Terminator: Dark Fate Honest Review!

Scified2019-10-25 10:23:42https://www.scified.com/articles/terminator-dark-fate-honest-review-81.jpg
Written by Gavin12,601 Reads11 Comments2019-10-25 10:23:42

Increasingly, movie reviews from movie critics from 'leading' movie news websites such as Collider, Variety, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, etc., have been at odds with reviews for the same movies from audiences on review aggregator sites (Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, and such). With Terminator: Dark Fate, critics claim it to be the best sequel in the franchise since Terminator 2: Judgment Day while citing it as the franchise's version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The truth is, however, that as a Terminator movie Terminator: Dark Fate is a soulless and recycled bastardization of the franchise, while as an action movie it is just simply underwhelming and generic.

Terminator: Genisys attempted to reboot the franchise by resetting it, they attempted to achieve this by having the events of the first two (and thus all subsequent) movies having never have transpired and juxtaposing their own narrative in their place. This didn't work, either logically or narratively, and it upset general audiences and fans of the franchise. With Terminator: Dark Fate they have done it again. While the events of the first two movies do remain intact this time around, the opening scene of the movie makes them completely irrelevant to the rest of the story in this movie.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton's return have been praised and while I will agree their performances are the highlight of this movie, the harsh truth is that the T-800 and Sarah Connor don't actually need to be in this movie. The story of this movie centers around Dani Ramos (Natalie Reyes) being protected by Grace (MacKenzie Davis) from termination at the hands of the Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna). By the movie's end (SPOILERS), Grace sacrifices herself and Dani discovers a hidden inner strength, destroying the reportedly indestructible Rev-9. All the T-800 (named Carl) and Sarah's presence achieves, and the iteration of the franchise they are remnants from, actually confuse and convolute the story being told in Terminator: Dark Fate.

Terminator: Dark Fate is trying to reboot the franchise, but has the same issue inherent in other failed reboots, in that it lacks the soul of the original movies. In Grace's future war memories (yes, like those Kyle Reese experienced in The Terminator) we see a future where humans have futuristic flying machines and are capable of creating Human-Terminator hybrids. This flies against the future War James Cameron created, which (like Aliens) was inspired by the American-Vietnam War, with a technological superpower being defeated by a technologically inferior enemy. This future war, as seen sparingly in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, fans have been waiting 35 years for, but what we see in Terminator: Dark Fate, especially were Grace fights against multiple Rev-9's, feels more reminiscent of Edge of Tomorrow (AKA Live, Die, Repeat) than the future war fans want.

Despite many references, callbacks, winks, and nods to the first two movies, and the recycling of elements from the three movies they claim to retcon out of continuity, Terminator: Dark Fate never actually feels like a Terminator movie, instead, feeling more like a straight to DVD rip-off. 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the actual sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, despite its self-parody and the occasional continuity error, did feel like a Terminator movie and also fixed the narrative 'inconsistencies' of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, of which Terminator: Dark Fate does not even mention.

Remember how in 2013 SEGA and Gearbox Software heavily marketed Aliens: Colonial Marines as being the 'canon' sequel to James Cameron's movie Aliens, but following the outcry that the game was unfinished and falsely advertised the games canonicity was promptly rescinded. Prior to its release, Terminator: Dark Fate has been marketed as the 'new' Terminator 3, with fans and audiences expected to praise the (partial) return of James Cameron to the franchise he created. While critics may have you believe this movie is the best since Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the truth is that their interests (such as interviews, exclusives, set visits, etc.) colors their bias when it comes to reporting and reviews. This is why the reviews of movie critics don't correlate with those of audiences. Audiences aren't plying studios with favorable reviews in the hope of recompense, they are just giving their opinion on a movie they spent/wasted money on to watch (whereas usually, critics get free tickets).

