Written by J.T. Johnson
Before we get to the review, let’s go ahead and look at the trailer one more time for “Terminator: Dark Fate”.
It feels like forever since we had any solid updates on “Terminator: Dark Fate”, the sixth film in the franchise and the second sequel that decides to ignore everything else except for the first two films. This time, though, not only does Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton return, but James Cameron also returns to produce the latest entry. Well, we finally have a brand new trailer for the film and the movie looks like it’s… going to be more of the same.
The trailer opens with a woman (Natalia Reyes) being protected by another woman (Mackenzie Davis) as they are being chased by a new Terminator (Gabriel Luna) that I think may be inspired by nano machines this time out. Anyway, it looks like Davis’ character is protecting Reyes’ character and Davis is also a new type of Terminator but she thinks that she is human when asked by Sarah later on in the trailer.
It looks like the Nano Terminator is about to get the upper hand when another truck suddenly arrives. A pretty badass scene of Hamilton’s Sarah Connor is then shown blowing away the new Terminator. After this, we get a lot of cryptic shots plus a very brief glimpse of Schwarzenegger who is said to be playing the character that his famous Terminator was based on in addition to his model which will be de-aged using special-effects and a body double.
By the end of the trailer, I must admit that I was fairly underwhelmed by what I saw. I’m still trying to remain optimistic because it is just a teaser trailer, but it didn’t really sway me in any direction. In fact, after watching the film, I kind of want to ask James Cameron if his unique and different idea is to… just do what everyone else did in the previous films.
The new Terminator feels like the model they turned John Connor into in “Terminator: Genisys”. The whole idea of Davis’ terminator thinking she is human also reeks of Sam Worthington’s character Marcus from “Terminator: Salvation”. Finally, the whole “Terminator sent to protect the future” idea has been done to death in the failed sequels.
The truth is that it’s really hard to come up with a story that can continue where “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” left off. In the case of this film, though, the only thing that I could take away from it is that Reyes’ character, apparently named Dani, is the new target. When Sarah tells her, “I used to be you”, that tells me that she will have a child that will lead the future Resistance. This means that John Connor is no longer the future leader, probably because the war was delayed by the events of “Judgement Day”.
I think that the biggest problem this film suffers from is also the same problem that every sequel since “Judgement Day” has had to deal with. When Cameron returned with his famously successful sequel in 1991, he did a pretty good job of completing the story by preventing the future war that was supposed to happen in 1997 onward.
Looking briefly at another film series, it’s similar to the reason none of the sequels to “Highlander” worked. Once you’ve sealed up the story with a pretty tight conclusion, you have to come up with convoluted ways to open it back up. “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” simply stated that the war was delayed and an adult John Connor had to deal with the impending war. “Salvation” tried to continue that story but things there got convoluted when Christian Bale signed on as Connor and the character’s role was expanded, interfering with the actual main story of a young Kyle Reese and Worthington’s Marcus Wright.
Now, I’m going to admit something controversial. I actually enjoyed “Terminator: Genisys”. I thought they came up with a good way to bring everyone back and despite not being the original actress, I thought Emilia Clarke did a good job as Sarah Connor. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was entertaining though they were going to have to deal with a rather complicated ending had that film received a sequel.
I have a friend named Sean who said that it may just be time to let this particular franchise to die. While I’m still optimistic about this movie, I might have to agree with Sean if the film turns out to be as disappointing as this initial teaser trailer.