Linda Hamilton, left, and Arnold Schwarzenegger star in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures' "TERMINATOR: DARK FATE."

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B+

The Terminator: Dark Fate feature film will be called a sequel, remake, reboot and on occasion, not necessary, but for die – hard and regular fans of the Terminator franchise, this is the film not to miss. Yes, there were some not so great films in the franchise after the Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but Terminator Dark Fate has three women in the roles of warriors who get the job done when Earth and humanity is threatened once again by a droid.

“Terminator: Dark Fate” is impressive with its action and visual effects, but despite not having an entirely new story line about the attack of humanity’s home and the one who needs protection for reasons unknown (but assumed), the film is entirely entertaining with the introduction of new diverse characters – more capable women and people who represent a large segment of bilingual and Spanish speaking society from the USA and around the world.               

Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) directs the film from the screenplay by David S. Goyer (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Justin Rhodes (Contract Killers), and Billy Ray (Gemini Man, Overlord), based on the story by Goyer, Rhodes and James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee and Josh Friedman. It is very interesting that this story begins in Mexico City and keeps the characters in motion for quite a while in that country. Of course, it is a surprise to residents when bodies start to fall from the sky – naked – beginning with Grace (Mackenzie Davis), a living breathing human being who has been enhanced to have unexpected strength and some bionic body parts. The audience learns more about her history later in the film, but she’s definitely hunting for someone, but not for the same reasons as a terminator. She is brave and fearless as she seeks one person and does all to avoid what is to come.

Among the residents of Mexico City the next morning, we see Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes), and her brother, Diego (Diego Boneta), preparing for work at a factory. It is not long after they arrive that their job is on the line with the introduction of machinery that can do their jobs. Instead of finding out their jobs have ended, they have been followed by the Terminator (Gabiel Luna) who has also landed/hunting Dani. The first fight/action scenes begin for the battle of Dani between Grace and the Terminator.  Luna’s Terminator is slick and is seen to be able to shape – shift. When the Terminator has a wound, it can heal instantly, and this droid can separate himself completely from human to metal endoskeleton. In “Dark Fate,” this terminator comes from the group now known as Legion, as Skynet (where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator T 800 came from) was defeated. Luna has great skills and qualities as the Terminator and look forward to seeing more action films in his future career.

The chase scenes of a relentless Terminator (Luna) after Dani and Grace is at full throttle and when they need help the most, Sarah Conner arrives, guns blazing as she helps fend off the assassin. And believe, me Sarah is armed to the teeth, ready to do battle. It is hard not to want to talk about Schwarzenegger’s re-appearance as his performance and lines in the script are best experienced in the theater. He is no longer a part of Skynet after the defeat and let’s say he has reinvented himself. Sarah still despises him, but out of sheer necessity the group works with him in Texas. They are both great in their scenes together, as well as when they interact with the new characters.

Dani is to be protected like Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, but she refuses to go into hiding for her future life. She has no qualms for becoming the future leader of the war against the machines. Reyes is an excellent actress in this role and look forward to more.

The time has come for these powerful women to take the place where they are destined to be in the future.

The cast also includes Edward Furlong, Enrique Arce, Steve Cree, Tom Hopper, Cassandra Starr, Brett Azar, and Tábata Cerezo among many others. 

MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 128 minutes. Release Date: Nov 1, 2019

Source: Paramount Pictures

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