“Terminator: Dark Fate” is directed by Tim Miller, who also did 2016’s “Deadpool”, as is the sixth installment in the “Terminator” franchise. The film sees Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton return to their respected characters. The main cast include Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta and Tristan Ulloa. The film also sees the return of James Cameron who wrote and directed the first 2 films, but he is only credited as a producer. The films follows the events after “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” while completely ignoring the events of “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”, “Terminator: Salvation” & “Terminator: Genesis” as well as the short lived spinoff TV series, “Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles” which starred Lena Headley as “Sarah” and follows between the first 3 films.
After the events of “T2”, Sarah (Hamilton) and her teenage son, John (Edward Furlong who was also John in “T2”) are enjoying life on a beach somewhere in Mexico when they suddenly attacked by a T-800 Terminator. Sarah and John has destroyed their T-800 along with the T-1000 in “T2” but Skynet somehow found them once again and successfully kills John. Now in 2020, a new threat emerges as a new Terminator known as the Rev-9 (Luna) begins a deadly search for a young girl, Dani (Reyes). Her and her brother, Diego (Boneta) try to escape only to be met by an cybernetic enhanced human soldier named Grace (Davis). Grace fights the Rev-9 as Dani and Diego escape but unfortunately the Rev-9 does kill Diego and just as he’s about to kill Dani, Sarah comes to the rescue and helps them escape. Sarah and Grace explain what’s going on while Dani is trying to process it all. Grace reveals that Skynet no longer exists and a new AI had been created, Legion. They’re the ones who sent the Rev-9 after Dani, as in the future, she becomes a threat to them. Sarah reveals that she’s been killing Terminators since her son died. She gets messages when and where a Terminator will arrive. With everything going Sarah and Grace must work to together and protect Dani but also stop the Rev-9 and Legion from launching a nuclear holocaust. Sarah horrified as the T-800 (Schwarzenegger) that killed John is also alive and also helping Grace. With tensions high and time running out, they must stand together prevent another Judgment Day in this new timeline.
As I stated in the review, John Connor is killed after “T2” which is the main reason this movie was a total failure. I mean what was the point of having those adventures in the first 2 movies of the machines is bound to win in the end anyway. I understand wanting to redo or undo whatever mistakes the previous 2 films made (Genesis & Salvation) but that doesn’t mean destroying the legacy and continuity of the first 2 films. Linda Hamilton’s return is a great addition as she gives a great performance. Mackenzie Davis is also great performance. Her is much more physical but still holds up. While Arnold Schwarzenegger’s story arch is completely ruined at this point, he still gives a solid performance as The Terminator. The idea of altering timelines is always tricky but can be done. This movie however dropped the ball big time.
Overall, this was an attempt to fix the problems that “Genesis” caused but failed to tell a cohesive and coherent story. Trying to restart or even reboot this franchise is bold attempt however they missed the mark by destroying the foundation of what has already been done. While the film is a mediocre action film, it can be enjoyed by those who aren’t fans of the franchise or haven’t seen the previous film.