Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis
Release Date: January 28, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Decades after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevented Judgment Day, a lethal new Terminator is sent to eliminate the future leader of the resistance. In a fight to save mankind, battle-hardened Sarah teams up with an unexpected ally (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and an enhanced super soldier to stop the deadliest Terminator yet. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance in this action-packed thrill ride from Tim Miller, the director of Deadpool, and producer James Cameron.
*Warning: The third paragraph of this review may hint at minor spoilers from the film!
‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ picks up over two decades after Sarah Connor (Hamilton) prevented Judgment Day and saved billions, when a new protector and deadly Terminator both arrive in the year 2020 in search of a young girl in Mexico City who clearly has an important role to play in the future as it currently stands. As the young target and her enhanced human protector try to stay one step ahead of the seemingly unstoppable new Terminator model in deadly pursuit, they find unlikely help in the form of now Terminator-hunter Sarah Connor. But can even the three women combined stand a chance against this merciless new killing machine or will they have to seek out the help of unexpected allies to combat it?
Directed this time around by Tim Miller (Deadpool) from a screenplay by David Goyer (Batman Begins), Justin Rhodes (Grassroots) and Billy Ray (Overlord) and based upon an initial story by Goyer, Rhodes, Josh Friedman, Charles H. Eglee and series mastermind James Cameron respectively. Miller does a highly capable job at the helm of ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ guiding along the tense action and chaos with a smooth and fitting style. The film also benefits significantly from its capable cast which features returning favorites Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger from ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’, along with newcomers to the franchise Mackenzie Davis (The Martian), Natalia Reyes (Birds of Passage), Gabriel Luna (TV’s Matador), Diego Boneta (Monster Party) and more, nearly all offering solid performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ is an entertaining, action-packed and lightning paced ride that gets a lot right, opting more for recreating what worked in the first two installments of the franchise this time around as opposed to trying to once more do something unique and unexpected with the property. The result ends up delivering a lot of the brutal, nail-biting action fans want, while never expanding much beyond the general concept of the first two films. In many ways it almost serves as a reboot at the same time as a sequel while curiously abandoning the previous sequels in principal but still incorporating elements of each within. At times it feels almost excessively bleak, indirectly implying that one terrible situation being stopped simply leads to a worse one which almost makes us stop and wonder what exactly the point is if things will apparently only get worse each time the future is altered. I would definitely encourage fellow fans of the franchise to try and give ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ a whirl at your earliest convenience. It may not be anything groundbreaking on the level of T2 compared with the original, but it offers more than enough tense and visually impressive action-packed fun that most Terminator fans should find a lot of appreciate within, most notably in the action department and return of series favorite Linda Hamilton. It shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever proving worthy of your time and the price of a rental at the very least, and those picking up a copy of the Blu-ray release shouldn’t be the slightest bit disappointed with what it has to offer.
Overall, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ delivers an intense two-hour adrenaline ride loaded with visually spectacular action and plenty of what most fans desire, opting for playing it safer this time and largely recreating the magic and pattern of the franchise’s infamous second installment instead of attempting anything notably new or unique. ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ is definitely recommended, especially for dedicated fans of the franchise as well as action movie fans in general. It’s a tense, violent and fast moving new entry that delivers much of what most fans desire from the series. Longtime followers of the franchise and particularly those who enjoyed the pacing of the originals and Linda Hamilton’s infamous performance as Sarah Connor probably won’t even want to think about missing out on this action-packed new installment if you missed it during its theatrical run.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding altogether and provides a sharp, clean and beautifully detailed presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable faults or issues to be found along the way. It holds up admirably even during the various fast moving, heavily populated and darkly lit action sequences throughout, never resulting in anything occurring onscreen becoming negatively affected. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Paramount that should easily please the hardcore franchise fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a spectacular compliment to the onscreen excitement, serving up a crisp, smooth and notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send bullets, debris, nature elements, plus helicopters, cars and a great deal more consistently whipping throughout the various speakers, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a spectacular Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers a wildly active and immersive presentation from start to finish that won’t disappoint in any way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ includes some solid extras that fans of the new film should enjoy. Included on the release is a number of ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 9 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore what went into bringing the sequel to life and including interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘A Legend Reforged’ (running approximately 20 minutes), ‘World Builders’ (approximately 33 minutes), ‘Dam Busters: The Final Showdown’ (8 minutes) and ‘VFX Breakdown: The Dragonfly’ (2 minutes).