Apparently, it IS that hard to make a good Terminator movie.
I just got home from a screening of Terminator: Dark Fate. I was excited to see the film. Director Tim Miller was going to be in attendance at my screening, and he did great work with Deadpool. Linda Hamilton was back in the franchise, James Cameron was involved from the ground up. Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to be a part of it, and Mackenzie Davis, an excellent actor, was front and centre. Dark Fate had a lot going for it.
And then I watched it. And man, did I think it was terrible. I was bored. It was all inconsequential action set piece after action set-piece. When you’re bored during an action film…well, that’s a problem. Tim Miller, who is an affable and honest fellow in person, shot so many moments in the exact same way, slowing things down right before a big punch or explosion. It got old very quickly.
Apart from Arnold and Mackenzie, the acting was atrocious. It’s a problem when you don’t believe a word out of the lead character’s mouth – in this case, the character is Dani, played by Natalia Reyes. Sadly, the same goes for Linda Hamilton, who is saddled with some horrible dialogue (to be fair, everybody is). Hamilton’s return is the big selling point of Terminator: Dark Fate, but I really wish she would have stayed away.
If you read our work here at BBP! with regularity, you know we’re a fairly positive bunch of writers. We tend to focus more on the stuff we love rather than the stuff we don’t – life is too short for negativity, right? But sometimes a film angers you so much, you have to sit down in front of your computer and just get it all out. Terminator: Dark Fate is one such film. The good parts of the movie – the empowering women who hold the future in their hands – is worth acknowledging, but I wish they were surrounded by a strong story and dialogue. Extreme die-hard fans of the franchise may find something to love about it, but I really will be surprised if many do.
With Terminator: Dark Fate looking to debut on the low end of estimates this weekend, it’s time to put the robots down for good.