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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Terminator: Dark Fate 2019 * * * Stars

Terminator: Dark FateDirector: Tim Miller
Year: 2019
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis

"I hunt Terminators". Great. Someone needs to gun down those pesky, Legion-ed prototypes.

Anyway, are you a Terminator fan? Well fab because Terminator: Dark Fate gives you just what you want. Granted, "Fate" is not as good as the first three Terminator films (funny being that it bares an uncanny resemblance to Judgment Day and the original). And it feels a little recycled in terms of themes, cores, car chases, and action set pieces. Oh well. "Fate" is fast-paced, whiz-bang, and involving. Linda Hamilton is back guns blazing, the production budget is higher, James Cameron is back producing, and Arnold Schwarzenegger looks a little younger (and healthier) this time around.

Image result for terminator dark fate movie scenesAlso in "Fate's" mix playing a badass, cyborg soldier, is Mackenzie Davis (Tully, Blade Runner 2049). Davis at a lean-and-mean 5'10, sure knows how to yield a chain while snarlingly mugging to the camera. If the Terminator franchise continues (and I'm thinking it might), I see her probably being on board (or "back", no pun intended).

Terminator: Dark Fate, which takes place in Mexico as opposed to sequel mainstay Los Angeles, is directed by Deadpool helmer and title sequence monger, Tim Miller. Miller avoids any sort of epic mantra and fashions "Fate" as a less violent and less self-serious, "popcorn" movie. He films action well (and in panoramic form), his special effects are dated yet juicily effective, his camera is true-blue, and his villain (amoeba-ed, Terminator Rev-9 played by Gabriel Luna) is totally Robert Patrick-esque.

Image result for terminator dark fate movie scenesSure "Fate's" plot is a little stock (a Terminator model arrives from the future to kill a young, random man/woman). And yes, Miller's "edge of tomorrow" doesn't create a more foreboding and bombastic atmosphere like the mighty Jimmy Cameron (most filmmakers can't). Still, Terminator: Dark Fate takes us back to circa 1984-2003 when the Terminator movies were zingy, high-velocity, and faithfully blueprinted. In terms of giving a favorable rating, "Fate's" "fate" at 3 stars is sealed.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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