Despite being the sixth and supposedly final installment of a franchise that hasn't really been relevant since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tim Miller's competent but coma-inducing “Terminator: Dark Fate” has no reason to feel this far past its expiration date. In a studio age of intellectual property where nostalgia and innovation are tugging us so hard in either direction that it doesn't seem to matter what happens right here, nothing this side of a “live-action” Disney remake could possibly be more “now” than an unsolicited $150 million sequel in which the present is literally reduced to a turf war between the past and the future.
And “Dark Fate” does everything in its power to embrace the 2019 of it all; from its self-congratulatory emphasis on strong female characters and far more graceful focus on people of color, to its pandering fan service and soul-numbing parade of weightless special effects, this isn't just another mega-budget “requel” that nobody asked for, it's all of them. Perversely, however, the ways in which “Dark Fate” is such a slog du jour only help to underline why the “Terminator” series has always felt so timeless; in a saga about how people never learn and never give up, it's fitting that the final chapter should be such an undeniable testament to both of those truths. If this movie is a minor improvement over the unwatchable installments that inspired James Cameron to come back and retcon his baby a measure of redemption, that's because it recognizes that we always have to save the future for ourselves.
When Cameron stepped away from his “Terminator” franchise after the massive success of its second installment, it seemed as though crisis had been averted. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” ended with Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton and her beefy robot friend Arnold Schwarzenegger defeating the robot that was sent back through time in order to kill her prepubescent son John, a kid destined to grow up and lead the human resistance in a cataclysmic war against the machines. Not only was the boy still alive, but Cameron even suggested that Sarah's efforts might have canceled the apocalypse ogether; free will had won a tentative victory over fatalism, and the promise of a bleak tomorrow resolved as the most urgent reason for people to fight towards a brighter today.
And then the gleefully nihilistic “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” incinerated that idea with a metal smile on its face, as John Connor learned the hard way that the inevitable can be delayed but not derailed. As it goes in life, so it goes on screen — these days, neither Connor's victory nor Cameron's absence was ever going to stop a Hollywood studio from dismantling this story for spare parts and turning the “Terminator” saga into a perpetual seesaw between foolishness and resilience. The foolishness to develop genocidal A.I. technology, and the resilience to fight it; the foolishness to keep making “Terminator” movies, and the resilience to... keep making “Terminator” movies.
“Dark Fate” might close the door on the “Terminator” franchise, but every dull frame of it suggests that we'll be trapped in that vicious back-and-forth 'til kingdom come. The good news is that you can forget about everything that's happened since the summer of 1991. Not only has Cameron returned to produce, he's proclaimed that all of the sequels made while he was gone weren't canon. And so this story picks up where “T2” left off, with Sarah and John trying to enjoy their time together before another Terminator shows up to blow them apart. And that's exactly what happens in the opening scene, as Sarah drops her guard just long enough for a robot to unload a shotgun into her son it sounds horrifying, but you'll be too dazzled by the flawless de-aging FX to care about the carnage.
Cut to: Mexico City circa 2020, where an augmented cyborg assassin named Grace a shredded and intractably human Mackenzie Davis drops in from the future. Her mission is to protect unsuspecting factory worker Dani Ramos Natalia Reyes, in a helpless bystander of a performance that struggles to become anything more when it counts. It’s a task that becomes a lot more complicated when a Rev-9 murder robot shows up in order to stop her.
A shape-shifter whose human camouflage hides a malleable pool of liquid metal ooze, the Rev-9 is essentially an unstoppable cross between the T-1000 and the evil aliens from “Edge of Tomorrow.” The Rev-9 is equipped with a few nifty innovations, but — like most tech — it boasts much less personality than its predecessors steel-jawed Gabriel Luna plays the robot's default flesh disguise, and he's every bit as forgettable as Robert Patrick's “T2” villain was iconic.
It doesn't help that the Rev-9's upgrades pave the way for some of the movie's biggest problems. An indestructible death robot capable of impersonating a member of the LAPD is scary and layered with sociopolitical context; a computer-generated parkour ninja who can violate the laws of physics in a way that sucks the life out of Miller's hard-to-follow action sequences... is not for what it's worth, the Rev-9 does eventually pass itself off as a Mexican-American border guard, but “Dark Fate” has no interest in mining any part of that for deeper meaning. It's easy to appreciate the scale of the extensive chase setpiece that ends the first act, but the messy staging of Miller's digital mishegoss will have you pining for the practical magic of the truck crash in “Rise of the Machines.”
