Grace (Mackenzie Davis) is sent to the past to protect Dani (Natalia Reyes) from a new line of terminators called a Rev-9 and finds help from some familiar faces.
Dark Fate is a return to form for the Terminator franchise and this in part feels due to the return of two of the key creative minds of the original two films. It welcomes back original creator James Cameron with producer and story credits and original star Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner for the first time since Terminator 2. What this means from a story perspective is that this is a direct sequel to Terminator 2 Judgement Day and discounts the other three sequels in the series.
The plot also returns to the basics by making this sequel very much a chase movie in the vein of the originals with all of the characters taking on similar roles. Grace, our new Kyle Reese explains that the events of T2 may have changed the future, but they did not change humanity’s fate. Dani is our new Sarah Conner, important to the resistance and marked for death by Legion, the new Skynet. The new Rev-9 Terminator played by Diego Luna manages to be both the exoskeleton from the original film and the liquid metal version from T2 as it can separate into two machines. Hamilton’s and Schwarzenegger’s roles are best discovered for yourself though.
The film is at its best as a relentless chase movie with Mackenzie Davis stealing the show. Her physicality and presence in the action scenes are impressive. The CGI mostly holds up and some of the set pieces are pretty imaginative. It’s also pretty funny as well with the occasional wink to the audience.
Definitely a return to form even with the mind twisting time paradoxes you definitely don’t want to think too hard about.