Terminator: Genisys was a terrible and convoluted movie, but it felt like a Terminator movie, and while it did urinate on the mythology of the franchise it also paid reverence to it, as evidenced by its rendition of the future set time travel scenes which were originally intended to be in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Conversely Terminator: Dark Fate does the opposite; it may keep the first two movies as canon to its narrative but it then defecates on them and offers a recycled, unimaginative, and emotionally empty imitation in their place.

Early in its marketing Terminator: Dark Fate aligned itself alongside other recent misandric movies with its first official poster and director Tim Miller's polarizing comments. This continues within the movie with Dani Ramos challenging the Star Wars sequel trilogy's Rey as the new Mary Sue, and the needless emasculation and placating of the T-800. With more honest reviews coming from small sites like this (and The Terminator Fans) and from the chorus of YouTube commentators, I fear it is only a matter of time before Tim Miller, James Cameron and/or Paramount Pictures use faux-feminine social politics as a shield against criticism.


In summary, the truth is that all of the previous sequels to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (even Terminator: Genisys) are more deserving as sequels. Terminator: Dark Fate's recycling of elements from these allegedly disregarded sequels is so unimaginatively executed that it makes The Predator's use of the same practice look creative. The T-X was more threatening, Marcus Wright was a more believable protagonist, and Genisys made more sense as a Skynet successor than Legion. Finally, I doubt any fans of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (of which there are many) will be able to forgive and move past the movie's opening scene.

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MemberLegendOct-25-2019 10:59 AM

Thanks- the review is consistent with others I have seen. I will skip it. Third movie was the last good one imo.


AdminAtmanOct-25-2019 7:23 PM

This is disappointing but sadly not surprising... I will still check it out but I am going in with low expectations and I am curious to know about the opening scene. I will be sure to share my thoughts once I've seen the film myself!


MemberContributorOct-26-2019 4:25 AM

How is this review honest? It screams loud as hell as anti-SJW hysteria. What Miller's words about sexist hate Grace proves only how big of hack he is after his show Love, death + robots was criticized (justly in my mind) for how female characters were treated. What also makes him a  hack is how he criticized Ryan Reynolds (again, justly in my mind) for making Deadpool 2 for being too safe, he makes a safe remake of T2.

Also remember how Cameron hated what they did with Newt and Hicks? But what about his comment about Alien Covenant and how he would not make a story like that? And yet he writes the same kind of story in which he kills John Connor for kicks? How does even the story make sense as they destroyed what would become Skynet in T2 so there would be nothing to send back the Terminator to beginning with. When does bringing back a character dead or to be killed even work? Was Covenant Better for killing off Shaw, BR49 with Rachael, Deadpool 2 with Vanessa, the new Star Wars trilogy for every original character (and now will make the ending of the OT totally void with the Emperor returning)?

Sure 3 or 4 critics can claim that this movie is better than everything after T2, but that was said even for Covenant and many would argue against that. As it is now, on Rotten Tomatoes it sits lower than T3 and when it will be release more widely next week it would probably sink even lower. I don't see how critics are paid here, so let's not push conspiracy theories when they are absolutely unfounded.

The only wish I have is for this movie to be less successful than Alita, as I would rather see the continuation of that, especially that it has a Latina as a protagonist and the annoying white dude is dead. 



MemberMartianOct-26-2019 8:32 AM

Not seen it yet..... but the Synopsis does not read too well, and so looks like Ignorantguy your points are 100% Valid

But what they do is Re-introduce/Re-hash Franchises for the Millennials  when sometimes they should be LEFT alone as all that happens is to Damage the Credibility of the Originals

If this BOMBS... then where NEXT?

Its left in same situation as with ALIEN and PREDATOR Franchises.


MemberLegendOct-26-2019 10:19 AM


#1 - This is my review of Terminator: Dark Fate, and it is my honest opinion of the movie, therefore it is my 'Honest Review'.

#2 - An anti-SJW hysterical review would be filled from being to end with every example of, and criticisms against the movie's use of misandry. One out of nine paragraphs in this review makes mention of only two misandric elements found within this new movie, the rest of the review makes no mention of any such elements. Instead, I review the characters, narrative, and execution of the movie, while comparing it to its predecessors.