When the smoke clears, 63-year-old Linda Hamilton is standing next to the rubble with a rocket-launcher on her shoulder, and it sure is great to see her. The gravitas and investment equity that she brings to the screen is palpable, even if it's wasted on obvious plot beats and ersatz Cameron machismo “I hunt Terminators and I drink until I pass out” is a fun line of dialogue in a movie with precious few of them. Now a badass crackpot who eludes robots by keeping her cell phone in a bag of potato chips, Sarah has been trapped in a nightmare for too long to be woke — she's been too busy killing Terminators to see “The Force Awakens” or “Wonder Woman” — and so she naturally assumes that Dani must be a target because she'll one day give birth to a very important man.
The thing is, you have seen those movies. And Miller, who got this gig by directing the insistently self-aware “Deadpool,” has to know that you have seen those movies. And yet, “Dark Fate” arrives at Dani's obvious, actual value with an almost Promethean sense of pride, as if making the character a Mexican woman were enough to excuse the fact that nationality and gender are her two definable attributes. It's neat and appreciably political to pin the future of humanity on an anonymous factory worker who America would turn away at the border, but Dani's only purpose is to lead the action back to Arnold, who takes control of the movie once he shows up.
The details of Schwarzenegger's role are all deep in spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that he and Hamilton are still great foils for each other. His part is smartly written, funny in a way “Dark Fate” struggles to be without him, and perhaps the most fundamentally human character the franchise has ever seen. The more casual scenes between he and the rest of the cast are strong and textured enough that — if only for a moment or so — you might even stop asking yourself why the machines don't just send two killer robots to take care of Dani.
Alas, that downtime is followed by scene after scene of generic action, only some of which is actually meant to look weightless. Davis has a few Gogo Yubari-inspired moves that make you wish Cameron had been in the director's chair to make the most of these characters, but there are only so many times you can watch a robot get shot, heal itself, and keep walking before you start praying for Skynet to kill us all, and “Dark Fate” hits that number in its first 30 minutes. It's nice and perhaps unavoidable that the “Terminator” franchise has finally reached back into the past to remind us that tomorrow is always up for grabs — that the future belongs to anyone willing to fight for it. When the present is this dull, however, it can be hard to remember what anyone is supposed to be fighting for.
Yeah, yeah, we’ve all been here before. Just four years ago, actually, when Terminator: Genisys was released. A movie, I should add, that I still have to look up the spelling. It’s kind of crazy at this point how many times the Terminator franchise has been rebooted. Well, just saying “rebooted” is too simple, since the first two installments, James Cameron’s Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, are always allowed to stand as canon. It’s what comes after that’s been the problem.
And that problem is Terminator was never really set up as any kind of a trilogy. At the end of T2, the heroes won. Not only was John Connor saved, but it ended Skynet’s dominant future. There was nothing really set up for a third movie. A third entry is always going to wind up being a bit convoluted. In Terminator: Rise of the Machines, the plot is basically, “Well, maybe Skynet comes back anyway and there are new people it should kill.” Which, to be honest, is similar to the plot of Terminator: Dark Fate, we’ll get to that. Terminator: Salvation at least tried something new, but it’s a grim, grey looking movie with little to no semblance of “fun” to be had. Yes, Terminator and T2 are fun! And then looking up the spelling again Terminator: Genisys is pretty much just nonsense. It’s a terrible Terminator movie but, on its own, kind of does classify as “dumb fun.” If I were forced to rewatch one of these three movies, I honestly think I’d pick Genisys.
But there’s a huge element missing in all those, now erased, attempts at a third Terminator movie: Linda Hamilton.
In retrospect, it’s weird these movies kept trying without Hamilton. Sarah Connor is the main character of the first two films! And then in Rise of the Machines, we learn our main character just died off-screen in-between movies. Alrighty. What Terminator: Dark Fate teaches us, pretty quickly, is that these movies have always been Linda Hamilton’s movies and trying to keep churning them out without her was a lesson in futility. She adds a weight to Dark Fate that is palpable and, frankly, this movie doesn’t work without her either.
Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate with James Cameron finally returning in a producer role and receiving a story credit starts in 1998, depicting an event featuring a de-aged Hamilton and a de-aged Arnold Schwarzenegger that sets off the story we watch 20 plus years later. I won’t spoil what happens here, even though it’s literally the first scene of the movie. But, yes, it’s an attention grabber.
