as a Democrat, she voted for Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger for California governor in 2003. Hamilton currently lives in New Orleans.

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