Terminator: Dark Fate
3 out of 5 stars
James Brown recorded the classic hit ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ in 1966, a song that is still heard on radio stations around the world. The political climate has changed in relation to gender equality since the release of Brown’s song and the same could be said about the cinematic universe since 1984. That was the year that fans were introduced to Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator. Since the original film’s release and the debut of Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton), the female action hero has evolved and grown in prominence. What has occurred over ensuing decade? This long-suffering franchise has put its hope in the hands of three women to save the world from the potential invasion of machinery.
Despite the work of Conner and the T-800 Terminator (Schwarzenegger) to change the future of Skynet and bleak future for humanity in 1991 (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), the battle across the time dimensions continues and Legion has replaced Skynet. This faceless, machine-based force relentlessly sends back new and improved terminators to assassinate key historical individuals who will impact their reign of the planet in the not-too-distant future.
The target during this time-travelling expedition is a young autoworker in Mexico City named Daniella “Dani” Ramos (Natalia Reyes). Thinking that her simple life was to fight for the survival of her family, she is unaware of her destiny until she is confronted by a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) in the local factory.This lethal creation has the primary task of eliminating the young worker, but his plans are thwarted by a cybernetically-enhanced soldier from 2042 named Grace (Mackenzie Davis). With the help of Dani’s brother, the two women manage to escape the factory and begin a high-impact and fast-paced chase across the country to stay ahead of the dangerous assignment of the enhanced assassin.
The Rev-9 seems to have all the answers and manages to be gaining ground on his prey until Sarah Conner arrives and manages to briefly stop the cyber-hunter. The trio is thrust together and needs to determine how they can eliminate the enemy while keeping Dani alive. Sarah believes that they are saving Dani for the sake of her unborn children, but Grace eventually shares the actual reason behind the soldier’s need to save the young woman. The three of them decide they need to find a secret source which continues to communicate with Sarah about the existence of the terminators.
This intelligence has been the key to her hunting down this threat to humanity. When the team comes to realise that the person behind the secret communication is none other than the T-800 who now goes by Carl (Schwarzenegger), they all need to determine if they can trust the cyborg with their lives.
With James Cameron back as writer / producer and Deadpool’s Tim Miller sitting in the director’s chair, it feels like this franchise is getting back to what made it great. A script that manages to sidestep the last three instalments and only including storyline from the first two chapters, the timeline is cleaned up and ready for the fans. This outing continually pays homage to the first two films, which makes it feel more like a rehashing of the old as opposed to a new chapter. Miller’s vision is all action and contains very little humour, a surprise for the masterful work he did with Deadpool.
The challenge is digging this franchise out of the hole that was drilled by the last three films, being introduced during a different political climate for heroes and a whole new expectation on special effects. Hamilton and Davis do prove that they can carry the weight of expectation of this action series that has been placed upon their shoulders. It will be up to audiences to determine if they are willing to embrace their depictions of heroes and hand the franchise over to the ladies. While the CGI does continue to lift from year to year, this one will not be considered as groundbreaking as T2, but the visuals are exceptional.
Time travel always causes a problem for any storyline and this seems to be the case for the Terminator series. This appears to be an exercise in getting back to the heart of the franchise, but the recent echoes of the past will still play on the fan’s minds. Ultimately, the world of action films has turned into a woman’s world, but does this storyline still have something to say in this ‘new future?’
REEL DIALOGUE: How will the world come to an end? It is the question of the ages.
Books, film and religions all try to answer this query that plagues everyone at some point in their life. It can bring out fear in much of the population and conspiracy theorists who merely have to provide plausible answers to cause people to continue to ask the question.
What does the Bible have to say about it all? The book of Revelation can be a confusing and misunderstood book, but it is worth engaging with others on this informative text for a clearer answer of the end of the world as we know it.
‘But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.’ 2 Peter 3:13
So many biblical undertones in here... the girl who was in danger was saved by ‘grace’ - the new terminator is called the rev 9 (revelation 9) and Skynet no longer exists but is now called Legion. My wife saw Zombie land 2 the other week and they ended up in Babylon - standing upon a giant tower (Babel) - crazy! Once your eyes are opened it’s everywhere
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Russ Matthews works for City Bible Forum as the Engaging Manager. He enjoys developing large public forums throughout the city to engage workers with the bigger questions of life. He oversees The Edge and Reel Dialogue.