TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘Welcome to the day after Judgment Day.’

Terminator: Dark Fate is a 2019 action science-fiction feature film in which Sarah Connor joins forces with a female cyborg to protect a young girl from a powerful new Terminator.

The movie was produced by James Cameron and David Ellison and directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) from a screenplay written by David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray. It stars Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta.

Terminator: Dark Fate has officially been rated ‘R’ for “violence throughout, language and brief nudity.” The first two Terminator films were, of course, ‘R’ rated and 2003’s Rise of the Machines continued with the violence that warranted an ‘R’ rating. Unfortunately, both Terminator Salvation (2009) and Terminator Genisys (2015) were ‘PG-13’ rated.


More than two decades after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) sets out to protect a young woman named Dani Ramos and her friends, as a liquid metal Terminator, sent from the future, attempts to terminate them…


“I wish I could say the action made up for the story deficiencies, but a lot of it is so jumpy and confusing that it’s hard to even track on what is happening. There are some inspired moments, like an extended sequence at the Hoover Dam and the high-octane freeway chase that essentially opens the film. Still, the money and talent involved should have produced something significantly better.” Associated Press

“The previous two Terminator films may have been duds, but one had a futuristic setting and the other had some twisty-turny time-travel shenanigans, so at least they were trying to do something different. From the off-the-peg subtitle onwards, Terminator Dark Fate aims to be no more than a comfortingly familiar rehash – and that’s what it is.” BBC

“It’s likely that many in the audience, some of whom won’t have been born when the first Terminator came out, will find the déja vù comforting and maybe even exciting, and you can’t deny that Terminator: Dark Fate gives the people what they want, and lots of it […] I was just hoping for a little more of the groundbreaking in the action and science fiction genres that those movies represented.” Birth. Movies. Death.

“As familiar lines are spun in new ways and we build to a heavy metal clash of a finale, this occasionally leans too heavily on the homage but mostly, remarkably, feels like a worthy descendant rather than a cheap cash-in […] Easily the third-best Terminator film, which is more of a compliment than it sounds. It’s great to have Hamilton back in this role, but she’s ably matched by Reyes and Davis.” Empire

” …a marked improvement over the risible Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys, it’s tough to shake the feeling that Cameron and director Tim Miller (Deadpool) are dining out a little too voraciously on Cameron’s sci-fi action masterpiece. Fans will have to ask themselves where the line between homage and cheeky self-cribbing is drawn…” Flickering Myth

Dark Fate gets more right than it gets wrong (just about, anyway), and there’s an undeniable thrill in seeing Hamilton and Schwarzenegger reunited onscreen for the first time in almost three decades. But this fourth attempt at crafting a worthy sequel to James Cameron’s peerless sci-fi double bill only just gets passing marks.” Games Radar

“Basically, Arnold is called upon to reprise a character I always thought was fundamentally wrong: the nice Terminator, the Terminator on the side of the angels, although Hamilton’s Sarah Connor has some fierce dialogue scenes with him, unconvinced that he can be anything other than evil. It’s good to see Hamilton getting a robust role, although, sadly, she has to concede badass superiority to Davis.” The Guardian

“In the end, it’s the film’s three female leads that come to the rescue. Given how depressingly rare it is to see women even talking to each other in an action movie, I suppose Terminator: Dark Fate should be commended for this – even if there’s a jarring lack of women behind the scenes. And Hamilton, Reyes, and Davis do bounce off each other beautifully.” Independent.co.uk

“Like a lot of recent Hollywood franchise extensions, this one views the entertainment industry’s ongoing push for gender parity and racial equity as less a restriction than an opportunity, a chance to reenergize an old formula with fresh ingredients. It’s fun to watch Schwarzenegger play backup to three formidable women…” Los Angeles Times

“Schwarzenegger is always memorable in these Terminator movies, and his new cyborg adds some entertaining new twists to his typical deadpan schtick. It’s clear from the beginning, though, that Dark Fate belongs to his female co-stars, particularly Davis and Hamilton, each kicking an impressive amount of robotic ass while bringing significantly more passion and intensity than one might expect…” Screen Crush

“The franchise’s ritualistic reminding that we’re going to do ourselves in seems gratuitous at this point, Debbie Downer talking in apocalyptic terms at a time when we’re made plenty aware of the dire stakes every time we look at our phones. The problem, really, is that nothing about Dark Fate feels novel. “F*ck it, man, we know,” I almost wanted to say to the movie screen. Believe me! We know.” Vanity Fair

Terminator: Dark Fate is a movie designed to impress you with its scale and visual effects, but it’s also a film that returns, in good and gratifying ways, to the smartly packaged low-down genre-thriller classicism that gave the original Terminator its kick. The new movie earns its lavish action (and its emotions, too) because no matter how violently baroque its end-of-days vision, its storytelling remains tethered to the earth.” Variety

“Whether Terminator: Dark Fate is the last chapter in this story or the first in an all-new franchise is, for now, irrelevant. The film works either way, bringing the tale of the first two films to a satisfying conclusion while reintroducing the classic storyline, in exciting new ways, to an excited new audience. It’s a breathtaking blockbuster, and a welcome return to form.” The Wrap


Terminator: Dark Fate was gradually released theatrically around the world from 23rd October 2019 (UK, France, Indonesia, Netherlands) onwards, with the US release opening on November 1, 2019.

Talking to TheArnoldFans, Edward Furlong has said:

“I’m not allowed to say anything, but yeah, yeah man, I mean it’s a small role but it’s, you know, I’m in there, man,” said Furlong. “I’m in there. I’m glad to be back on it, I’m really, really happy to be doing it.

Box office:

Terminator: Dark Fate bombed at the box office in both the USA and the other big market China. The movie’s domestic box office over its opening weekend was just $29 million from 4,086 movie houses, approximately half of what was predicted.

Overseas, it took $94.6 million (with a lacklustre China box office showing of $28 million) for a global take of $123.6 million. The movie was budgeted at a hefty $185 million even before marketing costs. Overall, the movie faces losses of $120 million-plus for main production partners Skydance, Paramount and Disney/Fox.

Wall Street analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners said: “It is time to let this franchise finally go to the great beyond.”

Cast and characters:

  • Mackenzie Davis … Grace
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger … The Terminator
  • Linda Hamilton … Sarah Connor
  • Tom Hopper … Hadrell
  • Brett Azar … T-800
  • Gabriel Luna … Terminator
  • Natalia Reyes … Dani Ramos
  • Diego Boneta
  • Steven Cree … Rigby
  • Cassandra Starr … Dani’s Army
  • Mario de la Rosa … Mexico City Cop
  • Arlette Torres … Mexican Hooker
  • Tábata Cerezo … Julia
  • Jude Collie … John Connor
  • Enrique Arce

Production companies:

  • Paramount Pictures
  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • Skydance Media
  • Tencent Pictures
  • Lightstorm Entertainment

Technical details:

  • 128 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1

Image credits: Paramount Pictures

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