Let’s be real. The Terminator franchise is messy. The first Terminator is an awesome horror/action film. T2 is the best sequel of all time, and one of the best ever blockbuster style action flicks. Then it all goes off the rails. T3, Salvation, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Genisys. Some of them take place in the robot future. Others are still trying to fend it off. Sometimes Sarah’s dead. Sometimes Ahnold’s around. Sometimes there’s extra time travel. They’re all over the place, and none of them really connect to the others that well. My personal theory is that the problem is that Judgement Day was in 1997. Once we passed that date IRL, it got difficult to work around. Dealing with the future is complicated enough, but moreso when we already know what happened in it. In comes Dark Fate to say you know what, only T1 and T2 happened. Let’s not try to tie in everything else. Set up our own rules about Judgement Day and Skynet and our mains (John, Sarah, T-800) and we’ll go from there.
It’s present day. 1997 Judgement Day never happened. Skynet was never a thing. A new model of Terminator has been sent back in time to kill a new mark and an augment human is sent to protect her. Sarah Connor gets involved. Arnie’s back. It’s great. Yes, this plot sounds awfully derivative of T1, but sometimes you need to go back to basics and just hit the massive reset button. The simpler plot worked very well as a vehicle for a solid action flick.
What I loved most about this was the girl power! Sarah Connor, Grace the augment, Dani never playing the victim!! I was watching a scene of just the three of them thinking there was no reason it needed to be all ladies, and that’s exactly why it’s so awesome that it was. Maybe that’s what we needed to rescue this franchise all along. Forget John Connor and Kyle Reese (Ahnold can stay). Keep our original Sarah (Linda Hamilton) and add from there. I think the next most successful Terminator attempt was The Sarah Connor Chronicles and our protector was played by Summar Glau. I’m seeing a pattern here.
So no, this doesn’t surpass T2, but I don’t think anything ever will. Instead, we get the first film that’s actually worth of its legacy. And that’s pretty cool.
Terminator: Dark Fate – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n