Review: Terminator: Dark Fate

Ebony Foster, Columnist

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“Terminator: Dark Fate” premiered Nov. 1 and while entertaining, it does not offer anything new. The film features the return of “Terminator” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton with the addition of some new stars, such as Gabriel Luna, who plays the Rev-9, and Mackenzie Davis, who plays Grace.  

The story centers around Dani, played by Natalie Reyes, a strong-willed Mexican native caring for her father, brother and community. After learning that increased automation took over her brother’s factory job, the day goes from bad to worse when Sarah Connor, Hamilton’s character, and her brother are attacked by android assassin Rev-9. They narrowly escape because of interference of an augment, or upgraded human, named Grace.

Played by Luna, the Rev-9 has some upgrades of its own. Though its design is similar to the terminators in the first two films, it can separate from its skeleton frame entirely and function in two forms, making it a formidable foe. 

Both Dani and Grace need help against it, and that’s where Connor comes in. Motivated by a shocking loss at the beginning of the film, Connor now hunts terminators. Through Grace, she learns that though she and John managed to stop Judgement Day, the future Connor dreaded is still coming in a different form and is now right around the corner. These characters come together for a climactic showdown as they stand against the Rev-9 and the ill-fated future once more.

The movie starts out strong, and gives fans a massive shock when they kill a young John Connor, a decision not well received among fans. 

The movie manages to the audience time to briefly get to know Dani, but jumps right into action with the reveal of Grace and then shortly thereafter, the reveal of the Rev-9. The fight scene choreography is well done, and the acting, thankfully, does not go below subpar. The Rev-9’s action sequences and features are incredibly grounded within the reality of this world. Besides suspending disbelief in a couple of stunt scenes and occasional political humor, the movie is well done. 

This film mainly explores Connor’s struggle with loss and the new version of the future she fought to prevent. This film is far from the trainwreck that was “Terminator: Genisys,” and completely retconned the movies post-“Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” 

While not necessarily called for, this reboot shows promise, despite the similar story line and deserves a watch. Mistakes were made, but the mistakes do not overshadow the film’s entertainment value. However, given most of its reception from fans, this film looks to have faced a dark fate of its own.