In the present, the story shifts to Mexico, where a new Terminator Rev-9 Gabriel Luna is sent back from the future to find and kill a young woman named Dani Natalia Reyes. Shortly after, Grace Mackenzie Davis appears, sent from the future, to find and protect Dani. So, the trailers really play up that Grace is a “fighting machine.” So much so that I was worried that’s all this would be: a one-dimensional character who is good in a fight. And, yes, Grace is part machine. Her body had to be repaired with machinery after a life-threatening injury, but this also comes with consequences. Her body has a tendency to overheat after altercations and she’s constantly on the lookout for the right medications and adrenaline to keep her alive. As we spend more time with Grace, her role becomes more and more complicated. She’s often strong, but she’s often weak. She is less “fighting machine” and more fits into the “Kyle Reese” role.
How does Sarah Connor fit into all of this? As Grace and Dani are on the run from the Rev-9, Sarah shows up with a bazooka that temporarily disables the Rev-9, allowing the three to escape. This happens about 25 minutes into the movie, and from here on out Terminator Dark Fate becomes a road trip movie. Where are they headed? Sarah explains that once every couple of years, she receives a mysterious text with the coordinates of where a new Terminator will appear, along with a sentimental message I’ll leave this out for spoiler reasons. She has no idea who or what is sending them, but Grace traces the coordinates back to a location in Texas. So off these three go into the unknown. And who is even sending these Terminators? Grace has never heard of Skynet. Grace has never heard of Sarah Connor much to Sarah’s surprise. Skynet doesn’t exist. Sarah and John still successfully stopped it from becoming a reality. But now there’s something sinister lurking in the future and Dani plays a central role in stopping it.
There’s a scene late in the film that features Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, standing side by side, both with machine guns, unloading everything they have into the new Terminator. I actually got a chill down my back seeing these two together again, and for the first time in almost 30 years. These movies have always been Sarah Connor’s continuing story, but the past movies either tried to exist without her or, once, reboot her. But with Terminator: Dark Fate we finally have the third chapter to her story, which at its essence is the Terminator franchise. Though, yes, by nature the story does have to be a little convoluted after the events of T2 and this time, it’s basically just a whole new evil entity, but Linda Hamilton is Terminator. And that’s why Terminator: Dark Fate is the best Terminator movie since T2.
Sarah Connor may be sci-fi filmdom's most badass female action hero this side of Alien 's Ripley. While played subsequently by numerous actresses in sequels and a TV show, the role is most indelibly linked to the performances turned in by Linda Hamilton in James Cameron's 1984 original Terminator , and Terminator 2: Judgment Day . Cameron washed his hands of the series after the rights were scooped out from under him by Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna, until he had a change of heart and lent a creative hand to director Tim Miller on the upcomingTerminator: Dark Fate . Arnold Schwarzenegger continued to reprise his signature cyborg, but Hamilton demurred. She only seriously entertained coming back when Cameron did. Between Cameron's first and second film, Hamilton transformed herself from a reluctant heroine with everywoman qualities, into a jacked action heroine. After setting the bar so high, could she be as convincing 28 years later? That was one of the key questions for the movie. It took a year, but she got there with the guidance of Mackie Shilstone, who has spent 43 years in the wellness sports performance industry helping to mold elite athletes and soldiers. The results will be on full display when Dark Fate opens November 1. Here, Shilstone —who is the father of Deadline's Social Media Director Scott Shilstone — explains the process in detail, down to specific exercises and diet. He cautions aspiring Sarah Connors to get fully evaluated by a physician before even attempting something like what Hamilton endured.
Though I have spent 43 years training 3,000 pro athletes, including 11 years with world champion tennis player Serena Williams, various sports teams, and volunteer work with special forces, a call I received from Hollywood director-producer and innovator James Cameron presented a daunting challenge.
Aware of my reputation for extending careers through exercise and nutrition, Cameron said he wanted me to help Linda Hamilton to get as close as she could to the incredible physical shape her character Sarah Connor displayed in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Considering that movie filmed 28 years ago, and Hamilton was 61 when this offer came in, I wasn't interested, frankly. But I was aware of and admired that Cameron's movies were always built around themes of female empowerment, long before it was fashionable. And he said something that got me thinking. Cameron told me he wanted to change Hollywood's mantra of “throwing female actors away, after the age of forty.”
