Film Review: “Terminator: Dark Fate” (2019) ★★★★

The last few months were an absolute treat. First, we got our beloved Rambo back with “Last Blood” and “Charlie’s Angels” reboot is yet to hit the biggest screen. But for now, we have “Terminator: Dark Fate” that gracefully entered our nearest theaters to bring the sweet memories of the past back for us to relive. While “Rambo” could not justify its return, director Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) takes on a challenging task to revive what we thought has died long ago. And so far, it’s the best revival of our favorite franchise since “Terminator 2” you did not even know you were waiting for.

As a direct sequel to the events that occurred in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”, the last installment takes place in 2020. It follows Daniella Ramos ‘Dani’ (Natalia Reyes), who lives a quiet and peaceful life in Mexico with her brother, Diego (Diego Boneta), who dreams of becoming the next Bruno Mars. But their long term plan has been interrupted by the appearance of Rev-9/Gabriel (Gabriel Luna), a new Terminator from the future – much stronger than its predecessors. However, the appearance of Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced version of humans from the future, interferes with Rev-9’s plan which will soon take a whole different turn when Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) joins the fight.

It opens with Sarah Connor’s interrogation scene taking place back in time, as the voice of the much aged Sarah is heard as a narrator. “I saved 3 billion lives but could not save the life of my own son”. Then, it takes us to Mexico, decades later, where we find Dani with her brother Diego cheerfully heading to work. In the meantime, hours before, it was a rainy day when all of a sudden an absolutely naked body of a woman falls from the sky. It’s Grace, the new machine, who appears to be an augmented version of human beings that arrives in 2020 with one mission only – to protect Daniella Ramos from the deadly Terminator. That opening insane action sequence that lasts long enough, puts the beginning into an excellent continuation of a storyline that literally never slows down its pace. But when Linda Hamilton appears on the bridge, that is the moment when you will realize – the time you have been waiting for has arrived.

It takes a while for T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to take his turn in saving Dani’s life. But when the two most prominent rivals share the same room (Sarah Connor and T-800), an exceptional aura can be felt through the silver screen, sending the exact amount of vibes to recharge and energize the audience to keep going while you sit on the edge of your seat. Whether it’s the opening scene or any other that follows, “Terminator: Dark Fate” keeps increasing its speed, turning it into an absolute fun movie to watch. And the reprisal of old classic characters by Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger helps the film to live in its own universe which, trust me on that, you would not want to leave.

Overall, it will be needless to say that “Dark Fate” is the best Terminator since “The Judgement Day”. Gabriel Luna as an antagonist is strong and uncompromising. Mackenzie Davis is great as Grace, while Natalia Reyes justifies her being the new Sarah Connor, who through her portrayal makes us believe she’s really worth it. And of course, Linda Hamilton, who takes a great risk and returns to one of her most famous roles as Sarah Connor after 28 years. Her choice talks about her judgement as an actor that I myself did not have to be convinced twice to see the new version without getting deep into its details. There was no need for that, especially after James Cameron became its producer.

To conclude, there is always high risk touching what is considered to be sacred. After going through one failure after another, we finally are getting the right remake of “Terminator” that justifies its essence. While there will be some people who will disagree with that, the film itself does not seem to mind it at all. It has the astounding cast, a well-executed agenda, and an aim which “Dark Fate” never misses – not even once. So don’t worry about critics or what you hear about it, because believe me you have already the best witness any human can ever have – your eyes that won’t lie.

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