AFTER more disastrous sequels than Police Academy, the brains behind the success of Terminator T2 have wisely decided to scrub the previous three films from canon.
And much like Finch throwing a pair of hoes over a pub, they have deemed Terminator: Dark Fate the real quiz winner.
Set years after the ending of Judgement Day (arguably one of the greatest sequels ever made) we are in an alternate reality where Skynet didn’t win and Sarah Connor is enjoying some downtime with son and saviour John in a beach bar.
Without giving anything away, things go south within seconds and an alternate reality emerges leaving Skynet looking like a relaxing spa break.
We have an upgraded T-1000 who’s focal point is Danni, a young girl, unaware she holds the key to the human race. Protecting her is Grace, an enhanced human soldier sent from the future.
And Sarah Connor, the original badass, is reluctantly sucked into saving the world again. Oh, and Some bloke called Arnie crops up too.
If you forget the awful sequels and pretend this is the first Terminator movie you’ve seen since 1991, you’re in for a treat.
The makers have wisely condensed all that was great from the first two and opened up the story so it can run and run.
Mackenzie Davis is superb as Grace (you’ll know her from Black Mirror and Tully) but everyone bows down whenever Linda Hamilton rocks up.
She’s the Carrie Fisher of the action world and is phenomenal here — reminding you that it wasn’t all about Arnie. The man himself turns up a good two thirds of the way in, with a surprisingly good storyline.
Now we’ve been primed that his Terminator isn’t a baddie, he’s allowed to breathe a lot more – and the scriptwriters have almost certainly noticed that Batista’s Drax is the best thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
Arnie’s deadpan delivery of some hilarious lines are among the films best moments.
One thing that struck me about the huge set pieces and VFX on show here isn’t as much ‘wow these are amazing’ (although obviously they are), but instead ‘wow they really got it right last time round’.
The fact you can watch this side by side with it’s predecessor 28 years later and barely notice the difference, really shows how groundbreaking this series has been for cinema. It’s not all brilliant though.
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Danni, the crux of the whole plot, felt underdeveloped and rushes through a ridiculous character arc (from not being able to drive to SAS commander in 90 minutes).
And the final 10 minutes descends into cheesy catchphrase madness – but it’s a solid, entertaining reboot of a classic franchise. If this is the start of another trilogy, they’re on the right lines.
Terminator: Dark Fate (15) 128mins
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