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Read: Terminator Dark Fate is a rehash but it’s still good

When the film Terminator was released in 1984 I fell in love with it. It was terrifying in its depiction of an AI created apocalypse with special effects that were, for their time, incredible. Best of all, the casting of Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (T800 Terminator) was a magical pairing. She was the naive and helpless victim, he was the merciless killer robot who brought touches of humour to a killing rampage.

The sequel, Judgement Day took that chemistry further when a beefed up Connor teamed up with the T800 and defeated a new and vastly more dangerous foe.

In the third film, Hamilton was gone, but Rise of the Machines till had Arnie in it and the story arc advanced – we witnessed the bringing of the war and the anointing of John Connor as the leader of the resistance. It was a good film, but not what it could have been because Sarah Connor was out of the story. 

I never watched Salvation, and while Genisys had some good elements to it, it never captured the emotional depth or connection to character it needed.


Because the strength and emotional essence of the Terminator story is formed by the relationship between Sarah Connor and the original T800 Terminator, and by extension, the dynamic between Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s the two of them that bring soul to the story.

Take the other Terminators – beautiful, relentless, and seemingly unbeatable. But do you care what  happens to them? Of course not!  And I suspect, like me, the other peripheral characters don’t really hook you the way Arnie and Linda do!

The moment Hamilton appears on screen in Terminator: Dark Fate, is the moment the film really takes off. The time leading up to her appearance is great, and the other cast members are very good, but it’s Sarah we’ve been waiting for. Arnie takes a bit longer to appear, but again, when he pops up, it’s like seeing an old friend. 

What you need to know is that the action sequences are hair-raising, the cinematography superb, and Arnold provides some really good comedy in his dead-pan fashion. 

I won’t talk about plot because it’s virtually the same as the original film – indeed this is Dark Fate’s biggest flaw. It’s a rehash of the original film – an innocent young woman being hunted by an implacable killer with a time-travelling soldier seeking to save her. There are some twists and a few tweaks, but there’s nothing new here.  

But hey, in the end it doesn’t really matter, Arnie and Linda are re-united and I’m thrilled!


In New Zealand Cinemas 31st October 2019

128 Minutes

Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta

Director: Tim Miller 


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