Still, I was skeptical that at her age, Hamilton would be able to survive the training long enough to get to the production in the shape Cameron needed her to be. I told Cameron I would accept, conditioned on Hamilton passing extensive medical and physiological evaluations, including cardiopulmonary stress testing for heart rate training guidelines, pulmonary assessment, laboratory studies, DXA Scan for body composition determination, vision screening, radiology scans, physical therapy and orthopedic assessment.
She passed all the tests, and I met her in New Orleans — my hometown — where Hamilton had recently purchased a home. When Linda entered the one-year comprehensive performance program, she was a 61-year-old, out-of-shape female in need of body composition adjustment. That's not an insult: it's not unlike hundreds of similar women of the same age and stage in life. Post-menopausal women tend to accrue more visceral abdominal fat, and this places them at risk of Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. While many women don't realize this, women in this age group have the same cardiovascular risk as a man — the result of changes in their estrogen-dominate hormone system.
We started with three weeks of rigorous training to see if she could hold up under the training stress — both physical and mental. She did. But not without some concerns. Hamilton's biggest concern was that the audience would compare her to what she looked like 28 years ago. The other apprehension was two-fold — that she would let me down by not living up the physical expectations I was accustomed to with my athlete clients. And most importantly, that she would not be physically able to handle the rigorous part — appearing weak — the age factor.
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The studio budget provided for the creation of a home gym for training, and I soon realized that physiology aside, Linda Hamilton was not like most 61-year-old women. How many of them have the determination and willpower reminiscent of the Sarah Connor character she left behind nearly three decades ago? What was unique compared to other women I've seen in my prior hospital-affiliated wellness programs, was Linda's attitude. Many women at that point tend to throw in the towel and accept what is. Linda had an inherit drive and determination to make a change. It is one that other women might use as a road map for their life — that you can affect positive change if you are willing to take a first step. What was that step? In the face of adversity, you must see opportunity to feel and look better, and take back ownership of your health.
Every day, when I would come over to train, Linda had a smile on her face and an attitude that was infectious. I am 68, 5'8” and 142 pounds, and I took the steps with her. I think she drew strength at what I could do, physically and mentally, and she wanted to match or surpass it.
One incident that solidified that point came while we were in the gym that we built in an annex of her home. I had ordered 6- and 8-pound medicine balls that we use for combative training — boxing, special forces — made of parachute material, all of the same diameter despite the weight. I taught her a rotational slam, where you place the ball close to the hip, cradled in both hands, then you rotate and slam the ball into a concrete or solid wall. You judge the power by the sound the ball makes against the wall. The ball comes off the wall fast, and you must catch it and immediately repeat another throw — so that it replicates the rapid fire of a machine gun.
When Linda would marvel at the force that I could generate at my size, I would remind her that it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Linda's first try knocked her down, when the ball hit her on the rebound. She picked that ball up and did it again. Same result. She got knocked down. I did the movement with her and soon we were slamming the door to the gym so hard it was off the hinges.
Courtesy Mackie Shilstone
We would start each session asking who in our lives we were knocking down today. Door broken, we moved to the wall adjacent to it. I was having a bad day. She knew it and said, you're first up. My first shot smashed into the wall and literally shattered a large section. I apologized, but to this day she refuses to get it fixed. To her, it was a symbol of what can come from commitment. Linda never deviated from that message — commitment over contribution.
The first three months of work encompassed six days per week, 1.5 to 2 hours of circuit training exercises, using a cable weight apparatus with arms, permitting functional human movement patterns. Then, core training using a stability ball, steady state and interval cardio training on an elliptical device, power training with a specially-designed medicine ball. All this with specialized pre-habilitation injury prevention exercises based on her bio-mechanical analysis.
Hamilton had two AM/PM additional, scripted, heart-rate monitored sessions on the elliptical lasting 45 minutes.
