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It’s time to terminate sequels with ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’

MOVIE REVIEW

“TERMINATOR: DARK FATE”

Rated R. At AMC Loews Boston Common, Regal Fenway Stadium and suburban theaters.

Grade: C+

After the forgettable “Terminator: Salvation” and “Terminator: Genisys” and not very good “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” was anyone out there clamoring for another “Terminator” film except series creator James Cameron and Sony, the studio that drives franchises into the ground?

After all these “Terminator” films, I am as confused as anyone about the plot. This new installment is, I am told, a direct sequel to “Terminator 2.” Okay. The action begins in Mexico City and features a bilingual “Terminator,” named Gabriel aka Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) and a tall, blond, blue-eyed “augmented human” from the future named Grace (Mackenzie Davis). In scenes that struck me as racially retrograde, the naked “augmented” woman from the future encounters a young Mexican man and woman, who are getting it on under a bridge, and relieves the man of his clothes. As it turns out, this time around the new Terminator is out to kill a young Mexican woman named Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes of Sony’s Colombian telenovela “Lady, La Vendedora de Rosas”).

Like all “Terminator” films, “Terminator: Dark Fate” is one long, almost nonstop chase sequence, featuring admittedly very nicely directed action scenes by Tim Miller (“Deadpool”). There are shootouts, car chases and explosions galore. The problem is the conceptually lackluster screenplay credited to executive producer James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee (“Hemlock Grove”), Josh Friedman (“Emerald City”), Justin Rhodes, David S. Goyer (“Godzilla”) and Billy Ray (“Gemini Man”).

Notably, the Rev-9 can separate its Terminator endoskeleton from its black tar-like liquid metal exterior, although there is no explanation for why the liquid part doesn’t just collapse into a puddle. Grace needs regular injections of a stew of meds found in an ordinary Mexican farmacia or she cannot continue to fight the Terminator. This struck me as ridiculously lame.

OCTOBER 30, 2019: Gabriel Luna as the Rev 9; Ectoskeleton, left, and Endoskeleton, right, star in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures’ “TERMINATOR: DARK FATE.”

OCTOBER 30, 2019: Natalia Reyes, right, and Mackenzie Davis star in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures’ “TERMINATOR: DARK FATE.”

OCTOBER 30, 2019: Linda Hamilton stars in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures’ “TERMINATOR: DARK FATE.”

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The two best moments in the film are when Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor makes her entrance and original Terminator and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his. She has been living more or less “off the grid,” collecting rocket launchers. He has been selling drapes as an ordinary if also physically impressive specimen named Carl (“I am never calling you Carl” is easily Hamilton’s best line).

The film features the U.S. Border Patrol, “detainees” in cages, a border wall and plugs for Mexican beer. The violence definitely warrants the R rating. Hamilton is a real firecracker, although some of her lines were too obviously written by men. Schwarzenegger has developed a melancholy world weariness. When he says, “I won’t be back,” you know he means it. Like all sequels, …read more

Source:: Boston Herald

      

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