In this film, the sixth big-screen instalment of the Terminator saga, Linda Hamilton is back for the first time since 1991’s Terminator 2 and although 28 years have passed, it feels so right to have her kicking arse again. Thankfully, she hasn’t mellowed one bit so she still handles the cyborgs from Skynet with her usual steely strength and grit.
The film opens in the 1990s which is where Terminator 2 left us. The setting is Mexico City where Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is the person being hunted down by Rev-9 – an advanced cyborg sent back from the future with one purpose – to eliminate her.
We don’t know why Dani is the target yet but in a smart move by director from Deadpool fame, Tim Miller, and creator James Cameron, this isn’t a testosterone-fuelled romp between two male cyborgs.
Three strong female leads
Instead, we’re treated to three strong female leads who carry the show with a bit of help from the original Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. At 63, Hamilton delivers an excellent performance and she’s been quoted as saying she “trained for a year” to get the right fitness level. No wonder she looks amazing.
One of the strongest performances in the film comes from Mackenzie Davis who plays Dani’s protector, Grace. She’s been sent back from the future as well but she’s an ‘augmented’ human which gives her the ability to fight back against invincible Rev-9.
Davis gives a riveting performance along with the other two female leads, Reyes and Hamilton, and we find ourselves closely linked with these three strong women, hoping they can band together and avoid what seems inevitable.
Arnie revels in his role
At the same time, the guys still carry their weight. Gabriel Luna plays Rev-9 with an uncanny, ‘cyborg-like’ manner. And Schwarzenegger seems to be reveling in his role this time round. He turns up halfway through the film as a slightly mellowed-out guy who runs a drapery business. This gives him some great lines and at the same time, he lends a hand.
Some reviewers have said in some of his more recent films, Schwarzenegger has cut ‘a faded figure.’ But in Terminator: Dark Fate we see him rise to the occasion and deliver his share of the funny and dramatic lines in the film. It’s as if he’s come back to this major role of his and made it his own even more this time round.
The film’s action is all about the Rev-9 as a seemingly unstoppable force, finding them no matter where they hide. In true Cyborg fashion, he continually realigns himself back to his original form no matter what injuries he receives. Each time he morphs back to his liquid metal form and regains his features, the future of the world seems to hang in the balance.
Yes, the action is intense and this film deserves its R rating. The violence is more hard hitting than the original and you will feel exhausted by the end of the film. In some ways, it’s not a particularly easy film to watch but if you like this genre, then this film should be on your ‘to see’ list.
For some viewers, the chase scenes and constant violence could be too much or feel repetitive. But if you’re a fan of Terminator and Terminator 2, at least this all feels familiar – and for all intents and purposes – it works! We’re back with our old friends, Sarah Connor and The Terminator, and we’re busy saving the future of the planet. If you liked the original then you’re going to enjoy Terminator: Dark Fate.
To take a look at the trailer, click here.