#3 - I agree with your comments about James Cameron's hypocrisy. But remember, he gave Terminator: Genisys the thumbs up in return for a paycheque. This time is no different, other than being credited as a writer and a producer I expect he will receive a bigger paycheque this time around.

#4 - Have you noticed how Empire always gets exclusive movie posters for the covers of their physical magazine, or how Vanity Fair and Variety get exclusive on-set visits during the production of big movies? Did you know that this Sunday night Collider is screening Terminator: Dark Fate, with a Q&A with Tim Miller afterward? Do you honestly think in that Q&A that Frosty (Steve Weintraub) will grill Tim Miller about the inconsistencies or blatant recycling? Movie studios use these sites to market their movies through the use of these exclusive perks, and to ensure they continue to receive such perks these sites 'filter' their critique accordingly to remain in the studio's good graces. It is not a conspiracy, it is business and a multi-billion dollar business at that.

I, however, don't get any such perks, therefore I am free to give my honest, unbiased opinion. It is why we here at Scified and other similar sites, as well as most YouTube commentators, do not have to keep studio contacts placated that our reviews and opinions are labeled as hate campaigns.

#4 - Alita was actually a good movie and much better than Dark Fate, though I doubt it will get a sequel, well not in Hollywood anyway. However, I would not be surprised to see the manga original be revived or revisited in someway following the movies' somewhat success.


MemberContributorOct-26-2019 10:54 AM

@Gavin I usually read the reviews going against the grain, so I don't care about what a writer good relationships with the studios. I was only saying that on average this movie has a lower score than T3 which ain't grand.

But review bombs are real and you know why I know? Not because some @-hole for a news tells me but by how the ratings on IMDB are distributed. It is normal that some people will hate movies/series, usually 2% of votes are 1s, but the rest follow the Gaussian distribution. But then you have the likes of Batwoman, which is not very good indeed (same old cw formula), but half of the people voting gave it a 1. Same goes for the new Watchmen series (19% of 1), but that for me was really good (but anti-SJW *****ed about how **** it was).



MemberNoobOct-26-2019 1:29 PM

I saw this on Wednesday and really enjoyed it. I have no issue with how they chose to progress the story and ultimately, if Cameron agreed with how this should follow T2 then there you have it. I would say it follows the first couple a bit too closely at times however does more than enough to stand on its own. Grace was a great character and would have looked forward to seen by her in future films.

T3 has some good ideas but has aged badly and is the least watched by myself. Salvation is very underrated IMO and can’t understand all the hate - dared to be different and I think that is what put people off. Genisys less-so but still has some good scenes. Totally wasted time reshooting like-for-like parts from original and horribly miscast Emelia Clarke amongst other things.


MemberConversationalistOct-27-2019 11:47 AM

I don't care about the plot or SJW stuff...But I do care about the editing and action sequences.

I've read there is less action scenes?!?

Fast cut 'Bourne' style editing?(I'll miss it if this is the case.)

How was the soundtrack?

Too long too short?

Very curious to watch the opening. Probably not 12$ worth of curious though.


Admin2KOct-29-2019 3:02 PM

@ignorantGuy I absolutely agree with you, the new Watchmen show is amazing. Crazy it's being review bombed like it is.

Im Durp

MemberInitiateNov-04-2019 9:49 AM

I actually really enjoyed this movie and thought it was pretty far and ahead above all the other T2 sequels.

Sean Holmes

MemberNoobJan-14-2021 10:01 PM

I think the problem with Terminator: Dark Fate is that it lack's "shock value" for movie fans. Part of the issue for future Terminator movies will be the use of reoccurring themes and actors that have been in my opinion over used. I do like what the comics have done with the Terminator stories by trying to merge it with company related concepts like Blade Runner, Predator, and Aliens. I favor a crossover between The Matrix and Terminator, but both movies come from different franchises.

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