A typical circuit session might include:
Core: Gym Ball — Alternate between lower & upper exercises Lower Crunches — legs grip side of ball with heels on ground Lower Hyperextension — Upper torso stabilizing on elbows Upper Crunch — lifting 12 inches off the ball Upper Hyperextension — knees against ball, feet against wall Med Ball Warm-Up Chest throws Overhead two-arm slam down Resistance Tubing: Parallel to ground: Chest Press — arms below 80 degrees, abducted away from body Horizontal Abducted Row — below 80 degrees Close Grip Chest Press — arms at 90 degrees at sides, cord under armpits Close Grip Rows — arms to 90 degrees at sides Bow & Arrow — pull back parallel to ground, slightly seated position Legs: Forward Assisted Lunges — waist high attachment
The exercise would not alone have achieved her goal without an equally rigorous nutritional regimen. Prescriptive meals were delivered to her home twice a week — with medically approved nutritional supplements to support preservation of lean muscle mass and mobilization of body fat — monitored by DXA scans every six weeks. Despite what has been alluded to in inadequate Internet reporting, at no time during my training with Linda did I provide her with any prescription medication. Every nutrient combination used was medically approved in advance and placed in her private medical record, which assisted in her dramatic transformation.
A typical meal plan:
Breakfast: • Egg white veggie & avocado omelet, fresh berries • Egg, veggie and ground turkey breast scramble • Scrambled eggs and veggies • Non/low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries • May add oatmeal, whole grain/Ezekiel toast or fresh fruit to meals
Lunch/Dinner: • Large green salad with ample veggies & lean protein, olive oil/vinegar side • Lean protein grilled, baked, steamed, broiled, boiled, blackened or roasted using olive oil, steamed, roasted or grilled veggies using olive oil, 1/2 cup brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potato • 6 oz protein with each meal • unlimited starchy veggies • Olive oil used in place of butter • Healthy fats with meals: avocado, olive oil, nuts/nut butter • Fatty fish salmon/tuna weekly
Her dedication brought her remarkable results over the first three months, but we were hardly done. In the final nine months, Linda's training became more functional to what would be required of her Sarah Connor character in the film. We moved to a high school football field. The purpose was to emphasize footwork. That encompasses short sprints, agility drills, and combat training. No way we were going to let a stunt double take her place. Or worse, put her in the position to get pushed around by a younger adversary.
During that period, Hamilton was becoming an Industrial athlete. That meant many of the associated aches and pains that come with this non-profession athlete designation. Low- and mid-back discomfort, shoulder fatigue and lower-extremity aches and pains. Physical therapy onsite and chiropractic care addressed these issues when they arose.
The most unrelenting feeling was the result of 12 weeks of nothing more than train, eat, train, eat, train, eat, sleep — with one week off at the six-week mark to allow for restoration, so that we could push harder over the next six weeks. She allowed her life to exist around the performance system that I put in place and for all practical purposes we became training partners. Though our breaks between exercises were short by design, we spoke about our families and I felt like I became part of hers, and she part of mine.
Any women reading this and thinking of replicating Hamilton's regimen should first see a doctor and make sure it is safe. And they should know Hamilton, for Terminator 2 28 years ago, was quite ripped by body building standards. Especially her arms, or at least that is what I would hear most from envious women. At age 63, understanding the effects of sarcopenia — loss of muscle with age and dynapenia, and the associated loss of strength — was critically important. Education, and the technology learned from my prior experiences from wound care, provided the solution: the use of an amino acid blend — arginine, HMB, a metabolite of the anabolic amino acid leucine, and glutamine. This partially addressed this issue.
Research demonstrated that the standard 0.8 grams per kilogram for protein requirements would not begin to address Hamilton's needs with the associated intense training. Based on DXA scans every six weeks, the daily protein requirement was determined down to the gram, as with my athlete clients.
It was fascinating to watch Hamilton's progress in real time. One example was the use of a functional exercise to push away an opponent — like wresting for a weapon. It's called the Chest Push. Using a stability ball 65cm, assume a standard push-up position — chest resting on the ball, hands on each side of the ball — with legs extended and spread in a wide base for stability. Press into the ball with your chest, then exhale and push up with hands. Return to the starting position and repeat 5-10 times.
When we started, Hamilton fell off the ball — the inability to stabilize in an upright, extended position. By Week 12, she was performing 15.
The results? Even though you only had to look at her to see Linda's metamorphosis back to Sarah Connor, we had her condition reassessed before she departed to the location sites in Budapest and Spain in June of 2018. It was amazing to see a 60-plus female drop 15% of her body fat mass. That is a number less than most healthy, athletic 20 year olds, with increase in lean muscle, stamina, and endurance. In our year together, Linda did not suffer any major injury setback during our project.
Hamilton will rank as one of the best I have had the honor to help. Her drive, discipline, and commitment to excellence was matched only by her love of her craft and compassion, as she said, for anyone who follows with me in her footsteps.
As for Cameron, the filmmaker who brought this challenge to our doorstep?
