Ok, I admit I’m not a Terminator diehard but I’d like to think this affords me a fresh take on the latest release.
Terminator: Dark Fate is the 6th instalment and the formula is now honed and updated sufficiently for contemporary audiences. I had my suspicions. Action and brawn, predictable scripts with uninspired acting and little else. Not so. Arnold Schwarzenegger has come of age. His acting has improved and that’s not surprising since he’s been around for years (or maybe the experience as California’s ‘Govern-ator’ changed him). He manages to portray T-800 Terminator in a new light and to make it/him ‘more human’. In true celluloid tradition he is able to give full expression and without saying a word. He seems to have abandoned his monosyllabic approach. And the line “I won’t be back” inadvertently thrusts the drama into something multi-dimensional while casting prophetic light on himself (Is this his swan song?). Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) looks dangerous wearing aviators and a pistol in hand. She is seeking vengeance from 25 years ago and connects us with Judgement Day. We see Hamilton’s developing the surly character following the trauma of Terminator 2.
Without doubt, the Terminator franchise has benefited from recent screen action such as the Bourne series and Fast and Furious et al. Some of the sequences are so good they’re worth another viewing. But what surprises is their effectiveness beyond ‘action’ and how they convey deeper meaning. The heavy lifter bomber scene is memorable. As the action plays out each character moves in gravity-defying choreography. Terminator is set against terminator, the pursued evades pursuer in the interior of a massive military aircraft that is speeding toward terminal velocity. The whole strangely resembles the movement of trainee astronauts in an anti-gravity chamber – but without the damage. It is complex while slick and if I hadn’t seen a similar sequence in The Mummy 2017 (starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella) I’d have paid homage to Tim Miller (Director). But regardless, it’s still breathtaking.
The Terminator fanchise is re-energized with this latest release.
Director Tim Miller
Screen play James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee, Josh Friedman, David Goyer, Justin Rhodes
Sarah Conner Linda Hamilton
Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger
Grace Mackenzie Davis
Dani Ramos Natalia Reyes
Terminator Gabriel Luna