Photo by Matt Baron/Shutterstock
In one of his last communications, after he was provided with pictures of Hamilton just prior to the project's completion, Cameron emailed me and borrowed words you would expect to hear from her co-star, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The first reactions from Terminator: Dark Fate have rolled in on social media after the first wave of critics recently got a sneak peek at the movie. They weren’t the only ones either. An event at Alamo Drafthouse locations that was marketed as a Terminator 2: Judgment Day fan event with a sneak peek of footage from Terminator: Dark Fate turned into a full fledged screening of the sequel nearly two weeks before it hits theaters. So what are people saying? Get the Terminator: Dark Fate early buzz below.
Here’s what fans at the Alamo Drafthouse saw before they were treated to the entirety of Terminator: Dark Fate:
So if you weren’t at any of the 15 participating Alamo Drafthouse locations around the United States, you’ll just have to wait another 12 days to see the movie. But in the meantime, you can see what people thought with our round-up of reactions from social media. Let’s start with your own editor-in-chief, Peter Sciretta, who seems to have mostly enjoyed the movie:
#TerminatorDarkFate is better than you think it’s going to be. Its trying hard to be the Force Awakens of Terminator movies, and mostly succeeds. But it’s lacking Cameron’s innovation, evolution and directing. Arnold is fantastic, the best of his post T2 Terminator appearances.
— Peter Sciretta @slashfilm October 21, 2019
Below, you can find out the rest of the reactions from critics who have already seen the movie:
Terminator: Dark Fate is basically Terminator: The Force Awakens. A satisfying, exciting reboot that’s essentially the best parts of T1 & T2 in a blender. Davis, Reyes & Hamilton are excellent, the action wows & while it’s familiar, it’s easily the best T3 yet. Terminator is back pic.twitter.com/W1emrXIq5C
— Germain Lussier @GermainLussier October 21, 2019
TERMINATOR’s thought of as Arnold’s franchise. DARK FATE makes it clear he wasn’t the key ingredient that made it work. It was Linda Hamilton. She’s incredible in this, and the movie’s very solid. I recently defended all the TERMINATOR sequels, so make of this what you will. pic.twitter.com/3JSsac7LrL
— Matt Singer @mattsinger October 21, 2019
#TerminatorDarkFate is easily the best Terminator movie since T2. Has some fantastic action and loved how the film features 3 female protagonists that all kick-ass. So awesome seeing Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor. pic.twitter.com/15Yb6cC18W
— Steven Weintraub @colliderfrosty October 21, 2019
I've been a fan of Mackenzie Davis since seeing her in 'Halt and Catch Fire'. But she takes it to another level in #TerminatorDarkFate where she kicks all kinds of ass. If you like her work in Dark Fate, go back and watch #HaltandCatchFire. pic.twitter.com/P5gnqoXjFL
— Steven Weintraub @colliderfrosty October 21, 2019
#TerminatorDarkFate is the best of the TERMINATOR sequels after T2. Easily among the year’s most entertaining action films, it’s thrilling, intense & non-stop, but also a sweet story about making things right. Arnold is great & Linda rules, but Mackenzie Davis THROWS DOWN pic.twitter.com/8TQ4Gpkkdr
— Erik Davis @ErikDavis October 21, 2019
Honestly, without Linda Hamilton, not sure it works. But now watching her and Arnold together on screen again, it’s kind of crazy they ever tried to make these movies without literally the main character.
— Mike Ryan @mikeryan October 21, 2019
Is #TerminatorDarkFate the best since T2? Yup. Linda Hamilton’s return makes a BIG difference, Mackenzie Davis kicks all the ass, & Natalia Reyes is an excellent anchor. Gabriel Luna’s Rev-9 is a winner too. Physicality, VFX, fights – all spot on! Glad they gave this another go. pic.twitter.com/4Q1FNN49Hw
— Perri Nemiratu @PNemiroff October 21, 2019
Excited to report Terminator: Dark Fate is the best sequel in the franchise since T2. It's a "return to basics" movie — reminiscent of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in that way — but the new heroes are fantastic, it's great to see the legends kicking ass, and the action is great. pic.twitter.com/aAHSXhFyA4
— Evil Eric Eisenberg @eeisenberg October 21, 2019
Oh the film, you ask? It’s solid. Super well articulated action. Linda Hamilton is aces. Easily the best sequel since T2. #DarkFate takes The Force Awakens’ “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality to Cameron’s films and turns out it ain’t broke.
— Haleigh Foutch @HaleighFoutch October 21, 2019
It sounds like Terminator: Dark Fate is really hoping to revamp the franchise by injecting some of what made The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day the classics we still revere to this day. However, it seems to do that only in a way that treads the same territory as those movies, just like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, instead of doing anything innovative. Though many say the movie is the best since T2, that’s not exactly a high bar to reach, and that’s probably why many of the reactions say it’s better than they thought it would be and not flat out great.
What’s interesting is the reactions that say Linda Hamilton is the key to making this one work. Many have always said Terminator needs Arnold Schwarzenegger, and while it sounds like he serves his purpose well in this sequel, this doesn’t sound like it’s his movie at all. That’s probably for the best. And we’re very happy to hear that Mackenzie Davis is as badass as she appeared to be in the trailers.
Will audiences be as happy with what director Tim Miller has in store for them? Could this finally be the start of a new Terminator trilogy that has promise? We’ll find out when Terminator: Dark Fate opens in theaters on November 1, 2019. Watch the most recent trailer released right here.
Sarah Connor sure knows how to make an entrance. In a new Terminator: Dark Fate clip, Linda Hamilton‘s iconic character comes charging in, guns blazing. It’s a truly badass moment, and also features a confirmation that there’s more than one villainous Terminator afoot in the film. Watch the Terminator: Dark Fate clip below.
Terminator Dark Fate Clip
The marketing for Terminator: Dark Fate has leaned heavily on the return of Linda Hamilton, and that’s understandable. Hamilton hasn’t appeared in the series since Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but her Sarah Connor remains an iconic movie character. To have her back in the franchise kicking Terminator butt is a big plus.
This clip is, presumably, Sarah’s introduction in the film. It also shows that there’s more than one Terminator afoot. Gabriel Luna is the lead villain – a new type of Terminator known as a Rev-9. But in this clip, we can see both Luna’s character and another metal exoskeleton Terminator in the same scene. Does the Rev-9 have a bunch of Terminator henchmen helping him out? Or is there more going on here than we know about? We’ll see.
In Terminator: Dark Fate, “More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. Dani Ramos Natalia Reyes is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother Diego Boneta and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator – a Rev-9 Gabriel Luna – travels back through time to hunt and kill her. Dani’s survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace Mackenzie Davis, an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton. As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 Arnold Schwarzenegger from Sarah’s past that may be their last best hope.”
Deadpool helmer Tim Miller directs this sequel, with original Terminator creator James Cameron back as producer. Cameron also played a part in shaping the story, so that’s a plus.
Will Terminator: Dark Fate finally break the curse of terrible Terminator sequels? Every movie in the franchise has been trying, and failing, to live up to the glory of James Cameron’s original The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day, with disappointing results. But Dark Fate is hoping to change things up with some familiar faces.
James Cameron is back producing, and Linda Hamilton is returning to the franchise for the first time since T2. And it looks as if all of this might be enough to lure in a crowd – because early Terminator Dark Fate box office tracking indicates the sequel might be headed towards a franchise-best opening weekend.
Are you excited for Terminator: Dark Fate? If so, you’re not alone. Deadline is saying that early box office projections for the new sequel/reboot are pretty darn good, with the Tim Miller-directed flick looking at a potential $40-plus million opening weekend. That puts it on track to break previous franchise record holder, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which opened at $44 million.
Dark Fate is following a similar path as the 2018 box office hit Halloween. David Gordon Green’s horror sequel/reboot brought back the franchise’s original heroine and also opted to ignore all the sequels. Dark Fate brings back Sarah Connor and ignores every Terminator sequel after Judgement Day, enabling Tim Miller and James Cameron to make something more akin to a direct sequel to T2.
Whether or not the general public knows that is up for debate. But the marketing has been sure to slap James Cameron’s name everywhere, and I wouldn’t be surprised if casual moviegoers thought Cameron was back in the director’s chair even though he’s just producing he also played a part in shaping the story, so there’s that. The reunion of Cameron, Hamilton, and Arnold Schwarzenegger might trigger enough nostalgia in audiences to ensure that Dark Fate ends up with a winning weekend. There are even some projections stating that Dark Fight could go as high as $60 million, but that seems overly generous.
In Terminator: Dark Fate, “Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.” The film stars Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta. Look for Terminator: Dark Fate in theaters November 1, 2019.